Boxing tips: Back Warrington for a late Kiko KO on Saturday night

Our Paddy Trader fancies Warrington to claim victory on Saturday.

Josh Warrington

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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

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Kiko Martinez v Josh Warrington
Saturday, March 26th – from 10.00pm
DAZN streaming

The big bout of the weekend sees world champion Kiko Martinez give a shot to former titleholder Josh Warrington, and the British challenger even gets the home advantage of the First Direct Arena, Leeds – but that isn’t the only action this weekend.

On the undercard in Yorkshire local lad Maxi Hughes faces a tough test in Ryan Walsh, down in London there’s a capital city derby between big punching Richard Riakporhe and talented Deion Jumah, and over in the US future star Tim Tszyu takes on proven performer Terrell Gausha.

Kiko Martinez v Josh Warrington:

Josh Warrington to Win in Rounds 7-12

Martinez was considered to be done at the top level and he certainly wasn’t supposed to be a world champion at the age of 36, but then Warrington wasn’t planning to be a former belt-holder coming off a loss and an injury-induced technical draw at the age of 31. The champ is a big underdog again but we can sniff out an even better bet. 

Almost a decade before his world championship losses to Scott Quigg in 2015 and Carl Frampton in 2014, Kiko was knocking out unbeaten stars like Bernard Dunne in their back gardens, and although he’s lost to some big names he’s also had a three fight reign at the top of the super bantamweight division.

The losses to Quigg and Frampton were followed by defeats to elites like Leo Santa Cruz, Warrington and Gary Russell Jr between 2016 and 2019, and a couple of dodgy draws and another loss on UK shores to Zelfa Barrett in 2021 seemed to signal the end at the top for the veteran road warrior. 

Newly minted featherweight champ Kid Galahad was looking for a ‘name’ for his homecoming in Sheffield in November, but things didn’t go to plan, and with little fanfare and a couple of big right hands Martinez took the title. The Spaniard is back in the UK this Saturday looking to keep his strap, avenge a loss and bank another hefty payday. 

Obviously, Warrington has different ideas and he has a chance to put a rollercoaster two years behind him. Josh was an unbeaten world champion in 2019 with notable wins over Frampton, Galahad and Lee Selby amongst others, but rough, tough Mexican Mauricio Lara put paid to that record. 

The first fight between Martinez and Warrington was close, and the Brit never quite managed to control the vertically-challenged, aggressive Valencian. Kiko has never been fast but since that bout five years ago his reactions and hands have slowed – Galahad was dominant against Martinez until the Sheffield man was splashed at the end of round five. 

Warrington is in his peak years and he must be extremely motivated for this opportunity to get his belt back. I think the Leeds lad will be laser focused for the first few rounds and then start to turn up the heat on his ageing opponent – Josh is known for going the distance but I think he can get a late stoppage this weekend and Paddy has kindly boosted the bet with a Power Price.

Maxi Hughes V Ryan Walsh

Ryan Walsh to Win

Maxi Hughes has travelled a long way from being British boxing’s quiet man to a fringe lightweight world title contender, and after five increasingly impressive wins on the bounce the Yorkshire southpaw gets to be the main support act at the event in Leeds. 

Experienced Norfolk fighter Ryan Walsh is the man in the other corner and he has the benefit of having his twin Liam outpoint Hughes in 2019. Ryan is shorter and more aggressive than his brother, and I think he’s good value to secure another Walsh win over Maxi.

Richard Riakporhe v Deion Jumah

Riakporhe win in rounds 5-6.

The main event in London features local unbeaten cruiserweight rivals Richard Riakporhe and Deion Jumah (10pm Saturday, Sky).  Riakporhe is the man coming in with the hype having already claimed the British title and some international scalps, while Jumah has had to battle through small hall shows and health concerns. 

Deion is the slicker boxer and has good tools in every department, but Richard is the more physical man and he has the ultimate equaliser. I think Jumah might sweep the first few rounds, but I think pressure and power will tell and Riakporhe can get the win in rounds 5-6.

Tim Tszyu v Terrell Gausha:

Gausha with a stoppage win.

The pick of the bunch from the action in America is the super welterweight clash between rising star Tim Tszyu and former title-challenger and US Olympian Terrell Gausha (3am Sunday). The son of boxing legend Kostya Tszyu has beaten some decent ex-world champions and challengers in his native Australia but his opponent for his American debut is a step up. 

Guasha is 34 but he still has all the attributes of a world class fighter, and in his last performance he steamed through Ohio prospect Jamontay Clark in two rounds. I can see why Tszyu is favourite but I think Gausha can get the job done with a shock stoppage 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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