We were supposed to be looking forward to the explosive encounter of Billy Joe Saunders against Demetrius Andrade this weekend but Billy hit the implode button on his career when he got banned from competing for sniffing something naughty last month.
There’s still plenty of boxing to have a nose at this Saturday however, with Andrade facing late replacement Walter Kautondokwa for Saunders’ former strap, Katie Taylor defending her belts against Cindy Serrano, and Belfast’s James Tennyson challenging lightweight champ Tevin Farmer for his title.
There’s also World Boxing Super Series action in the shape of Emmanuel Rodriguez versus Jason Moloney and Yunier Dorticos against Mateusz Masternak in the season two quarter finals.
ANDRADE V KAUTONDOKWA
Andrade has a golden opportunity to become a two weight world champion since Saunders’ belt became vacant but a hard hitting Namibian could spoil the party in Boston.
At 33 and limited to fighting exclusively in Africa, Kautondokwa has burst out of the blue onto the middleweight scene. But ‘The Executioner’ must have something about him having won all of his 17 pro fights and finishing 16 early.
Andrade has been decked in two previous contests and there’s a real chance the American overlooks his unknown opponent. Betting on Kautondokwa to win by KO is well worth a punt at 8/1.
As an Olympian and unbeaten pro, Andrade should be savvy enough to avoid his opponent’s bombs. Kautondokwa is inexperienced and under-prepared, and when ‘Boo Boo’ starts making him miss and making him pay I think the African could lose heart.
I expect Andrade to take the title with a late finish but I wouldn’t bet on him giving Saunders a shot at winning the belt back – a tainted, talented southpaw isn’t someone you want to give a sniff of the title to.
Bet of the bout: Andrade to win in rounds 10-12 at 11/2
TAYLOR V SERRANO
There’s a rumour that lightweight boss Katie Taylor is the highest paid female in fight sports, and why shouldn’t she be? The Bray banger is supremely talented and all action, but that doesn’t mean a tough Puerto Rican Latina can’t make it a decent scrap.
Don’t be mislead by Serrano’s record – all five loses came on the bounce early in her career and she was never stopped. The former featherweight titleholder is 13 fights unbeaten – a longer stretch than Taylor’s entire pro career – and she’ll have a slight size advantage too.
Ireland’s 2012 Olympic gold medallist is still developing in the paid ranks despite being in possession of two titles. Serrano can challenge but she doesn’t possess an equaliser and at age 36 I can’t see how she can win.
Bet of the bout: Taylor to win on points at 1/2
FARMER V TENNYSON
Farmer might not be the biggest name in boxing but the Philly fighter is impressing some of pugilism’s most knowledgeable insiders. Having picked up a title in August, Farmer is looking for a quick win to sow the seeds for a big bout next season.
It’s another case of an inexperienced underdog, this time Tennyson, with the tools to cause an upset. 18 of the Northern Irishman’s 22 wins have come inside the distance and he’s particularly dangerous early on. Don’t sleep on the 5/1 for Tennyson to win in rounds 1-6.
Farmer’s best asset might be his footwork and I can see him pinging Tennyson and pivoting away before his challenger has even had a chance to set his feet. Farmer lacks grunt but Tennyson has been turned over twice before and I think he’ll be overwhelmed in this one.
Bet of the bout: Farmer to win by KO at 9/2
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES
The bantamweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series might be the best yet. Last week second seed Naoya Inoue produced a stunning first round stoppage and this week fourth seed Rodriguez faces the all together tougher task of unbeaten Aussie Moloney.
Rodriguez proved he’s the real deal after thoroughly beating up former world champ Paul Butler in May but Moloney has a similar record to the Puerto Rican professionally and as an amateur. I make Moloney the bigger puncher and I think he’s great value at 11/2 to pull off the upset win.
In the cruiserweight competition, last season’s semi finalist Dorticos can get back to winning ways against functional foe Masternak. Cuba’s ‘Doctor KO’ has a record of 22 wins, 21 by KO and only one defeat, so back Dorticos to win by KO at 1/2.
*All odds correct at time of posting