No Khan Do
It could be a bad night for the Brits
The Canelo-Khan hype train has toured the world, and finally it’s pulling into Paddy Towers. The Las Vegas showdown between the two boxing superstars will be on in the early hours but the boxing entertainment starts earlier on Saturday night, with Anthony Crolla’s world title fight against Ismael Barroso, and the heavyweight bout between Dereck Chisora and Kubrat Pulev.
Saul Alvarez v Amir Khan – BET NOW
After the feast of promotion for Canelo-Khan we should all know more than we need to about these two fighters. But if you’ve been living on a sports-free diet for the last few months, this is what you’ve missed: Alvarez is one of the pound-for-pound best boxers on the planet, he’s only lost to Floyd Mayweather and he’s a ginger; Khan is ultra-talented but has a dodgy chin.
And then there’s the weight issue. The Mexican is middleweight world champion, which is the 160lb division, but he sets a weight limit of 155lbs in all of his contests. The maximum Khan has weighed for a boxing match is 147lbs, more than half a stone lighter, and he’s never stopped anyone at that weight, but he was so desperate for a super-fight he signed up anyway.
Unsurprisingly, the Brit’s business advisors like the fight but his coach does not. Paddy is on the side of Khan’s trainer and makes Canelo justto win by KO. But the champ has only stopped two of his last six opponents, who were skill levels way below Khan, and there is nothing that focuses the mind more than having a big man trying to knock you out.
Khan survived, and beat, the biggest puncher he has faced, Marcos Maidana, and he can do it again – If he stays on his bike. Khan is actually shorter odds to win on points,, than Alvarez,, but the value is on the Mexican there. The bet of the fight is for it go more than 8.5 rounds, which is, and covers you for the late stoppage or the points victory either way.
Anthony Crolla v Ismael Barrosa – BET NOW
Another Brit with a battle on his hands is this weekend is Crolla. The Mancunian is finally lightweight world champion having comeback from early career defeats, a life-threatening assault when he interrupted a burglary and a draw in his first world title fight. But Crolla got the rematch, the win and the belt from Darleys Perez in November, and now defends against Barroso.
Given Crolla’s journey so far, he probably never expected a soft touch, and he certainly hasn’t got one. Barroso destroyed fellow Brit Kevin Mitchell in five rounds last year and he has stopped 18 of his 21 opponents before the end of round six. The first few rounds will be key and ‘Million Dollar’s’ options are to try and force the Venezuelan back, try to hold and spoil, or run.
Crolla is very skilful in attack but he has been stopped before, and that was against a powder-puncher compared to Barroso. It seems like the champ will either have to concede the first few rounds or risk getting floored, and I fancy Barroso to win at. In fact, I really like thefor Barroso by KO and I might even have a bit on Barroso in rounds 4-6 at as well.
Dereck Chisora v Kubrat Pulev – BET NOW
At the European level, Chisora and Pulev are competing to get another crack at the heavyweight crown. Both men are highly rated in the IBF organisation, who’s current champion is Anthony Joshua, but the winner will be seen as a legit opponent for any of the world title holders. That’s especially true for the Londoner, who has been the distance with Tyson Fury and Wlad Klitschko.
The Bulgarian was world amateur bronze medallist in 2005 and unbeaten as a pro until 2014. When he met Klitschko however, it was obvious he didn’t belong in the champion’s league. The Ukrainian decked him in the first and third rounds, and the referee counted out Pulev in the fifth. Pulev, 35, has only ever really beaten second-rate fighters.
Pulev is quite a big favourite atbut I’m not sure why, given his record, age and KO ratio of 52%. For ‘Del Boy’ a lot depends on his weight and conditioning. If Chisora is under 250lbs, preferably around 240lbs, he will give ‘The Cobra’ a torrid time, andto win andon points are great bets. If he’s carrying a lot of timber the best bet is Pulev on points at.
Jason Quigley v James De LA Rosa – BET NOW
If you find yourself tuned in to the Vegas action early, watch out for 23 year old Irish sensation Jason Quigley. The lad from Donegal won European amateur gold and world silver in 2013, and he’s won 10 from 10, with nine KOs, as a pro. Opponent James De La Rosa is a smaller man and there’s value in Quigley finishing the fight in rounds 4-6 at.