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.
Sadam Ali (20-0, 12KOs) vs. Luis Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29KOs)
Ali must fight tough and smart for all 10 rounds against a veteran like Abregu. A mental mistake or a moment of passivity could both spell complete disaster for him in this fight. Abregu wants to control the rhythm of this fight and make it a bruising war that is contested in the trenches. Abregu should try and rough up Ali early and get him to doubt himself as the long, grueling seconds of each round tick away. Abregu needs to pound hard shots at Ali’s body to slow down his movement. If he can control the tempo and press Ali with punches coming from all different angles, Abregu should be able to push Ali well out of his comfort zone and force him to make poor decisions. Ali has a great left hook and Abregu loves to throw big right hand shots.
Abregu started slowly against Thomas Dulorme in his victory over the previously unbeaten fighter. He’s can’t give away too many rounds early against Ali. Sadam Ali did not look good at all in his last fight with Jeremy Bryan. Bryan showed no respect for Ali’s pedigree or natural talent. Sadam Ali can be, in spots, a technically skilled and athletically gifted fighter. However, he struggled to win a split decision against Bryan and is now facing a talented veteran in Abregu. Sure, I can see Ali getting a “GIFT” decision victory. We are talking about the sport of Boxing after all. Lol. However, all things being equal, I’ll be shocked if Abregu does not win this fight. Ali should and will win some rounds early, but Abregu will figure out his rhythm and then disrupt it. Ali gets lazy about returning his lead hook and Abregu will counter over the top of that with his straight right all night long. My pick: Abregu wins by an 8th Round TKO.
Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32KOs) vs. Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23KOs)
Bernard Hopkins is already a legend and may well be the best old fighter ever. Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali, whose names come up often in discussions of the greatest fighters of all time, were both over the hill by their late 30’s. Even among the few greats who fought into their 40’s: Bob Fitzsimmons, Archie Moore and George Foreman, it’s difficult to find parallels to Hopkin’s late-career run of lucrative high-profile victories over top-flight competition. Others who fought into middle age have typically ended up taking a pounding that made them look pathetic, but Hopkins gets hit less than ever these days and his post-40-year-old losses have been by debatable decision. Over the past nine years, he has set a new standard for athletes over 40, one that is unlikely to be matched anytime soon. He’s stayed active in major fights and continued to collect belts. Now, at 49, he’s making a push to unify the light heavyweight belts. He’ll have to stop a real-life monster to do it. Sergey Kovalev is one of the most dangerous punchers in the sport. A patient and methodical fighter with a deep amateur background, Kovalev can end a fight with any punches in his arsenal. Against Cedric Agnew, he scored the stoppage with a jab to the body. A common theme I’ve been hearing from fans and writers who are picking Hopkins is that Kovalev has never faced anybody like him. This is, of course, true. But when fans insist that Hopkins has faced plenty of fighters like Kovalev, they are completely wrong.
Hopkins has faced other pressure fighters with big power, but none were anywhere near as dangerous as Kovalev. Felix Trinidad was a big puncher at 147 and 154 pounds. Kelly Pavlik was a dominant middleweight champion and far leaner than the athletically compact Kovalev. Hopkins was able to bully Pavlik all over the ring. If Hopkins can do his magician’s act against Kovalev, it will be one of the great performances of his career, not even taking into account his advanced age. Hopkins has to slow down the fight and make it ugly. But he also has to put Kovalev in the unfamiliar and frustrating position of playing defense. Hopkins has to disrupt Kovalev’s timing by beating him to the punch and harass him from all different angles. Hopkins is a great defensive fighter and he’ll need to slip and bob as well as he ever has to avoid Kovalev’s heavy arsenal. Hopkins loves to clinch and if he can consistently work out of the clinch, he will frustrate Kovalev. However, there will come a time in the fight when Hopkins must mount a great offensive stand to win the fight. Kovalev has rare and dangerous punching power. But he combines that with strong boxing skills. He is a patient, methodical slugger who waits for a smart opportunity to attack, rather than trying to force it. Hopkins will always be one of my favorite fighters of all time. But as I stated many times before, when picking the winner of a fight, you have to go with your head and not your heart. I believe Hopkins will frustrate and confuse Kovalev for maybe the first 4 rounds. That said, I don’t think Hopkins will escape Kovalev’s ample power. Hopkins has a great chin, but if he is hit hard enough in the head, I have every reason to believe, his legs will betray him. Remember the first fight with Pascal. Hopkins has proved me wrong plenty of times. He’ll have to do it again. My pick: Kovalev wins by a 10th Round TKO.
The Boxing Prophet’s Record (26-6)
RCM’s Boxing Record (24-7)
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