Starting at 18:00 on Saturday with a big, live on Sky Box Office domestic card headlined by the Cleverly v Bellew rematch and concluding with Manny Pacquiao’s bout against Chris Algieri, in China, from 02:00 in the early hours of Sunday morning on Box Nation, there’s a bumper weekend of boxing ahead and we’ve got it all covered here at TVBet!
Smith, Joshua, DeGale, Quigg and Groves all in action in Liverpool
First up, 1/9 shot Callum Smith (14-0, 11 KO) takes on Nikola Sjekloca (28-2, 8 KO) in a defence of his WBC International super – middleweight title. Eyeing up a clash with fellow Englishman George Groves down the line, Smith faces an experienced but feather-fisted opponent who has yet to be stopped, losing on points to former world champions Arthur Abraham and Sakio Bika.
All in all, Smith does look capable of winning a world title, but this is a step up in class and while the Liverpool native has a strong KO record, backing him to win on points at 7/4 with Ladbrokes looks like a good bet to take against an opponent who’s only ever tasted defeat via the scorecards.
However, if the price lasts, over 8.5 total rounds at 5/6 with Ladbrokes looks like the best bet overall.
Olympic champion Anthony Joshua (9-0, 9 KO) also defends a WBC International title, fighting former Prizefighter heavyweight winner Michael Sprott. Beaten in just one round in his last bout, the 42-22, 17 KO) Sprott shouldn’t offer much resistance, so under 2.5 total rounds looks a short priced but likely winner at 4/9 with 888Sport.
WBA world super – bantamweight champion Scott Quigg (29-0, 22 KO) puts his title on the line against Hidenori Otake (22-1, 9 KO). Japanese Otake has an impressive overall pro record, but has not fought anyone of note and we expect Quigg to win by KO/TKO. The problem from a betting perspective is that such an outcome is best priced at 1/2 with Ladbrokes.
George Groves (20-2, 15 KO) later faces Denis Douglin (17-3, 10 KO) with the WBC Silver super – middleweight title at stake. Put simply, American Douglin has been stopped in two of his three losses and we expect Groves to make it three in four. However, best priced at 1/9 for such an eventuality, you might as well chance a smaller stake on under 5.5 rounds at evens with Sky Bet.
James DeGale (19-1, 13 KO) takes a step up in class when he fights Marco Antonio Periban (20-2-1, 13 KO). Mexican Periban is a physically strong fighter and no pushover, having only lost to ex-world champion Sakio Bika and Floyd Mayweather protégé J’Leon Love, both on points. All in all, Periban is a rigid puncher but has power, making DeGale to suffer a knockdown worth a small punt at 6/1 with Paddy Power, but we’ll go with DeGale on points at 4/6 with Bet Victor as the best bet.
Speed v Power in Cleverly v Bellew 2
Moving on to the main event rematch between former WBO light – heavyweight world champion Nathan Cleverly (28-1, 14 KO) and 2-time world title challenger Tony Bellew (22-2-1, 14 KO) and we have to be honest and say that picking a winner is a really tough call.
On one hand, Cleverly should still have the speed advantage despite going up in weight, enjoys the mental advantage of having already beaten his opponent and is a clever man and ring general that should’ve learned from trying to trade with Kovalev a couple of years ago – he’s a better boxer than Bellew in short and could box his way to another points win.
On the other hand, with the rematch being held at cruiserweight, the step up in weight appears to suit Tony Bellew as ‘The Bomber’ is more natural at the weight having competed at heavyweight as an amateur, while Cleverly was a Welterweight as an amateur. Also, Liverpudlian Bellew nearly stopped Cleverly in their first fight, which resulted in a close points win for the Welshman, so if we assume that Cleverly will be a little slower than in the first bout, Bellew may be able to ‘catch him cold.’
In conclusion, both fighters were brutally stopped when fighting at the elite level and we’ve opt to take a chance on the bout not lasting the distance at 13/10 with Coral, but if you want to pick a winner it’s a choice between speed and power.
While outstanding amateur and current WBO world featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO) should have no problems dispatching Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, at present all you can back is the Ukrainian to win at 1/33 with Bet 365 so we’ll not bother with this one from a betting perspective.
Of great interest from a betting perspective, however, is the WBO welterweight world title bout between undefeated (20-0, 8 KO) champion Chris Algieri and the household name that is Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 39 KO).
A former world kickboxing champion, New Yorker Chris Algieri only started his career as a professional boxer in 2008. A tall, fast fighter who jabs and moves well, Algieri was a massive underdog when facing the then WBO welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov in June this year, but twice knocked down in the first round and fighting with one eye closed for the rest of the bout, he cleverly outboxed the one-dimensional Provodnikov to earn a heroic points victory.
All in all, we think it’s notable that although he’s moved up and down different weight divisions, eight of the last nine Pacman fights have gone 12 rounds, so he’s not as powerful as he used to be and Algeiri might be able to use his speed and intelligence enough to avoid being stopped. It’s a tough call and no banker, but we’ll take a Pacquiao points win at 15/8 with Bet 365.