Richard ‘The Boxing Prophet’ Solomon’s Picks Of the Week
Richard’s love of boxing preceded his love of solid food. Doctors report he came out of his mother’s womb throwing a jab. As a child he would only ever count from 1 to 10, and his favorite superhero didn’t wear a cape- he wore leather gloves that were A Thrilla In Manila. With his uncanny ability to predict fights, his parents gave up dreams of him becoming President and set their sights higher: Boxing Prophet.
His claim to fame: telling the whole world in Feb of 1990 that James Buster Douglas was going to beat Mike Tyson. Through jeers and laughs he stuck to his prediction. Rich was an overnight sensation. A folk hero in his town. The prophet was born. His parents wept.
For every 10 fights Richard predicts – he guarantees 8 out of 10 are correct. He prides himself on not only picking the winner of the fight, but also whether it’s by decision or knockout – being so bold as to even pick the exact round.
Richard went to Adelphi University and holds a Master’s degree in Special Education. He teaches preschool children with learning disabilities and special needs. His kids are fighters and Richard genuinely appreciates and nurtures that spirit in them.
Richard started his career on Adelphi radio in a weekly sports talk show and went on to co-host other boxing radio shows during his career. He is now the RCM Boxing Radio Co-Host since April 2013.
OMAR FIGUEROA (23-0, 17 Kos) VS. DANIEL ESTRADA (32-2-1,24 K0s)
Omar Figueroa Jr. loves to brawl, rarely takes a backward step and throws a lot of hard punches. However, one thing that has hampered him is hand problems. When he fought Nihito Arakawa 13 months ago, Figueroa won a decision in one of the most savage fights of the year. What made the victory so special was the fact that he injured both hands in the bout. 9 months later Figueroa returned to the ring and barely beat Jerry Belmontes, his amateur rival by split decision. Daniel Estrada has won his last 9 bouts and is looking forward to his first shot at a world title. By the way, this is also his first fight outside of Mexico. Estrada, like Figueroa loves to brawl. The key in this fight is for Estrada to know when to fight and when to box. Remember, Figueroa Jr. is a slugger who has freakish resistance to pain and punishment. This fight has “WAR” written all over it. I am so tempted to pick an upset. However, we all know Estrada has to dominate most, if not all of the fight to get the decision victory. Truth be told, If I’m Estrada, I go for the KO. Figueroa Jr. can be tricky. He’s a switch hitter and a great athlete. Estrada will box and give Figueroa a tough fight. There will be some really heated exchanges. At the end of the day, I might score the fight 115-113 for Estrada. But, like I have said 100,000 times, the “Politically Connected” fighter always gets the benefit of the doubt. My Pick: Figueroa wins by Majority Decision.
SAKIO BIKA (32-5, 3, 21 Kos) VS. ANTHONY DIRRELL (21-0, 1, 14 Kos)
Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell fought an all out brawl last year that ended in a draw. Dirrell scored a knockdown in the fifth round and had Bika in major trouble. Bika rallied in the sixth round, a round of the year contender in which both men were hurt. It was a brutal fight and Bika, with his rough and dirty style, cost himself a point in the 11th round with a low blow. In the end, the draw seemed justified. Let the record show that neither man has fought since and they will indeed do it again Saturday night. Bika started a little too slow in their first fight. He has to show Dirrell who the boss is right from the beginning. Attack Dirrell relentlessly, especially to the body. Sometimes, it looks like Dirrell fights “scared”. Bika is the stronger fighter and we will see if Dirrell can handle all the pressure that is thrown his way. The key for Dirrell is to box. It’s called the “Sweet Science” for a reason. Hit and not get hit. It’s very tough for me to predict the outcome of this fight. I actually respect Bika as a fighter. He gave Andre Ward a real tough battle. Several years ago, I would have picked Sakio Bika without a doubt. But in the world of Boxing, you are only as good as your last fight. Against Marco Antonio Periban and the first bout with Anthony Dirrell, it’s obvious that age is taking it’s toll on Bika. Dirrell is a talented fighter, but he’s not close to the talent of his brother Andre. Also, Anthony showed some mental weaknesses in response to Bika’s dirty tactics the first time around. If Dirrell is tougher mentally and uses his skills, speed and athleticism, then he can probably outbox Bika for the win. I expect another close fight. My Pick: Dirrell wins by Split Decision.
SHAWN PORTER (24-0, 15 Kos) VS. KELL BROOK ( 32-0, 22 Kos)
I remember watching Porter back in 2012 against Alfonso Gomez. Porter’s athleticism and toughness were apparent in that bout, though he looked a little awkward and rough around the edges. Porter won that fight by unanimous decision, but it was hard to get excited about him as a prospect at that point in his career. Since then, “Showtime”has improved in almost every bout he’s had. Porter’s skills have grown and he’s become more refined since he first began to get attention as a pro. His above average natural abilities have been cultivated with experience. He dominated Julio Diaz in their rematch and dismantled Devon Alexander to win the IBF title in an easy unanimous decision victory. In his first defense, he destroyed Paulie Malignaggi in four rounds. No doubt about it, Porter is on the brink of something special. Kell Brook, on the other hand, may not be well known in the United States, but he’s all the rage in England. The undefeated 28 year old has been captivating English audiences by facing and beating the likes of Matthew Hilton, Carson Jones and Vyacheslav Senchenko in his career. But like I said before, he’s fought almost exclusively in England. He has not gained a following in the United States. Brook hopes to pull off the upset win like Lloyd Honeyghan did when he shocked the world back in 1986 and stopped Donald Curry to win the undisputed Welterweight title. Porter’s forward aggression can sometimes smother his punches and seemingly keep him off balance. However, in his most recent fights, Porter has been in far better control as he puts pressure on his opponent. Kell Brook has better footwork than Shawn Porter. Brook’s biggest problem is his lack of head movement. At times, he stands too straight and stares down his target. He can be easy to hit. However, when Brook fights off his powerful and accurate jab, he can be a handful for just about any opponent, including Porter. So, who will win Saturday night? Porter’s improvement, athleticism and physical/mental toughness will wear Brook down. Kell Brook is a solid boxer. But his lack of head movement will do him in. Porter will land the harder, more telling blows and he’ll earn an impressive stoppage win. My Pick: Shawn Porter wins by a 9th Round TKO.
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