Boxing – Fight Night Guide

Evgeny Gradovich Billy Dib
Evgeny Gradovich Billy Dib
November 21 2013 Macau China L R IBF Featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich and opponent Billy Dib pose during media roundtable interviews Thursday for their upcoming title fight on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios Pacquiao vs Rios will battle at The Venetian Macao Resort in MacauChina and will be televised live in the US Saturday Nov 23 9pm ET6pm PT on HBO Pay Per View Photo Credit Chris Farina Top Rank copyright 2013

Our resident boxing writer Diego Morilla previews the fights you need to follow every week.

Macau, China, November 23

Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios, 12 rounds, welterweights

After a devastating KO loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) will be looking to reestablish his reputation as one of the world’s best fighters by taking on former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) in Macau, China, in what is expected to be an emotionally charged battle. A lot of questions are waiting to be answered in this crossroads fight, but all signs point towards another classic Pacquiao performance, maybe enhanced by a spectacular KO after surviving a few rocky moments. Rios is tough and punches in volume but with very little effect, and Pacquiao still has more than enough to take his best punches and dish out a beating of his own.

What to look for in this fight: a workman-like victory for Pacquiao, inspired by the recent tragedy endured by his people in the Philippines.

Evgeny Gradovich vs. Billy Dib, 12 rounds, IBF featherweight title

Here, we’re talking serious boxing. As a late replacement, Gradovich (17-0, 8 KOs) fought Dib (36-2, 21 KOs) back in March and took the fight to his beleaguered opponent, giving him a thorough beating and grabbing his 126 lb belt in the process. In a long-awaited rematch in which both of them know very well what to expect from each other, both fighters have the chance to steal the spotlight in a star-studded card with a massive audience. There is much more at stake than a title belt, and they both will do whatever it takes to get it. A terrific matchup that could go either way.

What to look for in this fight: a dizzying amount of punches from each other, with Dib dominating the early going and Gradovich starting to settle into his own rhythm in the second half to grab a decision.

Ruiz Hamer
November 21 2013 Macau China L R Undefeated Mexican Heavyweight Andy Ruiz and Tor Hamer pose Thursday during media roundtable interviews at The Venetian Macao Resort for their upcoming feature fight on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios card Pacquiao vs Rios will battle at The Venetian Macao Resort in MacauChina and will be televised live in the US Saturday Nov 23 9pm ET6pm PT on HBO Pay Per View Photo Credit Chris Farina Top Rank copyright 2013

Andy Ruiz vs. Tor Hamer, 10 rounds, heavyweights

It´s not often you see a Mexican heavyweight going all the way to the undercard of a big fight, but Ruiz (20-0, 14 KOs) has caught the attention of Top Rank with a series of victories including one in July against unbeaten Joe Hanks. In Hamer (21-2, 14 KOs) he will be facing a small heavyweight with some power, but the Penn State grad has hit the ceiling early in his career when he tried to step up his level of opposition, and this time shouldn’t be any different. Ruiz is the clear favorite, but when your opponent is just a couple of consonants away from being a Nordic god, you need to watch out.

What to look for in this fight: some progress from Ruiz, in a fight that will go provide some clues about how ready he is to become the first Mexican heavyweight champ.

Zou Shiming vs. Juan Toscano, 6 rounds, flyweights

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world amateur champion Zou Shiming (2-0) provides the local color for this card, in which he will be facing a 20-year-old with limited experience in Tozcano (4-0, 1 KO), of Mexico. Shiming is being groomed to be the first Chinese world boxing champion, and he is on his way to achieve that accomplishment, but fights like the one against Tozcano will provide very few clues about his progress and his true value as a fighter.

What to look for in this fight: the mismatch of the night in an otherwise interesting undercard.

Felix Verdejo vs. Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan, 6 rounds, junior lightweights

Puerto Rico’s Verdejo (8-0, 6 KO) has an outstanding amateur career to back up his ambition to be the next big boxing superstar in his boxing-crazy island-nation, and he has the style to do it. He is ready to take one more step towards that goal at the expense of the unpronounceable late-replacement Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan (8-1, 1 KO) of Thailand.

What to look for in this fight: a colorful performance by Verdejo, with a spectacular KO being more than just a possibility.

Manchester, England, November 23

Carl Froch vs. George Groves, 12 rounds, IBF/WBA super middleweight title

A big neighborhood rivalry is brewing in England with a much anticipated bout between two local heroes. Froch (31-2, 22 KO) is a notorious slow starter, but he may be more explosive from the get-go in this fight against his former sparring partner in undefeated George Groves (19-0, 15 KO). They both have come to dislike each other quite a bit, and this will definitely make for an interesting bout in a talent-loaded division where good matchups abound for the eventual winner.

What to look for in this fight: bad blood all around, some terrific action, and a late-round surge from Froch to nail a TKO or unanimous decision.

Scott Quigg vs. Diego Silva, 12 rounds, WBA junior featherweight title

Quigg (26-0-2, 19 KOs) plans to show off against Argentina’s Silva (29-2-4, 15 KO’s) in what could easily be a show-stealer in the Froch-Groves undercard, but he may be in a tougher fight than expected. As a tough, forward-charging fighter with decent skills and a great frame, Quigg will have to pull off a terrific action fight if he wants to accomplish his goal to get in the ring with fellow champs Guillermo Rigondeaux and Leo Santa Cruz.

What to look for in this fight: a do-or-die performance from one of Britain’s unpolished jewels.

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Diego Morilla
Diego Morilla is a boxing writer since 1992. His work has been extensively featured in some of the most prestigious boxing media outlets in Latin America and the U.S., including, The Ring, Latino Boxing,, Lo Mejor del Boxeo,, HBO Sports and newspapers such as El Mundo, Primera Hora and El Vocero, among others.