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Celestino Caballero vs. Daud Cino Yordan Fight Preview and Prediction

Celestino Caballero vs. Daud Cino Yordan Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Where: Bank Atlantic City, Sunrise, Florida
TV: HBO at 10:30 p.m. (EST)
Weight Class: Interim WBA Featherweight Championship: 12 Rounds

By Scotty L of

Celestino Caballero, 33-2 (23 KOs), Panama City, Panama. Vs. Daud Cino Yordan, 25-0 (19 KOs), Kalimantan, Indonesia

Fight Odds: Celestino Caballero (-475), Daud Cino Yordan (+375)

Analysis: Celestino Caballero and Daud Cino Yordan will fight for the interim WBA Featherweight Championship on April 10 on the undercard of the Andre Berto-Carlos Quintana fight. On most cards, this would easily be the main event. Caballero is moving up after establishing his supremacy at 122 lbs. and Yordan is an intriguing and mysterious contender with an undefeated record.

Caballero is obviously the better-known quantity. The ridiculously tall 5’11” string bean has put together an impressive resume since routing undefeated knockout artist Ponce De Leon in 2005, beating several very good fighters at 122 pounds. With both Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez tied up for several years fighting each other in an excruciatingly long and taxing series of fights, Caballero became the de-facto number one in the division. Now at 33, he is moving up to featherweight where he should have no problem carrying the extra weight.

Not much is known about Yordan except for the brief fight he had with the excellent Robert Guerrero last year at 130 lbs. In the second round, Guerrero suffered a cut from a clash of heads and the bout was stopped and ruled a “no contest.” During the brief action, Yordan appeared to be giving the talented Guerrero fits with his frenetic and confident style. While not much should be gleamed by a round-and-a-half of action, there was a palpable feeling that Yordan was going to be very competitive with the heavily favored Guerrero. The champion appeared to sense this and lost a little face by capitulating due to the cut, which seemed relatively minor. Guerrero said he couldn’t see, so the referee and doctor had no choice but to stop the fight.

Yordan’s fights have mostly taken place in Indonesia, where the quality of his opponents was mixed. It is a bit alarming that he struggled to a majority decision in his only other U.S. appearance against ordinary Antonio Meza, who was in the middle of a streak that saw him win only one of seven fights. But the Guerrero bout really showed a side of Yordan that has some insiders in the business talking. Yordan went into his Guerrero’s backyard and at 21, was unflappable and showed tremendous moxie.

Caballero is 33, which is getting up there, particularly for a lower-weight fighter. That’s not to suggest that there has been much depreciation in his form, but I sense he may have peaked with his sensational blowout of Steve Molitor in 2008. He struggled with unknown challenger Jeffrey Mathebula en route to a split decision win last year. At the very least, he failed to capitalize on the positive momentum he brought into 2009 by having two ho-hum defenses. Now he gets Yordan in just the kind of high-risk/low-reward scenario his management should be trying to avoid.

Caballero is an enigmatic performer with varying form. You really don’t know which Caballero is going to show up on a given night. Against Molitor and De Leon, his two toughest opponents, he looked inspired and virtually unstoppable—a nearly six-foot dynamo who was sturdy, strong, and not afraid to mix it up. On other occasions, he has looked flat. I wonder if there isn’t a chance that he’s looking past the unsung Yordan a bit.

There is a strong chance that Caballero will be entirely too classy for the young Indonesian upstart. He could simply be in a period where he is biding his time waiting for a big fight, hence his recent lack of explosive form. There have been fighters who only put forth as much effort as they need to, but who suddenly explode at the most opportune moment. Either way, Caballero is a difficult fighter to read.

Scotty's Pick to Win: I’m going to go with Yordan on a small value play. In other words, I wouldn’t take Yordan in a straight-up proposition. I just feel that the chances he will win are greater than the odds will suggest. He just has the look of a solid “live underdog.” Yordan is more robust, talented, and harder hitting than any of Caballero’s recent opposition and something tells me Caballero will be overlooking him. I think Yordan’s youth and energy just might enable him to out-hustle Caballero over the 12-round distance. Take the +375 and bet on Daud Cino Yordan to win.

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