Special K puts his world title on the line in Sheffield
Easter Saturday gives us a cracking night of boxing on both sides of the Atlantic
God only knows how matchmaking works in boxing but at least it doesn’t make fighting any less entertaining. This weekend world champion Kell Brook takes on curious mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier, Chris Eubank Jr takes some advice from his old pal Billy Joe Saunders and tries to wrest the British belt from Nick Blackwell, and there are also bouts for Luke Campbell, Hughie Fury and Andre Ward. I’ve looked through the odds for every fight and found a 28/1 treble with my Brook, Eubank and Fury bets below.
Kell Brook v Kevin Bizier – BET NOW
Brook wanted a name, a big fight, to prove he’s the best in the welterweight division now that Mayweather has retired, or at least gone on sabbatical. But boxing rankings are a mysterious thing and the champ from Sheffield has been lumbered with a mandatory championship defence against French-Canadian work-horse Bizier instead.
The Special One showed how good he was in August 2014 when he picked apart incumbent champ Shawn Porter over 12 rounds. Since then Brook has made defences against Jo Jo Dan, another French-Canadian also-ran, and Britain’s Frankie Gavin. Both times Brook dealt with the contenders handily, stopping both men within six rounds.
All this time Bizier has been busily racking up wins in his home country waiting for his title shot. Well, sort of. The challenger has two losses on his record, one from 2013 and one from 2014, and both defeats came at the hands of the aforementioned Mr Dan. It looks like it should be a short night’s work for the Yorkshireman.
Bizier has never been stopped and his rough-em-up style might just keep him the contest for a few rounds. Brook has eight KO wins from his last 11 fights and they have all come between the third and the eighth session. The unbeaten title-holder is only 1/5 to win by stoppage but you can’t do better than back him at to win in rounds 7-9.
Chris Eubank Jr v Nick Blackwell – BET NOW
In 2014 Eubank was on a diet of journeymen but he managed to entice the British and Commonwealth champ, Saunders, into a contest. Saunders won by a fine margin that night but before he gives the former public schoolboy a shot at the world title he now holds he has instructed his old foe to earn his stripes.
Eubank saw off former Saunders victim Gary O’Sullivan in seven rounds in December and he’s only 8/15 to win by KO on Saturday. Which isn’t surprising given that Eubank’s last 13 wins have all come before the final bell. For the record, Saunders could only beat both men on points.
Paddy has Blackwell at 7/1 to win by knockout, despite his KO ratio of only 35%, and 20/1 to win on points, even though the West Country brawler will probably out-work Eubank. The latter is a good long odds bet but it’s probable Eubank’s accuracy will start to tell after a few rounds. The favourite is worth backing to win in rounds 7-12.
Luke Campbell v Gary Sykes – BET NOW
Former Olympic champion Luke Campbell is returning from a monster upset at the end of last year where he got put down in the fifth round and eventually lost by split decision. Which is why his team have brilliantly engineered this bout with former British champ Gary Sykes.
Not only is Sykes well known amongst fans but, importantly, he has only stopped one of his last 12 opponents. What’s even better is that this fight is for the vacant lightweight Commonwealth title, which would still be a great achievement for Campbell in only his 14th professional contest.
If we forget Campbell’s last fight, which I am trying to do after my wayward prediction, the ultra-talented southpaw had six KO wins on the spin. Sykes has only been stopped once, back in 2010, but he was in trouble in his last fight and you can back Campbell to KO Sykes at
Hughie Fury vs Dominick Guinn – BET NOW
Also appearing on Saturday night is Hughie Fury, cousin of world champion Tyson. Hughie is unbeaten, with his last two wins coming via KO, and the opponent this time is rugged American Dominick Guinn.
Guinn has fought at fringe world level in the past but he’s turning 41 next month and he has only contested one bout in the last two and a half years. But Guinn has never been stopped,and I don’t expect him to be this time. Take the for the Brit to win on points.
Andre Ward vs Sullivan Barrera – BET NOW
Ward is another fighter who appears in the ring rarely, but with injuries and contractual problems behind him the former super middleweight supremo still has plenty to offer. The Oaklander has moved up to light heavyweight and has a title shot in his sights.
Ward won’t have an easy night against unbeaten Cuban Sullivan Barrera but the former Olympic gold medallist’s defence is so tight that he’s almost impossible to hit. Ward is available at to win by decision and that’s where the smart money is heading