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Gabriel Campillo vs. Beibut Shumenov Preview and Pick

Gabriel Campillo (19-2)(+135) vs. Beibut Shumenov (8-1)(-165)
Date: Friday, January 29th
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: Fox Sports Net at 11PM EST

Analysis:† These two met before 5 months ago. In Shumenovís homeland of Kazakhstan, Campillo won an upset decision to defend his WBA Light Heavyweight Title. Shumenov, a standout amateur who had already beaten a few solid veterans in his eight pro fights, was expected to beat what appeared to be an unexceptional champion in Campillo. I havenít seen the fight, but there are varying accounts as to what happened. Whatever the case, Campillo winning a decision on Shumenovís home turf would suggest he was the better man that night.

There was some controversy, as team Shumenov complained that Campillo did not follow proper drug testing procedure. Shumenov also said the punchstats showed he won the fight. No one can know for sure, but in the aftermath of the fight, Shumenov was not very magnanimous and it rubbed some people the wrong way.

A lot of people have been betting Shumenov in this fight. This fight opened at even-money, and has been moving in Shumenovís favor ever since. The feeling is that heís the younger fighter with more potential. He recently moved to Las Vegas and began working with new fitness trainer Kevin Barry. He has more room to improve than Campillo does. That should be enough. Why am I thinking that it wonít be?

Shumenov might be better this time around, but I think Campillo will be extra motivated as well, in light of the mud slinging of the first fight. If Campillo was able to beat Shumenov in Kazakhstan, why canít he do it this time in Las Vegas? The 31 year-old Spaniard has already proved his mettle on the road, winning two straight title bouts as the underdog in his opponentís homeland.

I think Campilloís activity rate will enable him to pick up rounds. Shumenov might be the puncher in the fight, but I think Campillo will be able to endure some anxious moments to win a close decision.

Scotty's pick: $100 on Campillo to win.

Other Fights of Interest:

Jorge Arce (-365) vs. Angky Angkota (+285): Jorge Arce has looked so woefully shot as of late that one is almost compelled to bet against him. The fight is in Mexico, and if his opponent, Indonesian Angky Angkota, is not up to snuff, it wouldnít surprise me. Still, the Indonesian is on a little winning streak, and maybe has enough to topple what used to be a very good fighter in Arce.

Scotty's Prediction: Angky Angkota to win.

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