Who wins Tszyu vs Fundora on Saturday? | Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images

Who wins Tszyu vs Fundora on Saturday? That and several more picks on a busy week in boxing!

Who wins Fundora vs Tszyu?

Current Odds: Tszyu -525, Fundora +370

Scott Christ (6-1)

Tszyu with a full training camp focused on Fundora beats Fundora. Tszyu has not had near a full training camp focused on Fundora, who is a 6’5”+ southpaw and not the 5’7”, aging, right-handed welterweight Tszyu signed up to fight. This gives Fundora the opening to pull the upset.

I’m gambling on Fundora to rack up just enough rounds, but my head is about 50/50 on this one, because I believe Tszyu really is the better fighter. Fundora’s not going to peck-and-poke his way to a win because that’s just not how he fights, which is now the real standard for guys who are abnormally tall in a division, almost to a man they like to fight inside. It’s the new expected style, really, all of them trying to be “surprisingly good inside fighters!” instead of just doing what should come naturally thanks to their natural advantages, to a point that it would actually be more cliché-busting to be a distance-keeping jab machine with a huge height and reach advantage, sort of like how it would actually be more novel at this point to write a story about a clown who’s just, like, a silly dude who turns up at birthday parties and doesn’t have any sinister plans. Fundora SD-12

Wil Esco (5-2)

There are those who expect Fundora to provide Tszyu with a sterner test than Keith Thurman would have, and I count myself among them. Fundora is not only a completely different animal, his dimensions make formidable for pretty much anyone at the weight class. That being said, Fundora doesn’t usually use his immense height and reach to his advantage, and for that reason he’s made for a reliable action fighter who’s fun to watch. If this fight turns into something like Fundora’s fight against Erickson Lubin, I think Tszyu is going to be better suited for that kind of matchup because he carries a bigger thud in his punches.

Tsyzu may not be long to the elite level but I do credit his willingness to take on all-comers and I think he’s still fresh enough to get the best of it on the night. I’ll take Tszyu to outlast Fundora in a grueling effort. Tszyu TKO-9

John Hansen (6-1)

I did something I very seldom do, and checked the gambling lines on this fight before typing out my pick. Most places give Fundora about a 20 percent shot at the upset here, but I think it’s more of a 60/40 fight, especially given the short notice and what Tszyu had been preparing for until less than two weeks ago.

Watching enough of Fundora finally convinced me, probably around the time of the Erickson Lubin fight, that he’s legit and not just a giraffe-man novelty freakshow. You can argue whether or not he can handle power… I think his kneel down against Lubin, and how he used that time to steady up enough to retake control of the fight, is a very positive sign. He tried to fight through it against Mendoza, and it got him finished all the way off. Can he keep his wits about him when Tszyu lands a big shot? Maybe!

On the other hand, if Fundora does avoid a brain-scrambling punch, can Tszyu do what nobody else has done yet and outbox Fundora across 12? He did good strategic work in the Harrison and Gausha fights. But, he had more than 13 days to prepare for them, and neither is as unique a puzzle as Fundora.

It’s a much closer fight in my eyes than the bookmaker’s. But, I do still favor Tszyu, who I expect will hurt Fundora at least once or twice, and should have the awareness to close the deal when he does. Tszyu KO-10

Patrick Stumberg (6-1)

The fundamental issue for Fundora is that the things he demands of his opponent (durability, cardio, infighting prowess) are the same things Tszyu excels at. Tim has issues with counter-punchers who can exploit his plodding footwork; he’d jump at the opportunity to just sit in the pocket and trade concussions until someone falls over.

The one advantage Fundora has is that he was preparing for the superficially similar Serhii Bohachuk, while Tszyu had to chuck out all of his notes on Keith Thurman. That wouldn’t bridge the gap even in the best of times, though, and I wouldn’t call “first fight since getting knocked into Bolivian” the best of times. Tszyu is just too good in the only sort of fight Fundora knows for “Towering Inferno” to wear him down; expect the “TIMBER” moment sometime around the midpoint. Tszyu TKO-5

Who wins Romero vs Cruz?

Current Odds: Romero +215, Cruz -275

Scott Christ (6-1)

Rolly Rollie Rolliessssssss is a big puncher and has some natural physical gifts that, if properly trained into being a professional boxer, could make him very dangerous. But his boxing stinks for upper-middle level, let alone high level. It’s not that Cruz is some great technician or one-punch brutalizer, or that he will be all that hard for Romero to hit.

