The Forum in Inglewood, CA long time home of the Los Angeles Lakers has a history of upsets when it comes to boxing hosted by the venue. Tonight’s HBO Boxing After Dark may just continue in that legacy with two live underdogs Mercito Gesta and Tewa Kiram? Gesta, who came from the Philippines as a Top Rank fighter and was at that time labeled in the long line of the next ‘Manny Pacquiao’ is going into his bout against Jorge Linares with no pressure or expectations, which will make him a more dangerous opponent.
Little known but a big star in Thailand, Kiram sports a shiny 38-0 record and is in tough against Lucas Matthysse. The 25 year old, however, is prime for the upset! In watching and studying footage I think if there’s an upset tonight it would be Kiram over the aging Matthysse? One factor that I’ll talk about on my next appearance on the show is the fact that Matthysse has had ‘tough sparring’ as he’s stated in interviews. I’m of the belief that former Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champion ‘Sweet’ Reggie Johnson had back in the day. As he was getting older, He mentioned that what preserves his career was avoiding gym wars. Former champion Danny Romero took the extreme and cut out sparring all together late in his career. With the wars Matthysse has had in the ring and apparently in the gym? It is bound to take it’s toll at some point? Is tonight the night?
Besides the aforementioned history of the Forum, HBO also has a history of introducing new talent to kick off the year? I think back to their first ever show of 1995. January 7th, the main event was Bantamweight Champion Orlando Canizales moving up in weight to challenge Wilfredo Vazquez. That show opened up with Featherweight Champion Kevin Kelley against unheralded Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez. Gonzalez emerged onto the scene with a victory over ‘The Flushing Flash’ in a brutal fight. So with the ingredients of The Forum, HBO history and Boxing After Dark’s history of great brawls! I am going to go on a hunch? On my appearance on the punchline show on Tuesday I didn’t speak about tonight’s card, but I did text James Dominquez later that day saying that if Kiram can take a punch, it’s gonna be a fun fight to watch! My prediction for tonight’s fights. Linares TKO 7 over Gesta and in the first upset of the year I like Kiram TKO 12 over Matthysse. My belief is that he can take a punch but is slow starting. With Matthysse ahead on the cards Kiram over the course of the fight does his damage and lands something clean late and becomes the new kid on the block in the already loaded Welterweight division!
About the Editor
Army Veteran and former Professional Boxer Simon Ruvalcaba started boxing at the age of ten and Had a 71 fight amateur career which featured a 139 lbs. 1998 8th U.S. Army Boxing Championship out of Camp Casey, Korea and a spot on the prestigious Army Boxing Team at Fort Hood, TX. After a journeyman pro career of 18 fights, which included sparring sessions with many champions and contenders including Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker, Simon started writing and has contributed to many publications and websites including fighthype.com, pound4pound.com, Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV) and also writes a monthly boxing column for Tahoeonstage.com. He has also been the Boxing Instructor for Ken Shamrock and The Lions Den and was UFC star Paige VanZant’s first boxing coach!
Born and Raised in South Lake Tahoe, California he now resides in Sun Valley, Nevada and spends as much time as possible with his Son Gabriel! Beyond boxing, Simon is an all around sports fanatic and is passionate about the teams that he roots for!