Titles and tiffs: Haye v Bellew and Thurman vs Garcia previews & projections

Tony Bellew compared David Haye to Mariah Carey this week.

It was a light-hearted tickle in a week of trash-talk tormenting.

But whilst comparisons of Haye to the demanding diva songstress may have been creditable. There is a more apt analogous diva he could have mentioned.

One Nicky Minaj.

And no, not because of her love for sexual allusions or her over-sized rear-end, but for her penchant for controversy, and in particular, feuding.

Haye’s become such a polarizing and outspoken figure in boxing, many of its protagonists are only too keen to voice their resentment of him.

In fact, his back-catalog of beefs is so excessive he could fill a supermarket’s meat freezer.

Of course, how genuine the animosity is between him and Tony Bellew is questionable. Past feuds with Dereck Chisora, Wladimir Klitschko and Audley Harrison ended with a hug and an exchange of compliments.

Here’s hoping this one doesn’t.

After all, what’s more distasteful?

A forced embrace that satisfies the sensitive board and sponsors but confirms fans suspicions that they were being hoodwinked from the beginning?

Or

Continuing discontent and a refusal to shake hands, in turn ‘staining’ the Marquiss’ memory and affirming boxing’s barbarity?

Boxing is barbaric. Fighters do get hurt.

It’s a fact that more aggressive and powerful fighters often get more exposure, better ratings and larger fan-bases.

So David Haye’s wish to ‘do damage’ and ‘render (Tony Bellew) unconscious’ is music to the ears of many boxing fans. His appeal to fans is owed mostly to his highlight reel of brutal knockouts.

Sky Sports, and the UK sports media that have poured scorn on these comments, are well aware of what puts bums in seats and what sells newspapers. Perhaps they don’t want to be reminded of it.

 

Enough of the rant, on to the fights.

The difficulty¬† for most when evaluating the heavyweight clash between David Haye and Tony Bellew is Haye’s enforced and protracted absence from the ring (whilst rehabbing a shoulder injury) coupled with his soft opposition since.

Haye c.2012 would have ~10% greater chance (than the odds below) of winning. And a Haye under 220lbs would also have a 4% greater chance.

new-piktochart_172_16bc3b985411296ec24b20dfb7fb65392b275023

Bellew’s leap over the cruiserweight/heavyweight wall is allusory here. He was a heavyweight as an amateur and Haye has always been a small heavyweight carrying extra weight.

Nevertheless most think this is a formality. It could be. The most likely outcome is Haye by KO in the first five rounds. But to say Bellew only has the proverbial ‘punchers chance’ is vastly underestimating ‘The Bomber’.

Haye has weaknesses. He was blowing hard against an advancing Chisora. Versus Carl Thompson it wasn’t toughness or chin that was his undoing but his inability to efficiently use energy. He emptied the gas tank looking for the crowd-pleasing finish. So when Lap five came and he hadn’t produced it he was running on empty.

Then there’s his ineffectiveness on the inside. While Haye is at his destructive best at distance he’s limited in the trenches.

Questions over Haye’s chin and toughness are misguided, however. He’s been hurt and rose up to win on multiple occasions.

There is similar myths over Tony Bellew. It wasn’t the power or speed of Adonis Stevenson that was his undoing. It was Adonis’ vastly superior ring IQ. He created traps and Bellew’s impatience clouded his judgment and walked him right into Superman’s ambush.

Whilst Haye can create traps with feints he doesn’t have the versatility or large arsenal of Stevenson. But it only takes Bellew to bite on one Haye-maker.

For Bellew to win he has to use the jab early to frustrate Haye. As the fight goes on he needs to smother Haye, negating his power and speed, and work him over on the inside.

If Bellew can see out the first six rounds his chances improve to 40%.

Tony Bellew 2u to win @ 6/1 (+600)

 

It may not have generated quite as much buzz (testament to trash talk and bad blood) but over at the Barclays Center on Saturday night Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Danny Garcia meet to unify the WBA and WBC welterweight titles.

