Who wins Luis Carlos Abregu-Sadam Ali?
Welterweights Sadam Ali and Luis Carlos Abregu will be similarly inspired entering Saturday’s clash at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The hard-hitting Abregu (36-1, 29 knockouts) is the latest Argentine to land a high-profile fight on American airwaves, following the success of his “Argentinian brothers Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and Diego Chaves” as well as former RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.
Ali (20-0, 12 KOs) will be fighting Abregu on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, about a 2 1/2-hour drive south from his hometown of Brooklyn. He has been a regular at the New York borough’s Barclays Center since it opened in 2012, having fought there in three of his past four bouts. Ali’s most recent appearance was in August, when he scored a split-decision victory over Jeremy Bryan.
“Being a Brooklyn fighter means a lot to me. I was born and raised there. Everybody is hungry here, and there have been so many great fighters from here,” said Ali, 26, who has scored knockouts in five of his past seven fights.
“Even though it’s not like how it used to be, I’m trying to bring it back as well. There’s a lot of those guys I look up to, Mike Tyson obviously. I’m close with Paulie Malignaggi and Luis Collazo. Can’t forget about Riddick Bowe and Mark Breland.”
Abregu has won seven straight fights, six inside the distance, since falling by unanimous decision to two-division titlist Tim Bradley in 2010. Among Abregu’s victories during his run was a seventh-round knockout against previously unbeaten prospect Thomas Dulorme in 2012.
In April, Abregu ended a nearly one-year ring absence against the previously unbeaten Jean Carlos Prada, rising from a seventh-round knockdown to score a knockout in the eighth before his countrymen in Argentina.
Abregu had been out of action action since April of last year due to an injured right hand, but impressively ended a streak of three straight knockout victories by Prada. Prior to Prada, Abregu scored a unanimous decision over Antonin Decarie, who entered their fight with a mark of 27-1.
The winner of Abregu-Ali could emerge as a player in one of boxing’s deepest divisions.
“The majority of insiders think that Luis Carlos Abregu may run over the former U.S. Olympian,” stated Marc Abrams of 15rounds.com. “But Ali will not be in awe as they have sparred many rounds together.”
Below are the results of RingTV.com poll taken from 19 insiders regarding Abregu-Ali.
Luis Carlos Abregu mid-rounds KO Sadam Ali: I like Luis Carlos Abregu all the way in this one. Initially saw this as a distance fight, but assuming Abregu opens up and goes after it, he should eventually find Sadam Ali’s chin to end matters midway through.
Record: 21-6 [Last pick: Walters UD 12 Donaire]
Luis Carlos Abregu UD 10 Sadam Ali: It’s an intriguing step up for the unbeaten Sadam Ali. But the Brooklyn welterweight is also stepping directly into the path of world-class power he has yet to see, much less absorb. Since losing a decision to Timothy Bradley, Luis Carlos Abregu is 7-0, six by stoppage.
From Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, Abregu is the latest in Argentina’s long line of power players. Maidana and Matthysse have been defeated, but not by first-timers to the big stage. Ali has the slick wherewithal to take the fight to the scorecards.
But how will he react when Abregu’s first bomb lands? By the time he recovers, the margin on the cards figures to be too much in what promises to be an important lesson for an emerging prospect.
Record: 23-7 [Last pick: Walters TKO 10 Donaire]
Luis Carlos Abregu UD 10 Sadam Ali: It feels like too much too soon for Sadam “World Kid” Ali in Atlantic City on the Alien vs Krusher undercard. Luis Carlos Abregu is a solid contender with dependable fundamentals.
Ali is a good prospect who should be commended for risking his unbeaten record for the chance to perform his craft on HBO. Abregu has faced up and comers positioned like Ali before, and he has beaten them.
Thomas Dulorme found out the hard way and so did Antonin Decarie. Ali will be similarly outclassed, knocked down late, and handed his first professional loss by clear-cut unanimous decision.
Record: 19-11 [Last pick: Donare SD 12 Walters]
Sadam Ali SD 10 Luis Carlo Abregu: While I’m tempted to pick Luis Carlos Abrego due to his superior experience, it’s difficult to ignore inactivity. The game Argentinian has had one fight in 18 months.
Sadam Ali may have come along at the right time to take advantage of considerable ring rust. I think Ali will have to survive some scary moments before coming on late to emerge victorious via tight decision.
