Richard ‘The Boxing Prophet’ Solomon’s Picks Of the Week (8/29/15)
By Richard Solomon, RCM Boxing Radio Panel-Host
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.
This is a tantalizing matchup because significant questions can be raised about both fighters. Mares, since being knocked out by Jhonny Gonzalez in one round in August 2013, has won three fights in a row against modest opposition. But, he has not looked overly sharp or impressive. Did losing so brutally to Gonzalez diminish Mares as a fighter? On the other hand, Santa Cruz was once seen as a genuine rising star because of his quick ascent to the championship level and his action style. He fights in and around divisions brimming with top-shelf talent, which makes his last three opponents (Manuel Roman, Jesus Ruiz and Jose Cayetano) inexcusable. Santa Cruz’s unwillingness to step up his level of opposition has been frustrating for fans and pundits, who rightly wanted more, but this is his chance at silencing the doubters. Can Santa Cruz handle a fighter of Mares’ caliber?
Abner Mares had a tremendous run between 2010 and 2013, knocking off a slew of high-profile foes and winning world titles in three weight divisions. Anselmo Moreno, Joseph Agbeko, Vic Darchinyan and Daniel Ponce De Leon all fought and lost to Mares. This can’t be ignored. Mares may have needed three fights to purge the effects of his knockout loss to Gonzalez from his system. Santa Cruz is an exciting fighter, who has held alphabet soup belts at 118 and 122 pounds. It’s sad that at this point in his career, he’s developed into one of the sport’s most overprotected fighters. His opponents have been obscure or aging veterans fighting above their best weight class.
Santa Cruz has only shown one way of fighting during his career. He marches forward, throws a bunch of punches and overwhelms his opponent. To win this fight, Santa Cruz is going to need to hang tough and ride out some rounds when things are not going his way. That’s a challenge that he has not had to deal with before. Mares will need to use a crisp jab to work his way into range against the longer Santa Cruz. He needs to be the better ring general in this fight, dictating the pace and disrupting Santa Cruz’s ability to string together multiple punch flurries. This should be an all-action fight, but Mares will want to use technical boxing to score with more accuracy and efficiency while minimizing the damage that he takes.
In this long-anticipated battle between Mexican-born action stars, I don’t expect either man to take a step backward. Mares has the superior skills over Santa Cruz. Just don’t think he is the same fighter since losing to Gonzalez. Santa Cruz is a volume puncher and is going to be winging shots at Mares all night. Mares at his best, would be able to catch Santa Cruz with counter punches and box his way to victory. Don’t think it will happen. Mares will win some early rounds with his jab and movement, but once the two fighters go to war, Santa Cruz will get stronger and wear down Mares. Mares has all the heart and soul of a champion, but I have never been sold on his chin. I’m hoping that the fight goes the distance, just to see the Judges’ scorecards. My Pick: Santa Cruz wins by a 10th Round TKO.
Here are my picks for some other fights taking place this weekend: Julio Ceja (29-1, 26KOs) over Hugo Ruiz (35-2, 31KOs) by a 6th Round TKO. Shane Mosley (47-9-1, 39KOs) over Ricardo Mayorga (31-8-1, 25KOs) by an 8th Round TKO. Maureen Shea (24-2, 12KOs) over Yulihan Avila (12-2, 1KO) by Majority Decision. Joel Diaz Jr. (19-0, 15KOs) over Luis Areco (28-13-4, 18KOs) by a 5th Round TKO. Daniel Echeverria (18-0, 16KOs) over Jorge Paez Jr. (36-6-2, 23KOs) by a 7th Round TKO. Alfredo Angulo (23-5, 19KOs) over Hector Munoz (23-15-1, 14KOs) by a 4th Round TKO. Alejandro Luna (18-0, 13KOs) over Yakubu Amidu (19-7-2, 17KOs) by a 3rd Round TKO.
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