Boxing Tips: Our best bets for Warrington v Lara & all of Saturday’s action

Our tipster Matt Gipon gives the definitive view on Warrington v Lara and all the weekend's action.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

There’s a cracking weekend of boxing ahead with “The Leeds Warrior”, Josh Warrington, headlining a strong card at Wembley against Mexican challenger Mauricio Lara, and later in the night there are three 50:50 championship bouts from across the pond.

Saturday 10pm: Josh Warrington v Mauricio Lara

Warrington has been out of the ring since October 2019 and his team have hand-picked Lara as the man to shake off the ring-rust against before a huge scrap in the spring. Paddy is offering massive odds on an away win but the Mexican will have his own plans for Saturday night.

Josh won the featherweight world title from Lee Selby in 2018 and defended it against Carl Frampton and Kid Galahad in his next two bouts, but when the governing body tried to force a rematch of the dull-as-dishwater Galahad contest for his next title defence instead of an international unification fight, the Yorkshire lad tossed his belt in the bin.

It can’t have been easy for Warrington to give up the strap he worked so hard for and only a punch-perfect performance will make him feel any better about it. The former champ has been as dedicated as ever during lockdown and he’s promised to put his new moves on his opponent this weekend.

With a KO ratio of just 23%, Josh isn’t known for his knockouts, but Paddy has no problem pricing a Warrington stoppage win at a very short odds. Lara has a record of 21 victories and two losses but the flimsy ledger contains no names of note.

The young Mexican featherweight, 22, is coming out of the gimnasios and salons of Latin America for his first experience of big-time boxing. I don’t expect “El Bronco” to be caught in the lights and I am sure he’ll stick to his usual routine of roughhousing and buck-wild brutality.

Lara has stopped eight of his last 10 opponents but I don’t think he’ll have the power to stun the Brit. Warrington has seen most styles and he’s got the ability to mix up his game.

He’ll have the advantages of hand-speed and conditioning over the visiting ringster, but he also has the experience and smarts to avoid doing anything rash. “The Warrior” is going to be a clear winner at Wembley but he might not be at his effervescent best after the longest lay-off in his career by far. If Lara has a reasonable chin on him I can see this one going the full 10 rounds – and Warrington on points is where the betting value is.

Josh Warrington

Saturday 9pm: Zelfa Barrett v Kiko Martinez

Zelfa Barrett has a chance to test himself against former 122-pound king Kiko Martinez in the feature fight of the undercard. Barrett is a rising star of the noble art and he’ll have a decent size advantage over the Spaniard, but you can’t rule out Kiko who is a mighty price to win.

Saturday 8pm: Leigh Wood v Reece Mould

The best bout on the London undercard is the British featherweight title fight between Leigh Wood and Reece Mould. Wood is the former Commonwealth champion, while Mould is unbeaten but untested. Both boxers like to trade blows and I’ll be backing the fight not to go the distance.

Across the pond

Sunday 3am: Joe Smith Jr v Maxim Vlasov

Over in Las Vegas, America’s Joe Smith and Russia’s Maxim Vlasov duke it out for a vacant title at 175 pounds. Smith has been boxing at the top level for the last five years but Vlasov is vastly experienced, and it’s Smith’s strength against Vlasov’s awkwardness – don’t ignore the lengthy odds on a Vlasov win by decision.

Sunday 3am: Patrick Teixeira v Brian Carlos Castano

The remaining championship bout this weekend pits Brazil against Argentina. Patrick Teixeira is the titleholder but Brian Carlos Castano is the favourite, and I am sitting on the fence by taking the value bet on the draw.

Sunday 4am: Joseph Diaz v Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov

Down in California, super featherweight champ JoJo Diaz defends his bauble against hot prospect Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov. This is a new level for the youngster but he has the goods and I’m picking Rakhimov to bring the belt back to Russia.

Tips for Saturday’s big boxing bouts

UK
Saturday 10pm: Josh Warrington v Mauricio Lara – Warrington on points
Saturday 9pm: Zelfa Barrett v Kiko Martinez – Martinez to Win
Saturday 8pm: Leigh Wood v Reece Mould – Fight to go the distance? No

International
Sunday 3am: Joe Smith Jr v Maxim Vlasov – Vlasov by decision
Sunday 3am: Patrick Teixeira v Brian Carlos Castano – Draw
Sunday 4am: Joseph Diaz v Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov – Rakhimov to Win

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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