Boxing prediction: George Groves to beat Paul Smith

We highlight the fights to watch this weekend and bring you our prediction for George Groves v Paul Smith

By Mike Pope

Prediction: Groves to beat Smith by unanimous decision

George Groves headlines on Saturday night at Wembley in his first fight since he beat Olympic gold medallist and rival James DeGale on points in May. This time he defends his British and Commonwealth super middleweight titles against Paul Smith, who lost the British title to DeGale last year. Groves’ style will mean that he will find it harder than DeGale to beat Smith, so expect an interesting fight. Groves is stronger and faster than Smith but is not as naturally elusive as DeGale, and is more prone to brawl and look for the knockout, so he could be troubled by his tough opponent. However, if Groves boxes intelligently and uses his underrated footwork and defence he should win via a unanimous decision.

Prediction: Burns to beat Katsidis by unanimous decision

Former WBO super featherweight title holder Ricky Burns moves up to lightweight for the first time against Michael Katsidis, one of the division’s most dangerous contenders. Burns, however, is a huge lightweight at 5ft10 and has a three-inch height advantage over Katsidis, who is also considered big for the weight. If Burns boxes smartly from distance using his superior jab, reach and footwork, he can win on points – but if the Scot chooses to brawl, Katsidis could end the fight with his relentless pressure. This fight is extremely tough to call and could go either way but Burns is younger, bigger and more talented and should have enough to earn a close decision victory on Saturday night.

Prediction: Saunders to beat Boulden by late technical knockout

Former 2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders will be fighting for the fourth time this year on Saturday night. Like Frankie Gavin, Saunders has struggled in the pro ranks so far, remaining fairly inactive against mediocre opposition. However, his opponent Gary Boulden has none of the boxing ability that Saunders possesses and has no real chance of winning on Saturday night. Saunders will use his superior speed, punching power, and overall ability to overwhelm Boulden late in the fight. With decent power in both hands, expect to see Saunders pin his opponent against the ropes and force the referee to stop the bout.

Friday 4 November 2011:

Leonard Bundu v Daniele Petrucci
Florence, Italy
12 rounds welterweight for vacant European title

Jose Gonzalez v Fernando Trejo
Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
10 rounds lightweight

Denis Lebedev v James Toney
Moscow, Russia
12 rounds cruiserweight

Suriyan Rungvisai v Nobuo Nashiro
Bangkok, Thailand
12 rounds super flyweight for Rungvisai’s WBC title

Saturday 5 November 2011:

Lucian Bute v Glen Johnson
Quebec City, Canada
12 rounds super middleweight for Bute’s IBF title

Pier Olivier Cote v Jorge Luis Teron
Quebec City, Canada
12 rounds light welterweight

Steve Molitor v Sebastien Gauthier
Quebec City, Canada
10 rounds super bantamweight

Sebastian Gauthier v Allan Green
Quebec City, Canada
10 rounds super middleweight

Chris Arreola v Raphael Butler,
Leon, Mexico
10 rounds heavyweight

Alfredo Angulo v James Kirkland
Cancun, Mexico
12 rounds light middleweight

Peter Quillin v Craig McEwan
Cancun, Mexico
10 rounds super middleweight

George Groves v Paul Smith
Wembley, England
12 rounds super middleweight for Groves’ British and Commonwealth titles

Ricky Burns v Michael Katsidis
Wembley, England
12 rounds lightweight

Gary Boulden v Billy Joe Saunders
Wembley, England
10 rounds light middleweight

Mariusz Wach v Oliver McCall
Uncasville, USA
12 rounds heavyweight

Guillermo Jones v Michael Marrone
Hollywood, USA
12 rounds cruiserweight for Jones’ WBA title

Sunday 6 November 2011:

Takahiro Ao v Devis Boschiero
Tokyo, Japan
12 super featherweight for Ao’s WBC title

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