Predictions: Prograis-Zorrilla, Tszyu-Ocampo, more


We’ve got some fights this weekend! A title is defended! An interim title is defended! A title eliminator!

Three fights of note, here are our picks.

Regis Prograis vs Danielito Zorrilla

Scott Christ (52-28)

The biggest danger to Prograis here is if he overlooks Zorrilla and fights flat. The second-biggest danger to Prograis is if he “gets old overnight,” as he is 34, so you start worrying about that around this age. Otherwise, I just can’t see a way for Zorrilla to win here. Prograis is faster, more powerful, a better boxer, and has a trickiness and explosiveness.

Zorrilla is a decent fighter and a nice opponent to get on short notice, but he just isn’t at this level. He got a crack against Arnold Barboza Jr last summer and wasn’t at that level. Prograis is another level. Say “level” again, me! OK, one more time: Historically, Prograis totally dominates this level of foe. Prograis TKO-5

Wil Esco (61-19)

Regis Prograis appears to have gotten his swagger back since his 2019 loss to Josh Taylor, having now rattled off four consecutive stoppages. The one thing about that though, is that those all came against lesser opposition. Luckily for Prograis, I think Zorrilla is also at a talent deficit in this matchup too, and I think that Prograis takes advantage to win a clear unanimous decision but falls short scoring another stoppage (unless Zorrilla really lays it all on the line). Prograis UD-12

John Hansen (54-26)

Regis Prograis is one of the absolute best fighters in the sport right now. If he’s not the top man at 140 pounds, it’s a 1-and-1a situation with Subriel Matias.

Danielito Zorrilla is a guy who got worked over by Arnold Barboza. He’s a commendable replacement opponent on barely a month’s notice. That’s the best that can be said for the matchup. Prograis TKO-6

Patrick Stumberg (61-19)

I just do not see how the Zorrilla who fought Arnold Barboza Jr has a prayer in this matchup. Barboza’s pressure and power were sufficient to largely neutralize and occasionally hurt Zorrilla, and Barboza famously cannot punch. Unless Zorrilla has Jujutsu or Nen or some other extremely specific superpower that only activates against Cajun southpaws, Prograis’ speed, power, and versatility are going to bury him.

Zorrilla needs to stop Prograis if he wants to win and better fighters have tried. Prograis is too durable and too defensively sound to get clipped, especially when Zorrilla struggles to let his hands go in the face of adversity. Prograis polishes him off well before the championship rounds. Prograis TKO-7

Tim Tszyu vs Carlos Ocampo

Scott Christ (52-28)

Ocampo’s better than he looked when as a young lad with nothing proven, the IBF mandated him for a title shot against Errol Spence Jr, and it’s hard to take a lot from someone losing to Sebastian Fundora, who even now that he’s lost a fight could remain a nightmare matchup at 154 for anybody, including Tszyu or Jermell Charlo.

But Tszyu, while he has his flaws, is confident and just keeps gaining in confidence. Tony Harrison didn’t outbox him, Carlos Ocampo’s not gonna. I think Ocampo will land his shots and make this tough in a few rounds, but Tim wins clear, 9-3 or so. Tszyu UD-12

Wil Esco (61-19)

Tim Tszyu managed to answer a lot of questions about his boxing ability when he faced Tony Harrison. And while there were plenty of folks who expected Tszyu to win, I’m not sure many expected him to dominate in the fashion he was able to. Tszyu has been knocking at the door for a little while now, and it’s time to throw him in deep to let him sink or swim. This fight, however, is more of just the stay-busy variety in my eyes. I expect Tszyu to put the beats on Ocampo and force a moid-point stoppage. Tszyu TKO-6

John Hansen (54-26)

I’ve bought in on Tszyu. The Harrison fight removed the few question marks I still had about him. Other than the sort of filthy mouth that would make DAZN Standards & Practices faint dead away, there’s little to doubt or dislike about him in the ring. I think Ocampo has improved such that we’ll see something closer to his showing against Sebastian Fundora than against Errol Spence, but I still like Tszyu for a late finish. Tszyu TKO-10

Patrick Stumberg (61-19)

Like Ocampo’s fight with Fundora, he’s fighting someone who’s better than him at his own game. Ocampo’s greatest skill is his combination punching on the inside, where the bigger, stronger, more powerful Tszyu reigns supreme. You could have said the same thing about Brian Mendoza before his own run-in with the “Towering Inferno,” sure, but we’ve seen Tszyu absorb plenty of heavy artillery without issue and Ocampo’s best scalp was a longtime welterweight in Mikael Zewski.

While Tszyu will still have to be on his toes, the physical and stylistic clashes are weighed so heavily in his favor that he’s an easy pick. He breaks Ocampo down for a late-round finish. Tszyu TKO-10

Sam Goodman vs Ra’eese Aleem

Scott Christ (52-28)

Aleem has put together some decent wins, nothing where you’re, like, “Whoa! Holy cow!” And he is 32 years old. I think Goodman, 24 and a really solid boxer, may be getting underestimated in some circles. They’ve had roughly the same level of opposition. Aleem may be a little slicker, but is he truly, notably slick? So slick that Goodman can’t nick enough rounds at home?

I’m going with what might be a minor upset, but really this seems like a 50/50 fight on paper to me. Goodman MD-12

Wil Esco (61-19)

Both Sam Goodman and Ra’eese Aleem are taking a step up in competition in this fight, but I just have a hunch Aleem will be better prepared to handle the step up with his boxing ability. No knock against Goodman or anything, but I do think he’ll be out-slicked in this fight. Aleem isn’t the biggest puncher, however, so I’m sensing a fight that goes to the card after the full 12. Aleem UD-12

John Hansen (54-26)

I’m angry at Scott for ordering a full pick here, rather than a quick, results-only call. It’s a good fight, and an ideal eliminator between two guys that don’t have a clear separation already. How do you rate Aleem’s win over Adam “Blunose” Lopez? Do you think Goodman beating TJ Doheny was a proclamation, or a pyrite performance against a guy that’s been declining for at least four years?

I don’t know, man. It’s a bullshit editorial decision to make us show our work here, and someone is bound to look like an idiot on Sunday morning. But since I have to justify a pick, Aleem throws a lot of punches. Gotta throw ‘em to land ‘em, so he’s practically halfway to victory. I’ll lean his way. Aleem UD-12

Patrick Stumberg (61-19)

Goodman is genuinely a quality operator. Great jab, great sense of distance, nice little nasty streak once he’s got his opponent hurt. Aleem just seems a little more effective on the inside, a little heavier-handed, and a lot more proven in deep waters. We’ve seen Aleem power through adversity against a relentless Eduardo Baez, and while Goodman did bounce back nicely from a counter knockdown against Fumiya Fuse, he hasn’t shown off the ability to deal with a genuinely spiteful hitter like Aleem.

Having seen my Spark-Valenzuela pick go up in smoke after failing to take home-field judging advantage into account, you’d think I’d hesitate to pick the road fighter again, especially in such a closely-matched bout. Alas, the heart wants what the heart wants. Aleem out-slugs him to a narrow victory. Aleem SD-12

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Teraji vs Budler: Live updates and results, 5 am ET
Ryan Garcia to return in November, says Oscar: ‘He’ll be stronger, better, wiser’
Zepeda vs Gesta: Live updates and results, 8 pm ET
Green cleared to fight next for vacant WBC title
Jorge Linares: “I Need To Win This Fight”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *