The festive period delivers a glut of boxing for us to feast on this week. Both casual fans and hardcore speculators* will be eager to stick their fork and dip their spoons into this pre-christmas treat.
So let’s get started.
British boxing-heads will turn to the Manchester Arena for their helpings. As IBF champion and humble hustler Anthony Joshua seeks to devour his latest spoon-fed offering. Eric Molina offers himself up as the opponent.
Is this just another Joshua showcase dressed up by Eddie Hearn as ‘the next step-up’?
Bookies opened AJ as a 1/33 to 1/25 fav. The public obviously concur. I’m not convinced bookies account for Joshua’s lack of experience and his in-familiarity with adversity in the pros. This goes some way to explain the slight disparity in our projection vs their odds (89% to 96%).
Joshua has appeared almost flawless hereto. But he and his team are managing the opposing variables. All diamonds appear flawless from a controlled distance. It takes the trained eye of a professional with the right tools to expose its flaws.
Molina’s conventional and predictable style coupled with his struggles at lower levels suggests he ain’t that man, however.
In the Co-main its bad blood. And as many a professional wrestling fan will tell you, when there’s bad blood……get the tables, ladders and chairs.
We know Derek Chisora lacks some fizz on his fastball. But he also demonstrated at the press conference for his fight with Dillian Whyte that his throw isn’t much better. That table fell so far short of the target, you’d be lucky to three-putt from there.
I believe the animosity is real. But I thought the same regarding Whyte/Lewison, yet Whyte boxed professionally – if tediously – for ten rounds.
As for the match up, Chisora has been on the end of losses when faced with movement. Vitali, Fury and Pulev moved and used size and smothering to thwart Chisora when he got close. Haye used his power to keep Chisora honest. Whyte doesn’t have the size of Fury nor the power of Haye.
Our models give Dereck 46% chance of winning this. The public are only giving Derek a 26% chance. Whyte’s upside is a precarious quality to evaluate due to his limited amateur and pro career. I think the public are drunk on hype.
Chisora has had some success at higher levels than this. Versus Helenius, for instance, judges scored 6/12 rds to him. Many experts saw Del-boy as the victor.
Only Tyson Fury has ever shut Chisora out. Del took two rounds versus Vitali, six versus Helenius and four off Pulev. In theory, Whyte would have to match the performances of Dereck’s conquerors to win a competitive decision.
Does Whyte have the potential to be world class or even fringe world class? If so he’s yet to display it.
I like to value in Del-boy at 11/4. (Lets stick 5units on it)
(I was also going to project Kal Yafai-Luis Concepcion. but as long-term subscribers will know, my models for 115lbs and below haven’t been updated in a while. Nevertheless, Concepcion as an underdog of >6/4 is an enticing play).
As for the rest of the card? A bunch of Eddie Hearn specials. Showcase fights and British level bar-room brawls. #TeamStream
Many more fights to project and plays to announce for bouts including Mares/Cuellar and the mouthwatering Charlo/Williams.
So stay tuned to my twitter feed over the course of the day.
DERECK CHISORA 5U TO WIN @ 3.75 (11/4)
*Speculators – how we refer to *whisper it* ‘gamblers’ around here. The sensible amongst us don’t gamble, we ‘speculate’ using firm evidence and no hunches. Plus ‘speculator’ doesn’t have the same acrid pungency as it leaves the tongue.