A stacked bill in the UK where Terry Flanagan defends his belt against Orlando Cruz and in the early hours of Sunday morning Vasyl Lomachenko entertains the title challenge of Nicholas Walters in the States.
Let’s get it on!
Saturday night treble is:
Terry Flanagan to win in rounds 1-6 @ 7/4; Katie Taylor to win on points or decision at Evens; Andrea Scarpa to by decision at 6/1 pays 38/1 in a treble when published at 3pm on Thursday.
Flanagan has been crying out for a big fight for a while now and he’s been set up against Cruz, a former title challenger and a bit of a name in the game. Manchester’s lightweight world champion is sort of satisfied with the match-up, but Paddy is far from impressed, and makes the challenger a 15/2 underdog.
It’s the first time the Puerto Rican puncher has stepped up to lightweight, and at 35 it might be too late. Cruz has been laid out three times in his career and each time he was fighting an opponent weighing a full 10 pounds less than Flanagan.
‘Turbo’ Tel will dwarf Cruz and he showed his power is underrated when he stopped Diego Magdaleno in two rounds last year. The British southpaw is most potent early on, so have some money on him finishing the job in rounds 1-6 at 7/4 last time we looked.
Four years of swatting aside also-rans has got Tommy Langford some ranking points but no big fights, and no titles. He faces Sam Sheedy, which may not be a huge fight but at least the British middleweight strap is up for grabs. Sheedy doesn’t sting like a bee but he does move like a fly and the value is for Langford to take the victory by decision.
The remarkable Katie Taylor went unbeaten for 11 years, winning all the world titles and 2012 Olympics, but 2016 has been a stinker by her standards. So the former Irish international lady footballer has turned pro and faces Karina Kopinska. The Pole has more defeats than wins but has only been stopped once in 24 contests. I’m picking Taylor on points or decision at Evens.
Ohara Davies has bossed it in his 13 bouts so far, winning 11 by stoppage, but Andrea Scarpa will pose the first proper test of his career. The Italian’s height and reach will equalise Davies’s and the fight could be tentative. Britain’s hotshot is a 3/10 favourite but I fancy it will be a close call on the judges scorecards. The best bet is Scarpa by decision at 6/1.
I can’t comprehend why 10-fight British prospect Ben Hall has been set up with serial bogeyman Carson Jones. Hall has already been dropped in his short career and as Jones pointed out, ‘I’ve got more KOs than years he’s been on this planet!’. Jones is 30 years old, trained by the best trainer in the world and far from washed up. Back the American to win by KO.
The big fight in the States this weekend could be a late candidate for fight of the year. We have two-time Olympic champ and current super featherweight title-holder Lomachenko versus unbeaten, notorious knockout artist Walters. It’s ‘Hi-Tek’ versus the ‘Axeman’. It’s huge. And I smell an upset.
In recent days Lomachenko has been getting smoke blown up his backside from all angles and it might be true that he was the greatest amateur of all time, but the pros are a different game. He’s mostly looked incredible in the paid ranks but he has lost once already when he got roughed up.
Walters has shown he can take some punishment in order to give some out and he’s got the size advantage over the Ukrainian. I don’t think the Jamaican will land clean enough often enough to flatten Lomachenko but Walters can take it by points or decision, where he’s a huge 12/1.