Jab Hook's Off-the Cuff Picks for the Grand Casino, Hinckley, Minnesota, Friday, February 15th 2019 (ESPN):
Rob Brant 21(6)-1 vs. Khasan Baysangurov 17(7)-0 in the 1st defense of Brant's “irregular” WBA middleweight title.
In his 12th professional appearance at Grand Casino, this is a homecoming bout for “Bravo”. Therefore, a tough, but vulnerable opponent has been found for the fresh title holder. The young Baysangurov is a 21yo Ukranian club fighter, born in southern-most Russia, near the Georgian border. He went professional at 16yo, is undefeated, and has never been down as a pro. Unfortunately, his lack of experience vs decent opposition has not prepared him well for Rob Brant.
“Bravo” Brant has shown steady development as a boxer, nice skills and combinations, heart and soul, a good chin, a fresh belt, and a golden wedding ring. Who can stop that? Brant's willful domination of Ryoto Murata derailed the Japanese champ's hopes of a new career in the USA, and Bob Arum cried inside. Rob's only loss came at the hands of the wily veteran Juergen Braehmer, whose southpaw advantages include a hammer of a left hand.
Shout out to my man “Bravo”, you got this bro!
Jab sees a late round TKO win for “Bravo” over the young Russian boxing out of Kiev.
Joshua Greer Jr 19(11)-1-1 vs. Giovanni Escaner 19(12)-3(2), bantamweights boxing in a 10 round prizefight.
Greer has been very active since his debut in September 2015, averaging six bouts per year vs low level opposition. Athletic with fast hands, Greer relies more on his reflexes that a tight defense. Orthodox with a strong jab, he throws combinations from angles, he likes the uppercut and is a volume puncher, more than a KO artist.
Giovanni “Little Giant” Escaner is a Filipino club fighter who has mostly fought in his homeland. This will be his 1st bout in the USA and step up vs Greer Jr. He is a boxer-puncher who likes to come forward creating pressure. Escaner prefers looping hooks and overhand rights with a dab of a jab to set them up.
Jab Hook's prediction is a late round TKO for “Don't Blink” over the “Little Giant” via referee stoppage.
Mikaela Mayer 9(4)-0 vs. Yareli Larios 13(3)-1-1, female junior lightweight boxing 8 rounds.
Mikaela Mayer is a big, tough, 28yo, born on the 4th of July. The American boxer does not come to play. She fights long, but prefers to throw hooks and fight offensively. Though her footwork is basic, her jab is useful in many ways. One-two is her favorite combination, but a third punch is sometimes tagged on. Defense exists, but it is not well-developed. Will her very late start as a boxer be her downfall?
Yareli Larios is a very basic, 20 yo Mexican boxer with limited defensive skills, but plenty of toughness. Her offense is weak and tentative. She tends to wait and tries to counter-punch, but not really. She's been boxing twice as long as the novice Mayer, but her physical and athletic attributes are subservient to Mayer.
Jab forecasts a late round TKO as Mikaela Mayer overwhelms the young Mexican warrior, Yareli Larios.
Derrick Webster 28(14)-1 vs. Lennox Allen 21(14)-0-1, super middleweights boxing in a 10 round prizefight.
Derrick “Take It to the Bank” Webster started saving late, i.e. went pro as a 26 year old. A decade later the club fighter is still looking for his breakout performance, even though his opposition has been less than hot. At least he has been active, averaging nearly three bouts a year. He has the southpaw advantages, and is a big dude, with ~10cm height and reach advantage in this bout.
Lennox Allen is New Yorker born in Guyana, where he started as a professional boxer at the tender age of 16. Made it to the USA in 2010, but his boxing has taken a backseat to life a number of times. “2 Sharp” Allen boxed only once in 2008-09, and took 2014 and 2017 off as well. Such irregularity of boxing competition sometimes leads to a loss of timing and flow in punching and defense, and always causes a break in the boxer's development.
Jab Hook invests his pick into Mr Webster's bank, hope for a deposit of his opponent onto the canvas and a unanimous decision over Lennox Allen.
Check NYFights.com this weekend for Jab Hook's Epilogue on the bouts from Grand Casino, Hinckley, Minnesota.
“Jab Hook”, aka “Brooklyn” Joe Healy is a boxing expert commentator for DAZN.de, a professional cutman from the BOXWERK gym, and a licensed referee/judge in amateur boxing. A lifelong aficionado born in Brooklyn and living in Munich, “The Sweet Science” is his passion. Please feel free to contact him as Jab Hook on FaceBook, at [email protected], or on Twitter https://twitter.com/BoxAficionado