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Rodel Mayol vs. Omar Nino Romero Fight Preview and Pick

Rodel Mayol vs. Omar Nino Romero Fight Preview and Prediction
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Location: Coliseo Olimpico de la UG, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
TV: PPV at 9:00 EST

Weight Class: WBC Light Flyweight Championship
By Scotty L of Predictem.com

Betting Odds: Omar Nino Romero -125, Rodel Mayol -105

Rodel Mayol, 26-4 (20 KOs), Mandaue, Philippines Vs. Omar Nino Romero, 28-3-1 (11 KOs), Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Fight Analysis: Rodel Mayol, fresh off his win over Edgar Sosa for the WBC Junior Flyweight Title, has a tough first defense in the form of veteran Omar Nino Romero. The junior flyweight division has been bustling lately, with good fights contested by a very good group of fighters. Both of these combatants are among the best in the division.

The Filipino Mayol has made an apparent reversal of his career after a rough patch. After consecutive stoppage losses to excellent champion Ulises Solis and the anonymous but undefeated Adrian Hernandez, his career appeared to have stalled out. His last three fights have shown, however, that he belongs among the elite at 108 lbs.

In two bouts with preeminent champion Ivan Calderon, Mayol kept the fights extremely close, securing a technical draw in their first fight. Both fights were prematurely abbreviated by butt-induced cuts. Sure, it is a common trap in boxing betting to put too much stock in good efforts even if they’re not winning efforts. At the same time, Calderon is a likely future Hall of Famer, so keeping two fights close with a fighter of that caliber is commendable. Head butts by Mayol determined the results of those two fights and that pattern to some degree continued in his last bout, against reigning champion Edgar Sosa. Sosa absorbed a head butt that appeared to trouble him, before getting whacked out a few moments later by a rampaging Mayol.

Omar Nino Romero has had a strange career. His resume is one of the most underrated in the game, boasting of wins over Jorge Arce, Edgar Sosa, and Brian Viloria. He can obviously be competitive, and win, against the best in the division. The only problem is that, at age 33, he has been sporadic lately. Sometimes he is active, other times he takes off long stretches. Highlighting the concern is a November 2006 positive drug test for amphetamine after a draw with Brian Viloria. The 19-month layoff that followed was not comforting either.

Romero did come back in 2008 with three fights, losing a decision to contender Juanito Rubillar. He avenged that defeat in his only 2009 appearance, showing he hasn’t washed out completely yet in shutting the tough Rubillar out of the fight for an easy win. There is not an over-abundance of evidence to suggest he is finished yet. He knows the time is ticking on his career and one could expect him to be highly motivated for this fight.

Romero is fighting in his hometown, but Mayol has shown himself to be a road warrior who can win in his opponent’s backyard. He did well in two bouts with Calderon, once in Calderon’s home country, and once in front of a pro-Calderon throng at Madison Square Garden. He also beat Sosa in his native Mexico, suggesting he might not be as rattled as a typical visiting fighter. Still, the location of the bout figures to be an advantage to Romero.

A few variables could throw this analysis into a tailspin. Does Romero still have it? Was Mayol lucky to connect with head butts in his last three fights? Did those butts make him appear better than he is? Is not enough stock being placed on Mayol’s losses or the fact that he has only managed 4 wins in his last 9 fights? Will the hometown component rear its ugly head? There are a lot of underlying factors in this fight.

Mayol figures to benefit from the customary confidence boost that comes to a fighter after he becomes champion. He beat an excellent champion in Sosa and is definitely in the prime of his career at 28. Romero, conversely, has likely passed the point of his best form. Mayol looked to be hitting Sosa extremely hard with blistering combinations in his last fight. He really looked strong. You don’t see too many junior flyweights capable of bringing that type of heat into a bout.

The feeling here is that Romero’s shiftiness will be a problem for Mayol. As the fight wears on, however, Mayol should start dialing in with his power game to sufficiently dent Romero’s resolve. I look for Mayol’s youth and power to overcome the slick boxing of Romero for a late-rounds stoppage, sometime around the tenth round.

Scotty L's Pick: Take Rodel Mayol to win.

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