Haye-Gjergjaj & Briggs-Zarate preview & prediction
By Scott Gilfoid: We’ve got a couple of mismatches tonight involving former two division world champion David Haye (27-2, 25 KOs) in his fight against bottom dweller #14 WBO Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0, 21 KOs) and former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs (59-6-1, 52 KOs) and 34-year-old Argentinian journeyman Emilio Ezequiel Zarate (20-16-3, 11 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
On paper, the Haye-Gjergjaj and Briggs-Zarate fights are dreadful mismatches in fights that arguably should never even have been made for the top of a card. I mean, I’m still kind of dumbfounded that Haye vs. Gjergjaj could be a headliner fight because it’s such a terrible mismatch.
Forget for a second that the World Boxing Organization has the unknown 31-year-old Gjergjaj ranked #14 with their organization. This just a bad match-up in my view. Gjergjaj has no experience against upper level heavyweights.
The only semi-meaningful fight during Gjergjaj’s entire career thus far was his life and death struggle against journeyman Denis Bakhtov last year in June. Gjergjaj won that fight, but you can argue that it should have been scored a draw because Bakhtov appeared to win six rounds my card. That makes it a draw in my book.
Here’s how the Haye vs. Gjergjaj fight boil down:
Power: Haye by a wide margin
Ring IQ: Haye
There you have it. Haye has the advantage in every area on the board in his mismatch against Gjergjaj. I honestly don’t know why Haye is even bothering to fight a guy so badly outclassed as Gjergjaj. The only thing I can think of is Haye wants a bunch of record-padding wins on his resume to keep him busy until he gets a cash out fight against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2017 if not this year. I think that’s what it’s heading to.
Gjergjaj doesn’t have a chance in this fight. I think it’s just a formality for Haye to go out there and knock the slow as molasses 31-year-old Gjergjaj out with the first solid right hand that he lands in the fight. The fight was basically won the moment that Haye signed the contract for the match because it’s clearly not a fight that’s meant to be competitive.
The co-feature bout between Shannon Briggs and Emilio Ezequiel Zarate promises to be just as one-sided as the main event. Zarate was blown out recently by the light hitting Hughie Fury in two rounds last November. The way that Zarate was erased quickly by Hughie in that fight suggests that we could seeing a 1st round knockout tonight once Briggs lands his first big shot.
Ring IQ: Briggs
I think this fight will be even more of a mismatch than the main event between Haye and Gjergjaj. The 44-year-old Briggs has WAY too much power and experience for a fighter in Zarate’s class. Yeah, Briggs has lost a good percentage of his game from age and inactvitiy, but I still see him as 60% of what he was in his prime. Even with 40% gone, he’s just a much better fighter than Zarate can ever hope to be. Heck, even if Briggs had lost 80% of his game, I still think he’d blow through Zarate like he wasn’t even there. If a light puncher like Hughie can blast Zarate out in two rounds, then an old timer like Briggs will do it in half the time.
Briggs by 1st round knockout over Zarate. I don’t think Briggs is going to waste any time tonight getting Zarate out of there in the 1st round.
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