The winner would have an argument for the No.1 spot at 147lbs. Manny Pacquiao being the only challenger for that mark.

It’s a fascinating match-up. Pitching the versatility and technical superiority of Thurman against the toughness, grit and unorthodox approach of Garcia.

thurman-garcia

 

This fight is all about distance. Garcia’s effectiveness is limited to mid-range. Thurman will be aware of this, but he’s also conscious of the fan’s desire for action.

Both Lamont Peterson and Mauricio Herrera had periods of dominance over Danny Garcia. But they were that: periods. Both, despite being more technically sound and advanced, lost decisions.

Lamont Peterson figured out after 4-5 rounds that range and movement can limit Garcia’s effectiveness. Herrera used technical versatility and subtlety but suffered defensive lapses.

While Keith Thurman is capable of both approaches his fight with Luis Collazo and Shawn Porter shows he can be sucked in. Porter is much more predictable than the unorthodox Garcia and Collazo c.2016 is not the level of Danny Garcia.

Even if Thurman has success early, Garcia will not wilt. He’s show repeatedly that his temperament and grit cannot be questioned. He just knows how to win. 2/1 on Danny against ANY CURRENT ACTIVE FIGHTER is too good to pass up.

Danny Garcia 8u to win @ 2/1 (+200)

 

UNDERCARD BOUTS

Chad Dawson 62% (KO 36%; DEC 26%) vs Andrzej Fonfara 38%

The bookmakers have Fonfara a -300 favorite. This is a STAGGERING line.

Dawson’s losses have come to two southpaws Tommy Karpency, Adonis Stevenson, one part-time southpaw, Andre Ward (who spent large periods as a southpaw during that fight) and Jean Pascal. Fonfara is not a southpaw, he’s not a cerebral fighter like Stevenson and Ward and he doesn’t possess the athleticism or unconventional style of Pascal.

When you add his 1st round blowout knockout in his last fight, installing Fonfara as the favorite becomes mystifying.

One of Dawson’s conquerors – Tommy Karpency – dominated Fonfara before quitting with illness. Like Dawson he’s a cagey southpaw.

Many think Fonfara’s decision to install Virgil Hunter as his coach will inspire him. But this is a clash of approach. Fonfara is instinctively aggressive, Hunter is much more contemplative and cerebral. Such a transition takes time. A world-class rally driver can’t just hop into a Formula One car and park it on the front row.

Chad Dawson 10u to win @ +333 (10/3) & to win KO 5U @ 13/2 (+650) & 3U to win DEC @ 15/2 (+750)

 

Paulie Malignaggi 58% (DEC 47%; KO 11%) vs Sam Eggington 42%

Another staggering line. Malignaggi is +190 at time of writing.

Malignaggi has only lost to world-class fighters: Cotto, Khan, Hatton, Diaz (robbery), Broner, Porter and Garcia.

Eggington is Euro Level at best. If Malignaggi loses here it will be career rock-bottom.

Paulie Malignaggi 7u to win @ 19/10 (+190) & 4.4u to win DEC @ 11/5 (+220) & 1u to win KO @ 22/1 (+2200)

 

Ohara Davies 94% v Derry Mathews 6%

Ohara Davies 12u to win @ 1/5 (-500)

 

Lee Selby 91% v Andoni Gago 9%

 

SUMMARY

Tony Bellew 2u to win @ 6/1 (+600)

Danny Garcia 8u to win @ 2/1 (+200)

Chad Dawson 10u to win @ +333 (10/3) &

Chad Dawson to win KO 5U @ 13/2 (+650)

Chad Dawson to win DEC 3u @ 15/2 (+750)

Paulie Malignaggi 7u to win @ 19/10 (+190)

Paulie Malignaggi 4.4u to win DEC @ 11/5 (+220)

Paulie Malignaggi 1u to win KO @ 22/1 (+2200)

Ohara Davies 12u to win @ 1/5 (-500)

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