It promises to be a pulsating weekend of boxing as some of the biggest names in the sport prepare to do battle across the globe, with pride, world titles and legacy all on the line!
In London, the spotlight falls upon the O2 Arena as Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall finally look to end their decade-long feud, with the winner set to not only become the undisputed queen of the middleweight division, but to also claim the WBC’s specially commissioned ‘Elizabethan Belt’, in memory of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Across the pond in New York City, former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder makes his in-ring return against Robert Hellenius as the hard-hitting ‘Bronze Bomber’ bids to establish himself as a serious title contender back within the stacked blue-riband division.
Meanwhile, the unbeaten Devin Haney will square off against George Kambosos Jr in Melbourne, Australia, for a second time, with the American hoping to retain the WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine lightweight titles he prized away from the same opponent back in June.
Ahead of all the weekend’s fighting action, we’ve sought the betting advice of our expert ‘Boxing Compiler’ Ian Vickers, who has highlighted where he feels the value may lie in each of the aforementioned bouts.
(Undisputed middleweight championship)
When this fight was initially made I thought Shields was about an 8/15, 1/2 shot, so I was astounded that other bookmakers were making Marshall the small favourite.
Listen, I get it that the fight is taking place in the UK, and that could favour her if the fight goes the distance, and I also understand that she will likely be the aggressor on the night too, but let’s not forget, Shields has been fighting at this level, against top class operators for a long time, and she is well-versed to these high-profile occasions.
Marshall looks the real deal, and I will be rooting for her down in London, but this is a huge step up in quality from anybody she has shared a ring with before.
Before the original fight was postponed I was leaning towards a Shields win via decision, but the more I have thought about it the draw, at 11/1, is a massive runner this weekend. I believe that Shields will do the better work throughout the fight, but Marshall will be the aggressor. There will be a lot of swing rounds on the fight where the judges could score it either way.
For Shields to win this on points, in the UK, you would think she is going to have to almost steam-roll Marshall, but I don’t see that happening, and whilst, as I say, I fancy her to do the better work, the judges may find it difficult to overlook Marshall’s intensity and front-foot approach.
Let’s remember, boxing is a business too, and if the fight is close, then a draw would provide a money-spinning rematch – so it is an outcome that I absolutely wouldn’t be ruling out. These are two top level fighters, and whilst I have to edge towards Shields, if there is to be a winner, then, the value here lies in the ‘Draw or Technical Draw’ at 11/1 in the Fight Outcome market.
I was actually reading on social media the other day that this will be a blowout for Wilder – but I don’t see it that way. Wilder is dangerous, that goes without saying, but Helenius is certainly no mug.
Do I think Wilder wins this fight? Yes I do, but do I think he comes back with a bang and looks top, top level? No I don’t!
Let’s not forget that sandwiched between that first and second Tyson Fury fight, Wilder took on Luis Ortiz, and looked so poor. In the end his power-punch got him out of trouble, but at the time, he’d lost every round.
Wilder is not a good boxer. He is what he is – a powerful puncher. Helenius is underrated, and is going to have joy in there. That said, I do think eventually that Wilder’s power will tell and he will stop him in the second half of the fight.
For me, I don’t envisage this being an early finish for Wilder, but I do think he will get the KO, so I would be looking towards a stoppage between ‘Rounds 7 - 12’ at 9/4 in our Round Group Betting (4) market.
(WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, Ring Magazine light weight championships)
I don’t see this fight ending any differently to the first, and I know the Aussies are really getting behind their man, but for me, Haney is the huge favourite here.
We have taken a decent share of patriotic money for this fight. I honestly don’t see how Kambosos Jr can beat Haney – I genuinely don’t. I may be made to look stupid come Sunday morning, but if that first fight is anything to go by, then there are levels between the two fighters.
There was nothing wrong with Haney on that night because he looked elite, but people have suggested that Kambosos did have an issue or two. Now nothing has come out about that officially, but if that is true, then maybe this rematch will be closer than the first.
It was a wide decision in the summer, and it may well be closer this time around, but the final result will still be the same – Haney ‘By Decision or Technical Decision’ in our Fight Outcome market, currently priced up at 4/7.
All odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change at any time.