Record: 22-8 [Last pick: Donaire UD 12 Walters]
Luis Carlos Abregu TKO 7 Sadam Ali: Both have had their issues with taking heavy punches as both have suffered knockdowns against fighters perceived to be lesser competition.
Sadam Ali, however, is taking a huge step up in class, and in his last fight against Jeremy Bryan, he was close to being knocked out. If Luis Carlos Abregu’s heavy hands find Ali’s chin, the Argentine will make sure to finish the job. The guess here is that he will do just that.
Record: 15-5 [Last pick: Walters KO 7 Donaire]
Sadam Ali SD 10 Luis Carlos Abregu: I will take Sadam Ali via the upset. The majority of insiders think that Luis Carlos Abregu may run over the former U.S. Olympian, but Ali will not be in awe as they have sparred many rounds together. I like Ali by split decision.
Record: 2-0 [Last pick: Nicholas Walters KO Nonito Donaire]
Luis Carlos Abregu TKO 8 Sadam Ali: This is a lot for Sadam Ali to bite off as he steps up to face the hard-hitting Luis Carlos Abregu, and I do not like it for the former Olympian one bit.
Abregu holds all the cards here in terms of experience against better competition and I anticipate him to derail Ali’s slow and steady climb with one devastating power shot after another.
Ali is a very good boxer, but I fully anticipate Abregu’s power to surprise him early and send him to the canvas. Ali will panic late and take a couple of chances that will result in him being stopped in the second half of the fight.
Record: 19-6 [Last pick: Mayweather UD 12 Maidana]
Luis Carlos Abregu TKO 5 Sadam Ali: This is a huge step up for Sadam Ali, who has been moved pretty cautiously since he turned pro following the 2008 Summer Olympics. Ali has more skills and speed than Abregu, but Abregu’s power should be the ultimate equalizer against a prospect whose chin is questionable.
Record: 11-4 [Last pick: Donaire UD 12 Walters]
Luis Carlos Abregu TKO 9 Sadam Ali: Good fight. Should have excellent action, matching two warriors with outstanding records. Luis Carlos Abregu, a stalker, will try to deal with the long-range boxing of Sadam Ali. Abregu is dogged in his pursuit, and while he may lose some rounds along the way, his pursuit of Ali will eventually pay off.
Abregu’s resume is far more impressive in terms of his level of opposition. He’s already seen and dealt very well with a lot more than Ali can offer. He’ll wear down Ali and stop him late in the fight.
Record: 21-9 [Last pick: Donaire UD 12 Walters]
Luis Abregu UD 10 Sadam Ali: “El Potro” (The Colt) may not be at Marcos Maidana or Lucas Matthysse’s level in terms of power, but he should be regarded as equally fearsome, and he may finally get his due after this fight.
It took a prime, motivated Tim Bradley to defeat a one-handed Luis Carlos Abregu, who was suffering from a broken left hand during that fight. Since then, Abregu has racked up an impressive 7-0 streak against more than respectable opposition, including two unbeaten and once-beaten foes.
It will not be the first time that an undefeated young prospect on the rise is matched prematurely against Abregu, and unfortunately for Ali, I believe the result will be equally devastating for him.
Record: 10-6 [Last pick: Donaire W 12 Walters]
Luis Carlos Abregu W 10 Sadam Ali: Sadam Ali is undefeated in 20 pro fights. He’s young and hungry. Luis Carlos Abregu has scored 29 knockouts in his 36 wins. His lone loss was to Timothy Bradley four years ago. Ali is quicker, but Abrugu is more seasoned. This could be the key. I think Abregu uses his power and experience to defeat Ali by a close decision.
Record: 22-8 [Last pick: Donaire TKO 11 Walters]
Luis Carlos Abregu KO Sadam Ali: This could be a real fun fight and go a long way in determining who’s more of a legitimate 147-pound threat. I lean toward Luis Carlos Abregu, because I’ve seen him look better against a more consistent, better level of competition.
Sadam Ali has looked, on more than one occasion, as if he he was close to being upset by journeyman-level opponents. Abregu was right there with Timothy Bradley, and while he clearly lost, he fought well enough in defeat to show me that he can be a real contender. Ali, meantime, had difficulty with Jeremy Bryan and Jay Krupp.
Record: 20-6 [Last pick: Donaire W 12 Walters]
Sadam Ali W 10 Luis Carlos Abregu: Sadam Ali has made some nice, if variable, progress and is ready to emerge as a contender. Luis Carlos Abregu is the sort of tough, but limited foe who represents a victory that he should be able to have to work for but still capture.
