Boxing Tips: Your knockout bets for this weekend’s biggest fights

Our tipster Matt Gipon has found some value in the market.

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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

The Copper Box Arena in London’s East End does classic British boxing cards better than most and this Saturday is no different: the glorious Lonsdale belt is on the line for the winner of the British championship bout between Lennox Clarke and Mark Heffron, rising contender Hamzah Sheeraz meets international gatekeeper Francisco Emanuel Torres, and top prospect Dennis McCann faces his first proper test with domestic rival James Beech Jnr.

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But there’s always room for some American razzmatazz, and if you’re staying up late boxing’s glamour fighter Ryan Garcia looks to extend his unbeaten record against former champ Javier Fortuna in LA.

10pm: Lennox Clarke v Mark Heffron – Heffron Points or Decision

TV: BT SPORT

The British and Commonwealth super middleweight titles are up for grabs at the Copper Box and, realistically, this is as big as it gets for Clarke and Heffron! Just because they aren’t boxing superstars doesn’t make them short of skill or heart, and this is going to be hard fought from the first bell.

Halesowen’s Clarke, 31, comes to the ring confident after picking up two belts in his rough and rampaging win over heavily-hyped Scot Willy Hutchinson in his last outing, but in the previous bout the Midlander lost for the first time via a split decision to fringe world-level fighter Lerrone Richards.

Heffron, 30, has an impressive record of 27 in 30 contests, but the two times he’s stepped up to compete for Lonsdale silverware he has lost – in 2018 former world title challenger Liam Williams managed to stop the man from Oldham after ten tough rounds, while Denzel Bentley forced Heffron to retire with an eye injury caused by a punch in 2020.

Paddy is pretty confident that Lennox’s strength and pressure will be enough to get the win, but Mark was a very good amateur and a KO ratio of 70% suggests he has the artillery to slow down any onslaught.

There’s no doubt Clarke has power, but it’s all strength and no finesse – the champ can struggle against a savvy defensive boxer and he’s only managed to stop eight of his 22 opponents. I think Heffron has the pedigree, the punch and the length to out-point Clarke, and I am backing the challenger to take the titles by decision.

9pm: Hamzah Sheeraz v Franciso Emanuel Torres – Sheeraz to Win in Round 1-2

With 15 wins from 15 contests and a KO streak stretching back nine fights you might think that Sheeraz, 23, should be beyond average Argentines, but there’s a recipe to developing a fighter and the middleweight from Slough still needs seasoning.

Torres might not have name recognition but back in November he drew with former title challenger and boxing hotshot Jose Benavidez, and the away fighter is unbeaten in almost five years. The reason Torres got the call was a decent ranking with some sanctioning bodies and a record of only one KO win since 2018.

Sheeraz likes a fire fight and I expect these two to go at it from the early rounds. If Torres can hang in there he’ll have a chance to score a massive upset, but I think the home boxer will find a way through and I like the big odds on a very early night.

7pm: Dennis McCann v James Beech Jr – McCann KO/TKO

McCann, 21, is on a similar journey to Sheeraz but he’s a couple of contests behind his compatriot, and this fight on Saturday is his first against an ambitious domestic rival. Beech is a very decent featherweight and his only two losses have been close decisions to British rivals.

Of all the young fighters in the UK, McCann has one of the highest ceilings. The southpaw is fast, slick, strong and has a high boxing IQ, but four points wins from his last five fights have left some fans wanting more.

Dennis ‘The Menace’ will want to entertain the crowd and Beech’s desire to win could count against him. Beech only has two KO wins from 16 bouts and I don’t think he’ll have enough pop to stop McCann pouring forward and forcing the stoppage.

3am Sunday: Ryan Garcia v Javier Fortuna – Garcia To Win in Round 5-8

TV: DAZN

It’s always good to see a talent like Garcia doing his thing but it’s time for him to meet the biggest names in the lightweight division now. In 2021 Garcia dramatically stopped Brit Luke Campbell in seven rounds, and this weekend he faces 2015 super featherweight titleholder Fortuna.

The Dominican Republic fighter still has skills, an awkward style and the heart of a champion, but he doesn’t have the size or reflexes to take the punches ‘King Ry’ will be throwing. Fortuna could frustrate the rising star for a while but I think Garcia ends the bout in the middle rounds.

Boxing tips

10pm: Lennox Clarke v Mark Heffron – Heffron Points or Decision
9pm: Hamzah Sheeraz v Franciso Emanuel Torres – Sheeraz to Win in Round 1-2
7pm: Dennis McCann v James Beech Jr – McCann KO/TKO
3am Sunday: Ryan Garcia v Javier Fortuna – Garcia To Win in Round 5-8

*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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