I just think Cruz is a better, more tenacious boxer. He’s the smaller man, but he throws punches in a seek-and-destroy style. It’s true that this gives Rolly a shot to land a big bomb in a firefight, but the firefight might also just overwhelm Romero, who doesn’t have fast hands and can get caught with the wheels turning in his head. There’s also a chance Rolly has improved since we last saw him. Romero can win this fight, but I’m going with Cruz. Cruz TKO-8

Wil Esco (5-2)

I have no doubt that this is a fight where Rolly is going to attempt to play the role of an aggressive counterpuncher, the question is whether or not he can do it well enough for long enough so as not to let Pitbull get a head of steam going. I do think Rolly at least hits hard enough that he has the potential to catch Pitbull coming in, but it’s also one of those scenarios where he’ll have to walk a tightrope because his boxing ability is not one of his natural strengths.

It wouldn’t at all shock me to see this fight getting messy for stretches of time, and I think this is a fight where Rolly either cracks Pitbull coming in early or he gets overwhelmed because his footwork isn’t good enough to keep Pitbull off. Cruz UD-12

John Hansen (6-1)

I’m not saying Rolly Romero is the weakest champion in boxing right now. The middleweight belt that will be decided right before Rolly enters the ring is enough to argue he won’t even be the weakest champion on this card.

But, the fact is, Romero “won” his title while getting worked over pretty good by a guy who looks old enough to have christened Luis Ortiz. And he’s holding that belt, at least to some degree, because his was the fight where Tony Weeks may have first realized that the referee’s paycheck is the same whether they stand around a full 12 rounds, or stop it frustratingly quickly whenever a B side fighter pauses to take a deep breath.

As for Isaac Cruz, I’ve said this before, but he smiles like a shark without a soul:


Mindy Small/Getty Images and Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

He fights like a shark, too. Relentless, aggressive, and tenacious. Not as skilled as Tank Davis, but arguably more instantaneously dangerous for his relative recklessness. I like him to win pretty early, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened even faster than I dare predict. Cruz KO-5

Patrick Stumberg (6-1)

Isaac Cruz is far from a juggernaut; many of his most noteworthy wins came over undersized and/or faded opposition and he’s had his share of hiccups against the likes of Jose Matias Romero and Giovanni Cabrera. He’s still way, way better than Rolly Romero. Romero has four inches of height and five inches of reach on “Pitbull,” but lacks the craft to use them, as we saw from his complete inability to keep the ancient Ismael Barroso from executing a meat-and-potatoes volume strategy.

And I don’t think I need to tell you how badly Romero’s outclassed on the inside.

All Romero really has going for him are twitchy reflexes and solid power, neither of which should trouble someone who survived 36 minutes with Gervonta Davis. There’s Cruz’s handicap of being a lightweight, of course, but I think that’s offset by Romero’s handicap of being Rolly Romero. Cruz hunts him down and brutalizes his body for a late finish. Cruz TKO-10

Quick Picks!

Oscar Valdez vs Liam Wilson

Current Odds: Valdez -350, Wilson +265
  • Scott: Valdez UD-12
  • Wil: Valdez UD-12
  • John: Valdez KO-10
  • Patrick: Valdez TKO-11

Seniesa Estrada vs Yokasta Valle

Current Odds: Estrada -220, Valle +175
  • Scott: Estrada SD-10
  • Wil: Estrada MD-10
  • John: Estrada MD-10
  • Patrick: Estrada UD-10

Erislandy Lara vs Michael Zerafa

Current Odds: Lara -360, Zerafa +275
  • Scott: Lara UD-12
  • Wil: Lara UD-12
  • John: Lara UD-12
  • Patrick: Lara UD-12

Julio Cesar Martinez vs Angelino Cordova

Current Odds: Martinez -340, Cordova +255
  • Scott: Martinez TKO-10
  • Wil: Martinez TKO-10
  • John: Cordova UD-12
  • Patrick: Martinez TKO-10

Serhii Bohachuk vs Brian Mendoza

Current Odds: Bohachuk -195, Mendoza +155
  • Scott: Bohachuk MD-12
  • Wil: Bohachuk UD-12
  • John: Bohachuk UD-12
  • Patrick: Bohachuk UD-12

Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke

Current Odds: Wardley -225, Clarke +180
  • Scott: Clarke TKO-11
  • Wil: Wardley TKO-9
  • John: Clarke TKO-7
  • Patrick: Wardley TKO-10

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