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Richard ‘The Boxing Prophet’ Solomon’s Picks Of the Week (11/21/15)

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.

Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33KOs) vs. Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32KOs)

Puerto Rico vs. Mexico is the greatest rivalry in boxing history. There’s always an added element of excitement and anticipation whenever a pair of elite warriors from the two boxing-crazed nations meet in the ring. Salvador Sanchez vs. Wilfredo Gomez, Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Juan Laporte, Ivan Calderon vs. Hugo Cazares and Jose Luis Ramirez vs. Edwin Rosario. Wow!!!! I could go on and on, but the point is that both Cotto and Canelo will have a lot of hype to live up to and national pride to defend when they walk into the ring Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Cotto and Canelo are tough, vicious body punchers who like to fight at close quarters. That is usually the blueprint for a high-action, fever pitched battle.

The stakes are high for both men. Cotto is already considered among the best Puerto Rican fighters of all time, but a win here could quite possibly solidify him at or near the very top of that list. It would be quite the accomplishment, given the high number of quality fighters and champions produced by the island. He’s already a four-division champion and a first ballot future Hall Of fame fighter, but the chance to turn back a younger champion would be the icing on his legacy. Canelo, obviously, has a long way to go before he can start entering into that type of conversation in Mexico. However, he has a realistic shot to walk in the footsteps of his promoter and mentor Oscar De La Hoya as a Mexican fighter who achieved transcendent fame. The 25-year old also carries the burden of being one of the only marquee draws remaining under De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotion’s banner. Canelo was one of the few fighters to remain with Golden Boy in the aftermath of Richard Schaefer’s departure and that makes him vital to the company’s success.

Cotto is a smart boxer with great punching power, excellent ring generalship and fast hands. Working behind a solid jab, Cotto will throw bombs or in combinations. He works real well to the body and has a left hook that is considered to be one of the sport’s most effective weapons. Cotto was last seen in action stopping Daniel Geale in June. Prior to the encounter with Geale, Cotto destroyed middleweight king Sergio Martinez back in June of 2014. Cotto is a former Olympian, who has tangled with some of the biggest names in boxing. Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. Enough said. My main concern with Cotto is that he has been in way too many ring wars, including two late stoppages to Margarito and Pacquiao. That wear and tear detracts from his durability and punch resistance. Sure, Cotto is known as a seek and destroy fighter, but he can be light on his feet and to beat Canelo, he will have to rely on his sometimes world class stick-and-move game.

Two-time world champion Canelo Alvarez demolished James Kirkland, squeaked by Erislandy Lara and bulldozed through Alfredo Angulo since his only career defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather back in 2013. He has already become one of today’s most popular boxers, thanks to his come-forward brand of high power offense and his Hollywood star good looks. Canelo has blazing hands, easily throwing six or seven punch combinations, crushing one-punch knockout power and a dependable chin. Canelo’s endurance has been questioned for years, which is a little strange given that he has gone the 12-round distance eight times. Canelo has a good jab when he uses it, but he sometimes neglects this basic punch. Not a good idea against Cotto. Canelo packs a lot of power when he throws crosses and uppercuts. He has to use these two punches very well, especially in combination to succeed on Saturday night.

Fans will not be disappointed with this ‘Super Fight”. Canelo and Cotto will set a brisk and aggressive tempo and both men will take chances. It will be a close fought battle that mixes boxing with brawling. Make no mistake about it, “Runners” give Canelo fits. Look for Cotto to capitalize on Canelo’s lack of mobility by immediately taking to the perimeter of the ring and keeping Canelo on the move, creating opportunities to dart in, land punches and move on. I fully understand that Canelo can’t dance his way around the ring. However, he does know his way around it. Canelo will effectively cut off the ring on the fleet-footed Cotto and back him into the ropes to begin work on his body and breaking him down. Two points before I make my final prediction. 1. There is no way Cotto can get a decision win, unless he “Decisively” wins 9 out of the 12 rounds. This means, if it is a close fight that lasts the full 12 rounds, the “Three Blind Mice”, or at least two of them will make sure Canelo gets the nod. 2. Part of me feels that Canelo might have over-trained for this fight. Heard a rumor he had a 13 week training camp. if true, that is insane!!!! Ok, no more excuses. Lol. Canelo’s combination punching and ability to incur less damage during the infighting will gradually wear Cotto down. On November 21st, 2015 I expect youth to prevail over experience. My Pick: Canelo wins by an 11th Round TKO.

Here are my picks for some other fights taking place this weekend: Gilberto Ramirez (32-0, 24KOs) over Gevorg Khatchikian (23-1, 11KOs) by a 9th Round TKO.  Saul Rodriguez (18-0-1, 13KOs) over Ivan Najera (16-1, 8KOs) by Split Decision.  Francisco Vargas (22-0-1, 16KOs) over Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22KOs) by Majority Decision. Jayson Velez (23-0,-1, 16KOs) over Ronny Rios (24-1, 10KOs) by a 7th Round TKO.  Randy Caballero(22-0, 13KOs) over Lee Haskins (32-3, 14KOs) by Unanimous Decision.  Darleys Perez (32-1-1, 20KOs) over Anthony Crolla (29-4-3, 11KOs) by a 10th Round TKO.  Chris Jenkins (16-0-1, 8KOs) over Tyrone Nurse 31-2-1, 6KOs) by Split Decision.  Ryan Burnett (11-0, 9KOs) over Jason Booth (38-13, 15KOs) by a 4th Round TKO.  Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 11KOs) over Drian Francisco (28-3-1, 22KOs) by an 8th Round TKO.  Martin Murray (32-2-1, 15KOs)over Arthur Abraham (43-4, 29KOs)by a 9th Round TKO.  Tyrone Zeuge (17-0, 10KOs) over Eduard Gutknecht (28-3-1, 11KOs) by a 6th Round TKO.  Cedric Vitu (42-2, 17KOs) over Roberto Santos (23-7-3, 13KOs) by a 3rd Round TKO.  Hassan N’Dam (31-2, 18KOs) over Avtandil Khurtsidze (31-2-2, 20KOs) by an 8th Round TKO.  Mehdi Amar (32-4-2, 16KOs) over Hakim Zoulikha (21-8-10KOs) by Unanimous Decision.  Wanheng Menayothin (39-0, 14KOs) over Young Gil Bae (26-4-1, 21KOs) by Unanimous Decision.  Erislandy Lara (21-2-2, 12KOs) over Jan Zaveck(35-3, 19KOs) by an 8th Round TKO.  Diego De La Hoya (12-0, 7KOs) over Giovanni Delgado (15-3, 9KOs) by a 4th Round TKO.

If you have any questions for Richard “The Boxing Prophet” Solomon, email him at richardsolomon@realcombatmedia.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @boxingprophet68 or contact him on Facebook Richard Solomon…

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