The fight that promises the most is young Adrian Broner (19-0 with 16KO’s) facing experienced power puncher Daniel Ponce De Leon (41-2 with 34KO’s). Ponce De Leon has two of the most powerful hands in the sport and if he hits you clean you can usually expect to land in queer street. Though up at 130lbs Ponce De Leon’s punch may not have the effect it had at 122lbs. To date he has only been beaten by Puerto Rican superstar Juan Manuel Lopez and the freakishly tall Celestino Caballero. For Broner it’s his biggest test to date and the 21 year old maybe learning to run before he can jump. Like Ponce De Leon he can hit and he’s certainly smoother around the the edges than the crude Mexican but could the experience be the difference?
Seth Mitchell (24-0-1, 14KO’s), a dying breed in boxing today, a talented (if raw) American heavyweight with some promise, is also on the card. Mitchell though gets what is on paper a walker over against journeyman Charles Davis (19-21-3, 4KO’s). Davis at 39 and with just 2 wins in over 5 years should be too gone to really give Mitchell the rounds that the former Football player may want to get. Though Davis showed something in his previous fight that may allow us to see where Mitchell stands a little bit better. Davis fought Monte Barrett to a majority draw (22nd January) in a fight many felt Davis had won. Prior to that however both Kevin Johnson and Luis Ortiz (making just his second professional contest) stopped Davis in 4 rounds, expect Mitchell to at least match that.
James Kirkland (25-0, 22KO’s) returns to the ring for the first time in almost 2 years after a series of legal issues. Before his hiatus from the sport he seemed heading to super stardom, an aggressive, fun to watch power puncher who was young and looked to reinvigorate the Light Middleweight division. His return is against Ahsandi Gibbs (10-2, 4KO’s) is all about shaking the ring rust off rather than anything else. Gibbs shouldn’t pose any real threat to Kirkland and comes in on 2 straight losses, including a 4th round TKO to Marcus Upshaw in 2009. Expect this to finish as soon as Kirkland wants it to, he hits too hard, too fast and is too ferocious for a guy like Gibbs. Most importantly lets hope we see James Kirkland with his head screwed on and wanting to make a real go of things this time.
Former world title contender Daniel Jacobs (21-1, 18KO’s) continues his rehabilitation after being beaten by Dmitry Pirog by facing Robert Kliewer (11-12-2, 5KO’s). I can’t believe Golden Boy are doing this again to their “Golden Child”. Jacobs has suffered from not having experience building fights, he has spent much of his career looking good against relatively dire opponents. This, more than anything, was why he failed against Pirog who has faced tough fights through out his short career. Jacobs in the ring is fast, powerful, young and confident, but building up his confidence with an artificial record will not help him in the long turn as the confidence turns into cockiness. Kliewer is 2-8 in his last 10 with 6 stoppage losses, expect to see another as Golden Boy fail to learn from their failures. What Jacobs needs are fighters like Billy Lyell, Brian Vera, Peter Manfredo Jr that will get him rounds, that will test him and possibly even hurt and stun him. Fighters like Kliewer will do Jacobs more harm than good.
18 year old Trevor McCumby (1-0, 1KO) a former amateur standout with a record of 138-11 faces Ryan Davis (0-1, 0KO’s) in a fight to let the youngster get used to the professional ranks can’t complain too much about this or the cards other fight with Middleweight Alfonso Blanco (2-0, 1KO) facing Pablo Ruiz (0-2, 0KO’s). Blanco at 25 will have to be moved quicker than McCumby, though with his amateur pedigree this shouldn’t be a problem. Blanco, a two time medal winner at the World Amateur Championships (Silver in ’07 and bronze in ’09) holds wins over the late Darren Sutherland, 2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner James DeGale and 2004 Olympic Gold Medal winner Bakhtiyar Artayev and promises much.
Expect the fighters “supposed” to win to win every fight on the card with out many problems, with Broner v Ponce De Leon being the biggest test. They could have made it a more even card though to be honest it’s one that’s looking for the future.