“Every thing’s bigger in Texas.” On Saturday, August 22nd, Golden Boy Promotions will present a Texas-sized card featuring hometown hero Juan Diaz vs. Paul Malignaggi, IBF super featherweight champion Malcolm Klassen vs. Robert Guerrero and rising middleweight start Danny Jacobs vs. Ishe Smith. The exciting triple header will be televised live on HBO at 9:45 p.m. (ET/PT) from the Toyota Center in Houston.
Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz
Record: 34-2, 17 KOs
Notable Wins: Julio Diaz, Acelino Freitas
Record: 26-2, 5 KOs
Notable Wins: Lovemore N’dou
Diaz vs. Malignaggi Preview:
In the main event, Houston native and recent University of Houston graduate, Juan Diaz looks to jump back into the title picture after dropping two out of the last three bouts. The seasoned 25-year-old Diaz won a lightweight title 2004 and subsequently defended his title eight consecutive times, including a unification bout with Julio Diaz. His first professional loss came at the hands of Nate Campbell and two fights later Diaz suffered a TKO loss to one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, Juan Manuel Marquez.
Malignaggi, 28, used his pure boxing skills to win the IBF light welterweight title by defeating Lovemore N’dou in 2007. Malignaggi successfully defended his title twice before losing by TKO to Ricky Hatton in November of 2008.
Diaz vs. Malignaggi Prediction:
In what appears to be an even matchup, both fighters are coming off recent losses and appear to be at a crossroad in their respective careers. The winner will be back in the title picture, while the loser will take the dreaded two steps backward.
The pace of the fight will be fast and at some times fierce, with the taller and better boxer Malignaggi trying to use his natural boxing skills to hold off the aggressive Diaz. Malignaggi, who only has five career knockouts, does not have the punching power to stop Diaz from coming straight forward. Diaz will impress the judges by consistently being the effective aggressor and landing harder shots through sporadic flurries.
Prediction: Diaz by decision (it will be close, possibly a split decision)
Record: 24-4-2, 15KOs
Record: 24-1-1, 17 KOs
Klassen vs. Guerrero Preview:
The co-main even features a title bout between South African Malcolm Klassen and California native Robert Guerrero. Klassen, who is a ten year veteran, was a relatively unknown until he defeated fellow South African Cassius Baloyi to win the IBF super featherweight championship.
The challenger is hard-hitting Robert Guerrero, who is a former two-time world featherweight champion and is moving up in weight to challenge Klassen.
Klassen vs. Guerrero Prediction:
The co-main even is an interesting bout between the relatively unknown Klassen and the battle tested Guerrero. Several questions will be answered after this fight is over: Is Klassen a world class fighter and legitimate champion? Will Guerrero be able to move up in weight and secure a mega fight with the likes of Manny Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Marquez?
Klassen appears to be an all around solid fighter with above average punching power. Guerrero, on the other hand, has been in with better completion and appears to be on a mission to regain a world tile. With that being said, the bout should be a crowd pleasing brawl with multiple knockdowns.
Prediction: Guerrero via seventh round KO
Jacobs vs. Smith Preview:
The opening bout of the evening features rising super middleweight prospect Danny Jacobs (17-0, 15 KOs) facing off against veteran Ishe Smith (21-3, 9 KOs). Jacobs, 22, has impressed the boxing community with his devastating punching power, which has led to nine of his 15 KOs coming in the first round. The more experienced Smith, 31, recently appeared on the boxing reality show “The Contender” and hopes to be more than a step up in competition for the talented Jacobs.
Jacobs vs. Smith Prediction:
Rising prospect Danny Jacobs will grow up in this matchup against Ishe Smith. Smith will put up a brief fight, making things difficult for the rising prospect, but Jacobs is flat out too talented to be stopped in this bout.
Prediction: Jacobs via fourth round KO