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Liam Smith vs. Roberto Garcia & Josh Kelly vs. Winston Campos this Fri. in Arizona

Image: Liam Smith vs. Roberto Garcia & Josh Kelly vs. Winston Campos this Fri. in Arizona

By Charles Brun: Liam Smith will be fighting Roberto Garcia and Josh Kelly is facing Winston Campos on this Friday’s Daniel Jacobs vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card on DAZN. This is a Matchroom Boxing promoted card, and it’ll be taking place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has compiled a card full of talented fighters, but unfortunately there’s only one competitive fight on the entire card. That’s the intriguing fight between flyweight contenders Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar (14-1, 11 KOs) and Cristofer Rosales (29-4, 20 KOs). Those two will be battling it out for the vacant WBC World flyweight belt.

The rest of the fights on the card are matches that heavily favor the A-side fighters. It’s a little disappointing that there isn’t at least 2 evenly matched fights on the card instead of 8 mismatches.

This is going to be an exciting war far as long as it lasts. Martinez is coming off of 3rd round disqualification against Charlie Edwards. He made the mistake of hitting Edwards after he’d dropped him. Since that fight, Edwards hasn’t seemed eager to want to face Martinez again.

As far as the rest of the card goes, there’s a lot of talent, but the fights are largely mismatches. Even the main event between former IBF/WBA middleweight champion Jacobs and Chavez Jr. is a mismatch. Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) is a big favorite to defeat former WBC 160-lb champion Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33 KOs).

Liam Smith vs. Roberto Garcia preview

Former WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (28-2-1, 16 KOs) battles 39-year-old Roberto Garcia (42-4, 25 KOs) in a 10 round fight. #5 WBO Smith is trying to keep winning so that he can get another crack at a world title.

He lost to WBO 154-lb champion Jaime Munguia by a disappointing 12 round unanimous decision last year in July. Smith, 31, thinks he could have beaten Munguia if his stamina hadn’t failed him, and he’s been gunning for a rematch. Unfortunately, Munguia is moving up to 160, and he doesn’t plan on giving Smith another shot for him to try and improve on his last performance.

Since his defeat against Munguia, Smith has won his last two fights against Sam Eggington and Mario Alberto Lozano. Smith has looked good lately, but he’s not had any live opposition in with him.

Roberto Garcia might make it interesting. He’s kind of up there in age though at 39, and might not have enough in the tank to give Smith a real test. That’s the whole point of the fight though. Smith is being put in winnable fights so he can work his way back to a world title match in the next year or two, and he might be able to recapture his old WBO strap

Josh Kelly vs. Winston Campos preview

Unbeaten #11 WBA, #14 WBC welterweight contender Josh Kelly (9-0, 6 KOs) takes on Winston Campos (31-6-6, 19 KOs) in a 10 round fight. The Nicaraguan Campos has past losses to these fighters:

  • David Bency x 2
  • Josh Taylor
  • Edgar Puerta
  • Ismael Barroso
  • Luis Garcia

Hearn has decided to pull Kelly backwards and match him softly after his last performance against Ray Robinson.

Kelly needs a lot of work before he’ll be ready to challenge for a world title. He looked dreadful in his last fight against Ray Robinson last June in fighting to a 10 round draw, and he was lucky he didn’t lose.

Robinson, 33, exposed Kelly as having very little power, stamina and a poor boxing IQ. Kelly spent a lot of time during the fight with his back against the ropes, resting, and trying to block all the incoming shots from Robinson. Kelly looked like the loser at the end of the contest, and it’s unclear what his future outlook is.

Josh Kelly to face David Avanesyan in 2020

Hearn wants to match Kelly against EBU welterweight champion David Avanesyan in 2020. That might be as good as it gets for Kelly, who wouldn’t likely do well against any of the elite welterweights.

Kelly deserves a ‘D’ grade for his performance against Robinson. Hearn should have set up a rematch between them, but it’s quite understandable why he didn’t. The judges might get it right in a second fight between them, and then Hearn would be stuck with trying to rebuild Kelly. I don’t know if that’s possible. Kelly has so many bad habits in the ring, and he’s never going to have hand speed, power or reflexes to fight the way he does.

Other fights on the card are as follows:

  • Gabriel Rosado vs. Humberto Ochoa
  • Maurice Hooker vs. Uriel Perez
  • Daniyar Yeleussinov vs. Alan Sanchez
  • Nikita Ababiy vs. TBA
  • Reshat Mati vs. Rakim Johnson
  • Raymond Ford vs. Francisco Muro
  • Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar vs. Cristofer Rosales


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