Record: 18-11 [Last pick: Walters KO Donaire]
Luis Carlos Abregu KO 7 Sadam Ali: When you think of hard-hitting welterweights from Argentina that know their way around the ring, you think about Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, and even Sergio Martinez. You should also include Luis Carlos Abregu.
Even with average speed, Abregu is very ring-savvy and can hurt his opponent with either hand. Sadam Ali is a decent prospect, but I feel he has hit his ceiling.
Ali has not impressed in recent fights, and that will not be enough to keep a dangerous opponent like Abregu away from him. Abregu wears Ali down before the fight gets stopped.
Record: 6-1 [Last pick: Porter W 12 Brook]
Luis Carlos Abregu KO 5 Sadam Ali: For Sadam Ali, this is kind of a “welcome to the big leagues” type of fight. For Luis Carlos Abregu, the fight is a chance to get back on U.S. television and impress the masses with an explosive performance.
Ali will not be able to make mistakes, and if he does it could be an early and ugly night. Abregu will look to catch up to Ali and land something big and win by knockout. Ali has never been in with a puncher on the level of Abregu.
But Ali is a skilled boxer and has a chance to win the fight by sticking to that plan. I believe Abregu’s heavy hands will be the difference, however, as he catches Ali in the middle rounds and knocks him out.
Record: 15-5 [Last pick: Donaire UD 12 Walters]
Bradley Starks, guest/fan, Novato, Calif.
Luis Carlos Abregu UD 10 Sadam Ali: This is an interesting fight. You’ve got the cagey Luis Carlos Abregu with a good outside game vs. the slightly green but quick-handed Sadam Ali, who does his best working on the inside after some very quick combos to help him close the gap against longer-armed fighters.
Unfortunately for the young Brooklynite, I think he’s taking this fight a little too early in his development. Abregu is slippery, and though he can be rather easily tagged by sharpshooting opponents, he should prevail. The Argentine may have to survive an early flash knockdown, but as long as he fights smart, he can return the favor in the later rounds on his way to a solid unanimous decision.
Record: 10-1 [Last pick: Walters UD 12 Donaire]
Luis Carlos Abregu W 10 Sadam Ali: Luis Carlos Abregu’s last three victories were over opponents whose combined records were 73-1-1 before he defeated them. Abregu’s lone setback has come at the hands of two-division titlewinner Tim Bradley.
Sadam Ali is a top prospect, but now has a chance to demonstrate whether or not he is an elite fighter against a man who has demonstrated an ability to compete with the best. The pick here is Abregu.
Record: 20-7 [Last pick: Walters TKO 0 Donaire]
Luis Carlos Abregu TKO 9 Sadam Ali: Sadam “World Kid” Ali has been touted as a prospect to watch, but as with the majority of must-see prospects, his opposition has been relatively woeful. You don’t need to exclusively fight proven killers to get ring experience, but ask Thomas Dulorme if his opposition prepared him to face Luis Carlos Abregu.
Abregu has a stutter-step, herky-jerky style that he uses to throw off opponents’ timing and unload big shots. Ali seems to fight behind a controlled jab, waiting for his openings, but like Dulorme can leave his jab hanging.
While Ali may have been able to get away with small missteps against the likes of Michael Clark, Abregu appears to be adept at throwing a punishing counter-right. Look for Abregu to win via TKO in the ninth, and to continue to struggle to find willing dance partners.
Record: 14-9 [Last pick: Donaire W 12 Walters]
Luis Carlos Abregu TKO 8 Sadam Ali: This has the makings of an interesting Top Rank/Golden Boy co-feature. Luis Carlos Abregu, the hardnosed Argentine, against the quick fists of Sadam Ali. Abregu hasn’t been as active as he’d like, just three fights in the past two years.
Abregu seems to be too dangerous for his own good. Ali has been more active. Although he hasn’t always impressed, Ali maintains an unbeaten record. Ali will get off to a good start using his speed to counter Abregu.
However, slowly but surely, Abregu will work his way into the fight. He’ll get more and more successes as the rounds go by, and I see him stopping the 2008 American Olympian in around eight rounds.
Record: 20-7 [Last pick: Donaire W 12 Walters]
By the one-sided margin of 16-to-3, the insiders give the nod to Luis Carlos Abregu to hand welterweight rival, Sadam Ali, his first loss.