The Euros, Brexit and Love Island may have kept you entertained while the ring has been collecting dust.
But the action returns as Guillermo Rigondeaux and Terry Flanagan are bringing world titles to Cardiff’s Ice Arena for their contests with Jazza Dickens and Mzonke Fana.
Liam Williams puts his British and Commonwealth belts on the line at the same venue when he meets Gary Corcoran, and Stateside Deontay Wilder takes on challenger Chris Arreola for his heavyweight crown.
You’d think two Olympic gold medals and a professional title in only your ninth paid contest would win you a fair few fans, but not for Rigondeaux. The super-bantam supremo lost his Cuban fans when he defected and lost his American fans when he took it easy against opponents he should have obliterated. Time to up sticks to the UK and mix it with a lively Scouser.
Former British champ Dickens probably got this shot because Rigo wants to build a fan-base in the UK and secure a fight against a bigger name. But the younger man by 10 years fancies his chances. Rigo is unbeaten but he has been hurt and knocked down by several opponents.
Rigo is a long, long odds-on favourite in the battle of the southpaws. Dickens has lost once, by knockout, and the value bet may lie in backing the champ to win by KO at .
I want to see a competitive fight but this could be over quick. I’m putting Rigondeaux in the acca to win in rounds 1-6 at .
Not that you’d know it but Flanagan-Fana is a world title fight. The Mancunian wanted a showdown with rival British world champion Anthony Crolla and he was supposed to defend his lightweight belt in his home city, Manchester, on the under-card of Fury v Klitschko II.
Instead he’s been lumbered with a fight against forgotten former champ Fana on a smaller bill in Cardiff.
Fana was at his peak in 2007 when he briefly held a championship title but he’s 42 now and has served 22 years in the pro ranks.
The Rose of Khayelitsha, (that’s in South Africa if you’re geography’s rusty) has lost two of his last six bouts and has been stopped twice in his career, both before round seven.
You have to back ‘Turbo’, who is 15 years younger than Fana, about three inches taller and has ironed out five of his last seven opponents. Except for one fight, the lefty Flanagan has scored all of his KO’s before the bell went in the sixth round and is well worth getting behind to win in Rounds 1-6 again at .
Williams is giving Corcoran a shot at his titles but this is also a meeting of two young, unbeaten British prospects who don’t like each other very much. Prepare for fireworks on the closest bout of the night’s action.
Super welterweight Williams has won inside the distance on his last six outings, closing the show within three rounds in his last four fights. Corcoran, nicknamed ‘Hellraiser’, is not a man you can accuse of picking his shots and comes forward like a flood.
Power could be the difference and that certainly lies with Williams. It is yet to be seen how tough the Londoner is, but I fancy the for the Welshman to win in rounds 1-6 for my acca. The for Williams to win in rounds 1-3 also looks tempting as a single play.
At first glance it appears that the unbeaten Wilder is attempting to go a whole career without fighting a big name.
‘The Bronze Bomber’s’ first 32 fights never went past round four, mainly because the opponents were awful. Then he won the title and defended it three times against opposition who were barely in the Top 20.
This weekend he faces washed-up, former contender Arreola and the Mexican-American heavyweight doesn’t do dull.
In his 13-year career Arreola has stopped 31 opponents, he has been stopped twice himself, he has made two challenges for world honours, has been banned twice for marijuana use and his weight has fluctuated more than Oprah Winfrey’s.
Wilder should dominate and get the stoppage win. The big man from Alabama is fighting on his home turf but he hasn’t won inside six rounds since 2014 and I don’t think he’ll do it now either.
Wilder is to get the victory in rounds 7-12 and that’s the bet of the bout.
Matt’s Saturady acca:
- Rigondeaux to win in rounds 1-6 @
- Flanagan to win in rounds 1-6 @
- Williams to win in rounds 1-6 @
- Wilder to win in rounds 7-12 @