Boxing Tips: 2/1 Liam Smith win among these 6 weekend best bets

Our tipster Matt Gipon thinks it's gonna come down to the cards on Saturday night.

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Smith v Mwakinyo Undercard

Main Event

In the USA

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Summer’s over and now it’s boxing season. The first card making noise comes from the Echo Arena in Liverpool and features former world champ Liam Smith against KO king Hassan Mwakinyo, the unification fight between Natasha Jonas and Patricia Berghult, and a banging undercard. And this weekend there’s a bonus Sunday night/Monday morning heavyweight scrap between Andy Ruiz and Luis Ortiz from America.  

The best bout of the Smith-Mwakinyo undercard is a really competitive fight for the British light heavyweight strap between titleholder Dan Azeez and former champ Shakan Pitters (8pm). London’s Azeez is unbeaten and on a run of three KO wins, while Midlander Pitters has bounced back from losing his domestic title with a trio of victories.   

Pitters is a lean 6’6’’ 175-pounder and he’ll win rounds by landing his long shots, but I think the much stockier and busier Azeez will defend his belt with a points win and look to move on to European level later this year.  

  

The two other bouts, or fighters, worth watching closely on the undercard are Adam Azim and Frazer Clarke. Azim looks like he’s a special young fighter in the super lightweight division, while Clarke makes his third pro appearance after winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. Both Brits can pick up wins in rounds 1-2 

Natasha Jonas v Patricia Berghult: Jonas Points or Decision

Sat 9pm – TV: Sky Sports Arena

Jonas, 38, probably thought her chance of becoming a world champion had slipped through her fingers, but when an opportunity came in a higher weight class earlier this year she took it with both fists. This Saturday she gets the chance to unify the division in her hometown against unbeaten Swede Berghult.  

The travelling champ is ten years younger and a touch taller, and she’ll try to pick her punches from range and nick a decision. Jonas has seen this style in the amateurs and she has the footwork and accuracy to land the telling blows – I’m backing Jonas to win on points. 

Liam Smith v Hassan Mwakinyo – Smith Points or Decision

Sat 10pm – TV: Sky Sports Main Event

Smith has moved to Boxxer promotions and Sky TV to be busy and get another title shot, and on Saturday he’s getting the former but he’s a long way from the latter. Tanzanian ‘Tornado’ Mwakinyo has never even been within touching distance of the super welterweight world championship but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a breeze for ‘Beefy’.   

Mwakinyo was an unknown boxer with two losses coming off the unheralded Tanzanian boxing circuit when he rocked up to Birmingham and rolled through Sam Eggington in two rounds in 2018. Since then the 27-year-old has won eight more times, six inside the distance, and has added some boxing craft to his ambition and heart.  

You can get absolutely massive odds on an away win at the main event in Liverpool this weekend, and I am half-tempted by a little dabble on the quick-handed Mwakinyo to win by KO. But Smith has plenty of pedigree and grit, and his only losses have come against upper echelon fighters. The silver-haired Scouser has stopped four of his last six opponents, but I think Mwakinyo’s combination of unorthodox back-foot boxing and power-punching attacks could slow down Smith. I’m backing Smith to take the win on points after striding away in the second half of the contest.  

 

 

Andy Ruiz v Luis Ortiz: Ruiz Points or Decision

Monday 3am – TV: FITE TV

In the early hours of Monday morning, for us on the east side of the Atlantic, former unified heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz takes on Cuban bogeyman Luis Ortiz. Since ballooning in weight for the Anthony Joshua rematch in 2019 and letting himself down, Ruiz has only appeared in the ring once – beating American veteran Chris Arreola in May last year.  

As a southpaw with size and schooling, Ortiz has never found it easy to get the big fights. Of the champions, only Wilder was brave enough to give the Cuban a shot, and the big-punching, costume-wearing former belt-holder almost regretted it. No other professional boxer has beaten Ortiz, but the man known as ‘King Kong’ turned 43 in March.   

Ortiz isn’t in the shape he used to be in and his reflexes aren’t what they were – in his last bout he was dropped twice by Charles Martin, the man best known for being flattened by Anthony Joshua in two rounds. Ruiz has fast hands and if he was fighting regularly he could light up Ortiz, but I think a rusty Ruiz will win by decision 

Boxing Tips

Smith v Mwakinyo Undercard

Main Event

In the USA

*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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