By Albert Alvarez
At Carson, Calif. (PBC on Fox/Fox Deportes):
Leo Santa Cruz(33-1-1) vs. Chris Avalos(27-5) for Cruz’s WBA Super Featherweight Title- Avalos can give Santa Cruz problems on the outside by employing a stiff jab towards Cruz’s midsection and by forcing Cruz to fight in retreat. Santa Cruz on the other hand will have to apply pressure from post to post to place Avalos in an uphill battle. Give me Santa Cruz by 9th round stoppage.
Abner Mares(30-2-1) vs. Andres Gutierrez(35-1-1) for Mares’ WBA Featherweight Title- Gutierrez must look to overwhelm Mares and make it as uncomfortable in there for Mares as humanly possible by attacking Mares body mercifully. Mares on the flip side will have to use his big fight experience and dig into his bag of tricks and beat Gutierrez to the punch right off the jump. I’m taking Abner Mares by clear unanimous decision with some close hard to score rounds.
At New York (Showtime):
Erislandy Lara(24-2-2) vs. Terrell Gausha(20-0) For Lara’s WBA Junior Middleweight Title- Gausha has got to look to out work Lara and has got to stay close and on top of Lara for his best shot at victory. I however don’t think he can do it, I see Lara winning a clear unanimous decision by constantly scoring with a straight left hand and by controlling the pace.
Jermell Charlo(29-0) vs. Erickson Lubin(18-0) For Charlo’s WBC Junior Middleweight Title- I really like Lubins mean streak, the kid’s a dog and he can fight. I however feel that against Charlo, Lubin may have bitten off a little more than he can chew. Charlo flashes one of the very best jabs in the sport, and with that jab he will stab Lubin with it at will. Lubin will have to catch Charlo with something cold early to get Charlos’ attention and respect. I see Charlo stopping Lubin late in the fight with a right cross left uppercut, Charlo by 10th round stoppage.
Jarrett Hurd(20-0) vs. Austin Trout(30-3) For Hurd’s IBF Junior Middleweight Title- Hurd boxes at a unpredictable pace and tends to eventually overwhelm his foes with pure activity. Trout will need to keep boxing smart behind a busy jab. Tough fight to pick, but I see Hurd winning by close split decision in a back and forth affair.