Boxing tips: 5 knockout bets for this weekend – including 11/1 Katie Taylor v Firuza Sharipova punt

Our boxing guru Matt Gipon has your fight night picks sorted.

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* 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.

Boxing is doing the rounds this weekend. We’ve got Katie Taylor in an undisputed title fight and Conor Benn against a former champ at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. There’s also Sunny Edwards and Paul Butler in world championship bouts in Dubai and the high class contest between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Richard Commey from Madison Square Garden – and we’ve got the picks to upset Paddy.

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SATURDAY 9PM: KATIE TAYLOR V FIRUZA SHARIPOVA

Watch: DAZN

It’s Taylor’s 20th pro bout and she’s already won every title and cleared out the division, which means that the Irish lightweight legend has to go looking for rising stars – the opponent this weekend isn’t the Sharapova who used to be handy at tennis but she has served up 14 wins on the bounce.

Firuza is from the ancient Silk Road city of Taraz in Kazakhstan but she has travelled through Russia and even Spain in her professional career. The only loss on her record came on her debut when she was matched tough against an Olympic silver medallist.

The Kazakh boxer looks like she can throw a mean combination and moves well around the ring, but that has been against a really low calibre of opponent. Even as an amateur Sharipova wasn’t top grade and Taylor will put more pressure on her than anyone else has ever done.

It has been six fights since the unbeaten champ last won by KO and Paddy makes Taylor odds-on to win by decision again. I think Katie knows time is ticking on her career and she’s changed up training to keep herself fresh for fight night – my pick is that a determined Taylor takes out an inexperienced Sharipova late on.

SATURDAY 10PM: CONOR BENN V CHRIS ALGIERI

Watch: DAZN

You have to give it to Team Benn, they are guiding him through his career expertly – the Essex welter gets the right fights at the right time, and I’m not complaining about that. Algieri is a former champ with name recognition and of his three losses to Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Errol Spence, only Spence could stop him.

But dig a little deeper and you see that Algieri, 37, was a champ in the weight class below, he’s only had one contest in the last two-and-a-half years, and never been a puncher.

Conor has no late KO wins and the American is a tough guy and qualified nutritionist who looks after himself – I think if the fight gets into the fourth or fifth round it’s going all the way to points. However, Algieri has always struggled with speed and if his reflexes have slowed Benn can get another early win – and Paddy has been kind enough to boost the price!

SATURDAY 8PM: JOHN RIEL CASIMERO V PAUL BUTLER

Watch: Free Sports

If you’re the type of punter who looks for monster odds, this is the pick for you. Bantamweight world champion Casimero is a big favourite with a frightening record of six KOs in his last seven wins, while Butler has been taking victories by decision on small shows since he lost a couple of title fights.

The bigger picture is that the Filipino belt-holder has been outboxed before and his overall KO ratio is only 60%. A young Charlie Edwards lasted 10 rounds with Casimero down at flyweight and Butler is a bigger and more experienced opponent – Casimero could catch up with Butler late on but I’m hoping the Brit has the skills to steal this on points.

SATURDAY 6PM: SUNNY EDWARDS V JAYSON MAMA

Watch: Free Sports

Flyweight king Edwards is a super silky boxer and, despite being unable to punch a hole in a pound of warm butter, he’s still great to watch. The challenger is mobile, balanced and has quick hands, but “Smasher” only has a ratio of 56% and this fight is destined to go the distance.

The price for Sunny to win on points is paltry, so the best bet is the draw. The unbeaten Mama will be fired up for his first title shot and he’s surrounded in Dubai by other champion Filipinos – he might be inspired enough to outwork Edwards and get the nod from one or two of the judges.

SUNDAY 4AM: VASILIY LOMACHENKO V RICHARD COMMEY

Watch: Sky Sports Arena

The class of the weekend comes from the lightweight division for the third weekend in a row. There are so many top fighters in the division that the other-worldly Lomachenko doesn’t have a strap and he has to beat prime former titleholders like Richard Commey to get back to the front of the queue.

Loma is still a huge favourite and since his 2019 loss to Teofimo Lopez he’s got a new desire to become undisputed champion. The Ukrainian maestro battered Japanese toughman Masayoshi Nakatani in June and he’s looking to follow up with another win against a top ten opponent.

Commey is a really good boxer, he has power and conditioning, and his one stoppage loss to Lopez was a freak result. Lomachenko has decent stinging power but Commey has the grit to battle to the bell – I’m backing Loma on points.

* 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.

Saturday’s boxing tips:

Saturday 9pm: Katie Taylor v Firuza Sharipova – Taylor to Win in Round 7-8
Saturday 10pm: Conor Benn v Chris Algieri – Benn to Win in Round 1-2
Saturday 8pm: John Riel Casimero v Paul Butler – Butler to Win by Points or Decision
Saturday 6pm: Sunny Edwards v Jayson Mama – Draw
Sunday 4am: Vasiliy Lomachenko v Richard Commey – Lomachenko to Win by Points or Decision

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