Boxing Tips: 4 picks for this weekend’s action including Shields v Marshall

Our tipster Matt Gipon previous some cracking action on both sides on the pond.

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10pm: Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall – Marshall by Points Or Decision
9pm: Michaela Mayer v Alycia Baumgardner – Mayer by Points Or Decision
Sunday 3am: Deontay Wilder v Robert Helenius – Wilder to Win in Rounds 3-4
Sunday 4am: Devin Haney v George Kambosos Jr – Haney to Win in Rounds 7-12

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There have been plenty of eyes on boxing in recent weeks for all the wrong reasons, but the plethora of pugilism this weekend can get people talking for the right reasons.

Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall headline the O2 in London in their rescheduled bout for all the belts, and Michaela Mayer and Alycia Baumgartner duke to be undisputed on the undercard. In America, heavy-hitter Deontay Wilder returns to the ring to face Robert Helenius, while in Australia on Sunday Devin Haney and George Kambosos rematch for the lightweight crown.

10pm: Shields v Marshall – Marshall by Points Or Decision

We’ve had to wait a few weeks for this fight after the original event was scrapped out of respect for Queen Liz, but we’re here now and all four middleweight titles, plus an honorary “Elizabethan” belt from one of the dishonourable sanctioning bodies, are on the line for this massive fight on Saturday night.

Shields, the self-proclaimed “GWOAT”, has won two Olympic gold medals and world titles in three weight divisions, but the really staggering statistic is that she’s only ever lost one fight going all the way back to childhood – and that was to Marshall as an amateur back in 2012. The Brit has picked up accolades as an amateur and a pro too, but the bitter rivalry comes from that unique win.

Both boxers are unbeaten in 12 professional contests, and Claressa owns three quarters of the 160-pound crown, while Savannah has the remaining piece. But it is their KO ratios where there’s a striking difference – the high volume, pressure-fighting American has only stopped two opponents, where Hartlepool’s rangey puncher has KO’d 10 foes.

Shields has dabbled in MMA in recent years in a quest to get a real challenge, so the five week postponement will have allowed her even more time to tune up, but I think Marshall is on top of her game at the moment. It’s going to be close, and I think it’s going the distance, but I’m going with the home fighter to edge the decision.

9pm: Mayer v Baumgardner – Mayer by Points Or Decision

The relationship between Shields and Marshall is spiky, but the barbs between Mayer and Baumgartner have been just as sharp. The two featherweight world champions almost kicked off in the pre-contest presser last month when a handshake went a squeeze too far, so I’m sure this time they’ll be kept apart until fight night.

It is another contest between elite boxers, and bound to be another tight bout. Mayer is known for her workrate, size, speed and class, while Baumgartner is the power-puncher who won her titles with a demolition job on Yorkshire’s Terri Harper.

I think Mikaela will do enough to win the majority of rounds but there is always the threat that Alycia can end it with one shot, but with two minute rounds in women’s boxing it doesn’t favour the KO. Back Mayer to walk away with three titles and bragging rights after the final bell.

Sunday 3am: Wilder v Helenius – Wilder to Win in Rounds 3-4

It’s been 12 months since Wilder lost to Tyson Fury for the third time, but the ‘Bronzer Bomber’ wants another run at some big money fights. First up though is the ‘Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Finland’s Helenius is a veteran of the game – he was an established European titleholder in 2011 when he got a disputed decision over Dereck Chisora, but he was comprehensively outboxed by Dillian Whyte in 2017. Recently, Helenius has been on good form, and he’s won his last three bouts by KO.

The problem for Helenius is that he’s chinny, and it’s just a question of when Wilder will detonate. Deontay might take a while to work out his experienced opponent, but I don’t think it will take too – I think Wilder will be shouting ‘Bomb Squad’ before the bout has even got to the midway point.

Sunday 4am: Haney v Kambosos Jr – Haney to Win in Rounds 7-12

Haney is the man in the lightweight division – he beat Kambosos for all the belts in June, who had taken those titles off Teofimo Lopez last year, and it was Lopez who unified the division by decisioning Vasyl Lomachenko in 2020. Haney outclassed Kambosos just a few months ago and we really don’t need the rematch, but that’s boxing.

The Australian has home advantage again but his only real shot is a puncher’s chance. Kambosos has power, but he’s only stopped one of his last six opponents, and Haney has shown he can be wobbled, but he’s never actually been dropped.

The real question is not if Haney will win but how. The American hasn’t secured an early win since 2019 and his critics say he would rather win safe than spectacular, but Kambosos is going to put it all on the line on Sunday and I can see the corner or referee stopping the fight late on.

Boxing Tips

10pm: Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall – Marshall by Points Or Decision
9pm: Michaela Mayer v Alycia Baumgardner – Mayer by Points Or Decision
Sunday 3am: Deontay Wilder v Robert Helenius – Wilder to Win in Rounds 3-4
Sunday 4am: Devin Haney v George Kambosos Jr – Haney to Win in Rounds 7-12

*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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