Our resident boxing expert Rob Tebbutt's previews this weekend's boxing on both sides of the Atlantic and gives us his verdict as to where the betting value can be found across three standout bouts.
- Jaime Munguia to win by Decision/Technical Decision @ 1/1 (Evens)
- Jaime Munguia to win, land the most punches and score 1 or more knockdowns @ 23/10
Following his valiant showing in defeat to Canelo Álvarez in May last year, Britain’s John Ryder takes on another Mexican star in unbeaten former world champion Jaime Munguia in Phoenix this weekend.
Ryder, who emerged with tremendous credit in his lop-sided loss to Alvarez, will enter the bout a sizeable underdog, but will have hopes of springing the upset against a fighter in Munguia who is still yet to establish himself as one of the sport’s top names.
Despite plundering 42 victims so far on his ledger, Munguia has flattered to deceive in some outings, and was somewhat fortunate to escape with a unanimous decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last time out in one of 2023’s most entertaining fights.
However, the 27-year-old is the significantly fresher fighter, with Ryder entering the fifteenth year of a gruelling professional career and it is that factor that I feel tip the scales in Munguia’s favour. While competitive against Alvarez, the fact remains Ryder was well-short on the scorecards and, having battled through the majority of the fight with a badly broken nose, took significant punishment on the night at the hands of the Mexican great.
I do expect Ryder to retain a lot of the grit and toughness that saw him through to the final bell on that night, but I do wonder about his ability to match the youth and energy of Munguia and dominate enough to win rounds on the cards as the away fighter.
While it shouldn’t matter, the reality is that Munguia is the home-favourite and you would expect him to get the benefit of any close rounds on the judges scorecards. As we saw with Natasha Jonas’ controversial decision win over Mikaela Mayer: where you fight matters.
I see this fight as a fight that will go long and, most likely, the full 12 rounds. While Munguia’s youth and freshness may overwhelm Ryder in stages, the aptly named ‘Gorilla’ will enjoy a size and strength advantage and, boxing out of the southpaw stance, is much harder to hit clean than he looks.
I think there’s plenty of value in the Boosted price of Munguia to win, land the most punches and score 1 or more knockdowns at 23/10. We saw Ryder dropped against Canelo before rallying to the final bell, so we know he can tough it out.
For me, my money will be going on Jaime Munguia to win by Decision or Technical Decision at 1/1 (evens). I feel that Ryder will be compact enough and tough enough to hear the final bell, with Munguia showing in the past he can smother his work and become a little predictable at times.
Fight Result: Jaime Munguia
Jaime Munguia to score 1 or More knockdowns
Jaime Munguia Most Punches Landed
Was 21/10 >> Now 23/10
Fight Result: John Ryder
John Ryder Most Punches Thrown
John Ryder Most Punches Landed
Was 25/1 >> Now 28/1
John Ryder by KO, TKO or Disqualification
John Ryder to score 1 or More knockdowns
Was 17/2 >> Now 10/1
Bet Boosts and prices were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or fluctuation.
- Fight To Go Over 6.5 Rounds @ 8/11
- Cheavon Clarke by Decision/Technical Decision @ 3/1
Unbeaten cruiserweight prospect Cheavon Clarke continues his rise in the paid ranks on Saturday night as he takes on former European champion Tommy McCarthy.
Clarke, a 2020 Olympian in Tokyo, hasn’t put a foot wrong so far as a professional and comes into this Saturday’s bout on the back of a solid showing against tough Czech gatekeeper Vasil Ducar back in September 2022.
On the other hand, Belfast’s McCarthy enters the bout in desperate need of a win to get his career back on track.
Unsuccessful in a short-notice attempt at Michael Cieslak’s European title back in November, the 33-year-old has three of his last five and a loss to a prospect in Clarke could see an end to his aspirations at the top level.
I do feel that McCarthy will be aided by the quick turnaround from the Cieslak fight, meaning he should be in good enough shape to take this fight into the second half. I like the look of Fight To Go Over 6.5 Rounds at 8/11 and also Clarke to win by Decision/Technical Decision at 3/1.
I think the price of 8/15 for Clarke by win by Knockout/Technical Knockout is too short on value. McCarthy was stopped in seven by Cieslak, an experienced, world-level fighter in a fight he took on short notice, and I’m backing him to go a few rounds at the weekend against the ever-improving - but still-developing - Clarke.
As far as backing him as the underdog, a price of 15/2 to win by Knockout/Technical Knockout shows how tall of a task this is, but at his best, McCarthy could give the fledgling Clarke a tough night at the office.
- Lewis Crocker to win by Unanimous Decision @ 3/1
- Lewis Crocker to win by Decision/Technical Decision @ 11/5
Welterweight prospect Lewis Crocker returns in Belfast this weekend against Mexican banger Jose Felix in a fight that promises to be explosive from first bell to last.
Crocker, undefeated in 18 professional bouts (10 KOs), has a reputation as a heavy-handed hitter and will enjoy a fairly significant size advantage against Felix on fight night.
While a dangerous operator himself, Felix, who stunned Irish fans with a TKO3 win over unbeaten Gary Cully in his last outing, has operated predominantly at 135 and 140lbs in recent years.
Nevertheless, 31 KO wins in 40 wins as a professional show the 31-year-old can clearly dig.
I do expect Crocker to emerge victorious, but this is a fight that does carry potential danger despite his size advantage. We saw Crocker weigh-in 3lbs over the 147lbs weight limit on Friday, which could point to a less-than-ideal camp.
I think both men will respect the power of each-other and we could see something of a stand-off at times. Felix has been stopped before and was down against Tyrone McKenna, but he’s shown toughness aplenty in his career and I’m backing him to put up a stellar effort at the weekend.
I like the look of Crocker by Decision/Technical Decision at 11/5. For a bit of additional value, you can nab the Belfast-native at 3/1 to win by Unanimous Decision.
For the underdog pickers and long-shot bettors, the value lies with the away fighter. Felix does carry power, is coming off the back of a career-best win against Cully and you can get 17/2 on him to defeat Lewis Crocker by stoppage.
I’m expecting a competitive fight between two action-packed punchers, but will be backing the home favourite Lewis Crocker to win by Unanimous Decision at .