Can Golden Boy’s Matchmaking Create Fireworks This Weekend?

Chris Carlson
By Chris Carlson April 25, 2014 9:25 am

Can Golden Boy’s Matchmaking Create Fireworks This Weekend?

This Saturday night from the fan friendly StubHub Center in Carson California, yet another Golden Boy Promotions Tripleheader will broadcasted by Showtime Sports.

The card has recognizable names in what some boxing fans, many media members, and all the betting websites, have labeled as showcase type action fights that will surely be a boom or bust on social media Saturday night.

As a team in 2013, Richard Schaefer, Stephan Espinoza, and who else Al Haymon, saw increased ratings, huge PPV numbers, and quality fights that produced a banner year. Showtime has put all their chips in fueling the sport of boxing and creating real competition with HBO.

Excluding March, this year has started a bit slow for both premium networks and heading into their busy spring/summer schedule, this weekend’s Showtime card has the pugilist public questioning the matchmaking.

One look at the betting lines explains the lack of buzz and negative vibe towards this card. Being sandwiched between legendary names like Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Bernard Hopkins doesn’t help either.

No 50-50 fight or marquee matchup with popular names. Would this card, that’s going to be on Showtime Championship boxing, be better suited and more accepted if it was on newly formed as of last year’s K9 vs. Ishe Smith fight, Showtime special edition? It’s probably too expensive for that so it has to be on their main vehicle.

There was negative press and contempt from the fans in the lead up for fights such as Abner Mares vs. Johnny Gonzalez & Cesar Seda vs. Leo Santa Cruz last August. Mauricio Herrera versus Danny Garcia was ripped and overlooked as a showcase as well.

The tripleheader last July from San Antonio that produced fireworks got plenty of bad press beforehand. Even so those fights were considered to be a lot more competitive odds wise than the card this Saturday.

After striking out with a few well known fighters in the Golden Boy Stable to match Keith Thurman they decided on Julio Diaz. And at the stage that each fighter is at, Diaz might be just right for Thurman who has looked vulnerable early in his last few fights.

Julio may not be in his prime or a top 147 pounder but he sure manages to give quality opponents a run for their money. Diaz represents a measuring stick for Keith Thurman to compare the outcomes of Julio’s battles with Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, and Kendall Holt.

Many have undervalued this fight and if you combine that with Thurman wanting to make a splash, we could get a highly competitive and compelling result.

The same weakness’s Thurman has shown recently should make for a back and forth fight until “One Time” makes an adjustment. After Thurman figures out Diaz it could be lights out.

In fact this main event could look similar to Kendall Holt vs. Julio Diaz. Julio was in the fight until a left hook to the body followed by a left hook to the head ended his night. I’m not calling that exact combination but I do see this one ending with an explosion from Keith Thurman.

My official prediction is Keith “One Time” Thurman by late T.K.O. or concussive type KO.

Matthysse vs. Molina has all the makings of a full on slugfest and this scribe will be keeping an eye on the “under” betting odds.

Is John Molina really that much of a soft touch as the betting lines have him at? Obviously his last outing on HBO against Antonio Demarco is still very fresh in the minds of the odds setters.

Being able to progress a career after falling victim to a first round knockout is somewhat common place in boxing. That said Molina has been inconsistent to say the least and even in his best victories over Hank Lundy and Mickey Bey Jr., he was down on the cards before the stoppages.

Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse was on a collision course with Floyd Mayweather before Danny Garcia swiftly pulled the plug on his dream.

Not all the hype has left him after a close loss to Garcia because many fans blamed his eye swelling for the reason he lost. We won’t have that debate today but Molina is the perfect opponent to reignite his star power.

Two guys that have dynamite in both hands will meet in the co-feature. Is that enough detail on how this fight will play out? Seriously though these two men are going to bang it out in the center of the ring until one of their trainers or ref stops the action.

The old saying you shouldn’t hook with a hooker will be in full effect for John Molina. Usually in a matchup of brawlers the man who uses their jab at least on and off throughout the contest gets their hands raised.

I fully expect these guys to give us a fight of the year type war for about 5 or 6 rounds. That’s if Molina can make it through the early stages when he is warming up his engine.

At some point in the middle to late rounds “The Machine” will take over landing power shots that change the course of the fight. Hurt and desperate Molina will make one last stand only to get caught flush while punching. That’s right I’m being dramatic or just bored, when calling for an exchange to end or shift this fight in Matthysse’s favor.

My official prediction is Lucas Matthysse by late knockout.

The opening fight will set the stage for the return of Omar Figueroa facing off against Jerry Belmontes. Figueroa is battling back from an injury sustained to his hands from his last camp and last fight back in July.

Belmontes got the best of Figueroa when they fought back in the amateurs, however that was then and Omar is the now at the professional ranks.

Belmontes is catching Omar at the right time and maybe rust will keep this thing competitive. And the fact that Jerry is coming off his best performance as a pro after upsetting than unbeaten Prospect Will Tomlinson.

Judging by his lack of power with only 5 KO’s in his 19 wins my guess is Belmontes won’t be able to keep the more powerful Figueroa off him.

This scrap will feature a fast pace with lots of action considering the style matchup. The short turn around for Belmontes having fought March 8 will ensure that he has the stamina to keep up with the busy Figueroa.

My official prediction is Omar Figueroa by Unanimous Decision.   

All and all the way these fights stylistic matchup will make for a very entertaining card, and by night’s end the boxing world will be satisfied in their never ending thirst for blood and guts.

Chris Carlson
By Chris Carlson April 25, 2014 9:25 am

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