Super Bowl predictions have become as much a part of the game as chicken wings, pizza, beer, late-night antacid, overhyped commercials and those only-for-fun, never-for-money squares pools.
Everyone from your barber to your grandmother has an opinion on who will prevail in Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. That includes professional boxers, who of course are no strangers to the prediction game.
We reached out to nearly two dozen Premier Boxing Champions fighters and asked them to weigh in on Sunday’s big game. Much like the rest of the country, the vast majority of those polled envision the heavily favored Panthers scoring a knockout.
Andre Berto: I’ve got the Panthers by a dime. Man, that Broncos’ defense is ferocious! I’ve never seen any team get after a guy like they got after Tom Brady. So how is my boy Cam Newton gonna handle them? Have you seen Cam run? He’s gonna run right over them.
Against the Patriots, that defense was allowed to be ferocious, but Cam won’t allow that. As for [Broncos running back] Ronnie Hillman, he’s my dude; he’s just gotta work on them hands a little bit.
Dominic Breazeale: I’ve got the Panthers winning, 35-21. Cam Newton is just having way too much fun, and at this point, I would have to say the guy is unstoppable.
Omar Douglas: I’m going with Panthers. Cam Newton has played great all season and almost went undefeated. He is not your average quarterback. He can throw the long ball or run it in for a touchdown. And on top of it all, he’s having fun. It’s hard to beat a guy like that!
Omar Figueroa Jr.: I don’t want to give a prediction. I love the Broncos like I love the San Antonio Spurs. But the Panthers are the Golden State Warriors of football right now. I see the Broncos having a really hard time keeping up.
Miguel Flores: Carolina has been smashing everyone, and Denver has been somewhat inconsistent. But after the Broncos’ most recent games and their showing on defense, I will have to stick with the famous cliché: “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”
The Panthers have shown that they can be great offensively, but their defense hasn’t always been on point. So I’m going with the Broncos in a tight one.
Danny Garcia: I’m going with the Panthers. They’re rolling right now. They’ve got youth and energy, and they’ve got a lot of momentum going into the game. If they just stay focused and don’t party and get caught up [in the hype], they’ll win it.
Terrell Gausha: Panthers, because my bro that I went to high school with plays for Carolina: wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. Plus, I think they are just that good.
Tony Harrison: Carolina Panthers all the way. As a former high school quarterback, I love what Cam is doing for the game. He’s amazing. Also, many people don’t know but my younger cousin, Devin Funchess (pictured above with Harrison while at the University of Michigan), plays wide receiver for the Panthers. So I’m always going with family in any situation.
Julius Jackson: I’ve got the Broncos. They have a better system as far as demonstrating an ability to play as a cohesive unit. That’s what will give them the edge.
Jamal James: I’m gonna have to go with the Panthers, because Cam Newton has been handling business. Plus, that team has kinda been an underdog. But every time people count them out, they come out and refuse to lose, which is something I respect and relate to.
Amir Khan: I would have to say that the Broncos have the veteran leadership in Peyton Manning and they’ve been there before, so they have the better overall experience. But in the end, the youth and explosiveness of Cam Newton will win the day in what will be a hard-fought Panthers’ victory.
Paulie Malignaggi: I’m going with the underdog Broncos. Maybe it’s just going with my heart, but I’m a Manning fan, mainly because his brother is the QB for my New York Giants, so I’m keeping it in the family.
Abner Mares: I’m taking the Panthers. Cam Newton has a style on and off the field that just dominates. It’s the Panthers’ year, Cam is a tremendous leader and QB, and it’s time for a new dynasty to be born.
Shawn Porter: I think this is gonna be a great Super Bowl! It’s a very evenly matched game. Both teams are solid on both sides of the ball and have great quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is trying to solidify his status as an all-time great QB, and Cam Newton is trying to establish himself as a future great. I’m having a really hard time picking a winner, but personally I would love to see Cam Newton and the Panthers win.
Michael Seals: I’ve got to go with the Panthers. I’m gonna take Billy the Kid—Cam Newton—over the Old Deputy Sheriff, Peyton Manning.
Errol Spence Jr.: The Panthers will win because the Broncos’ defense will not be able to contain or stop Cam Newton. And the Panthers’ pass defense is too good for a shell-of-himself Peyton Manning. I went to school with [Broncos defensive end] Von Miller, but I want Cam to win.
Antonio Tarver: It’s a destiny type of year for Cam Newton and the Panthers. I don’t think anyone is gonna stop them. While my heart is with Denver and the wise old veteran Peyton Manning—us old guys gotta stick together—I have to put my money on Cam and the Panthers.
All I pray for is to go out like Peyton Manning: attempting to win it all before I retire. But I have to say the Panthers will win.
Austin Trout: I’ve got the Panthers winning. They’re just playing with great team chemistry and great leadership in Cam Newton. But I’m still J-E-T-S till I D-I-E.
Sammy Vasquez Jr.: It’s simple: Panthers all day. They’ve been on fire. Cam Newton deserves it now after putting in the years with the team and all the hard work. They work together as a team, and that’s a great part of being successful.
Deontay Wilder: I like the Panthers because Cam Newton is just on a different level, a force to be reckoned with.
Thomas Williams Jr.: I’m taking the Broncos simply because of the experience factor. Cam Newton’s year has been phenomenal; he is an MVP for sure. But I think Peyton Manning’s postseason and all-around experience will outweigh Cam’s magic.
This will be just another walk in the park for Manning, who has been in the tougher, more grueling games over the course of his career.
Final tally: Panthers 17, Broncos 4.
- Beyond the ring