Jarrett Hurd v Julian Williams, WBA Super World, IBO World & IBF World Light-Middleweight Titles, ITV4
A light-middleweight title fight is the main attraction this weekend (for me anyway), as rising star Jarrett Hurd (23-0) defends all 3 of his belts against Julian Williams (26-1-1). Surprised, and delighted to see ITV4 have picked this fight up. Hurd is as expected a massive 1/7 favourite, with Williams a big 4/1. A win here for Hurd puts him line for big fights against Canelo and Golovkin if he wants to step up to middleweight to chase them. After winning the vacant IBF title against Tony Harrison in 2017, he defended it against Austin Trout, and became the first man to stop him. Then came a unification fight with Erislandy Lara. As expected with all Lara fights, this was incredibly close. Hurd came away with a razor thin SD win, 113-114, 114-113 and 114-113, and the WBA Super, IBO and IBF world titles. A 12th round knockdown won him the fight, as without it, it was a majority draw. Lara is probably the most awkward man alive to box and look good against, which shows the class of Hurd to go in, drop, and eventually win the fight. Jason Welborn was easily despatched next, and now Williams steps up to the plate. A highly rated fighter coming through the ranks, Williams had high hopes of a bright future in boxing. An early draw, and a no contest were the only blemishes in his first 22 fights, with 15 of the wins by stoppage. That put him in line for his first world title fight against Jermall Charlo. He was doing ok, apart from going down once in round 2. Then he was flattened with a massive uppercut in round 5, and as the ref stepped in to stop the fight after another knockdown. He’s rebounded “okay”, 4 straight wins to earn this crack at Hurd, against no one of real note. Whether it was nerves, or the big bright lights of a main event, or Charlo himself, that caused the crushing loss, I don’t particularly like Williams chances again here. Williams is the better technical boxer, Hurd is the bigger and more powerful man. Lara is only man Hurd hasn’t stopped in 5 years, and I don’t expect Williams to end that streak. I’m looking at a stoppage win for Hurd, with odds around 4/6. A decision win is 2/1 but I don’t think Williams can survive 12 rounds. Hurd wants big fights, so he’ll want to impress, and I think he’ll win in style here. Hurd tends to wear you out, then walk you down, and I don’t expect anything different here. I think Williams may survive the early rounds with his boxing skill, probably winning a couple of rounds, then start to fall apart in the mid to late rounds after he can’t hold off Hurd off anymore.
BNC Tip – Hurd to win by stoppage (4/6), (also worth a couple of quid – Hurd 7-9 (4/1) or Hurd 10-12 (6/1))
Other Notable Fight
Jordan Gill v Enrique Tinoco, WBA International Featherweight Title, Sky Sports
Boxing returns to Friday night on Sky Sports this weekend from Nottingham, with Jordan Gill returning to action. Gill is an almost laughable 1/50, which tells you all you need to know about this fight. Gill has 7 KO’s from his 23 fights so far, which makes you question his power a little. However, his last 2 fights, his 2 biggest fights, have both seen stoppage wins. Ryan Doyle was sent packing in 7, then Mexican Emmanuel Dominguez was easily stopped inside 3 as Gill claimed the WBA International belt. I’m not sure what Gill’s ceiling is, but im not sure Enrique Tinoco will give us any indication. Another travelling “tough” Mexican brought over to make Gill look good and hopefully another stoppage win looks to be the hope here. A stoppage win is 2/5, you can forget about any odds for Tinoco winning. Tinoco has 5 losses in 26 fights, only 1 by stoppage. He went 8 rounds with rising American prospect Devin Haney back in 2017, which may show he has a decent chin. He did lose probably every second of the fight. Gill will win this, and probably look good doing so. Whether he can get the stoppage may tell us more than just winning the fight. Gill to win over the full 12 is 2/1, which could be a decent shout. European level may beckon next for Gill, but as recent domestic fighters have shown, if you’re not ready, you’re in for a rude awakening.
BNC Tip – Gill stoppage (2/5), Fight to go 9 rounds or over 8/11
Leigh Wood v Ryan Doyle, Commonwealth Featherweight Title, Sky Sports – Leigh Wood stared the week at 8/15, but has went out to 1/3 and Doyle 6/4. The 8/15 were great odds for Wood here, but the money has been coming in on him and the 1/3 is the best out there, which shows who people fancy. It should be a close and decent fight, but Doyle is the one prone to getting stopped. Jordan Gill stopped Doyle, so Wood certainly can get him out of there. Wood to stop him is 5/4 and to win on points 7/4, but I might just consider taking Wood to win the fight outright as this is no certainty. Doyle if you fancy him, is 5/1 on point and 9/2 for a KO. Wood to win, i’m taking the stoppage. Fight to go all 12 is 11/10.
Miguel Berchelt v Francisco Vargas, WBC World Super-Featherweight Title, BoxNation – Another one sided World Title fight on the betting slips. Berchelt 1/14, Vargas 7/1. A re-match from 2017 where Berchelt stopped Vargas in the 11th. Just deciding when you fancy Berchelt to stop Vargas here is where to make money. I fancy a re-peat of their first fight, and a late stoppage for Berchelt, rounds 9-12 at 3/1. A KO win outright for Berchelt is a poor 1/5 if you want a more safer bet, and points is 4/1
Emanuel Navarrete v Isaac Dogboe, WBO World Super-Bantamweight Title, BoxNation – A much closer World Title fight on the undercard of Berchelt/Vargas, and again a re-match. Back in December, Navarrette came away with a UD win and Dogboe’a WBO title in a close, tight fight. This maybe the best fight of the weekend. Champion Navrarrette is 8/15, and Dogboe 6/4. This should go the full distance (4/9), so that’s worth getting on. Dogboe on points at 3/1, alternately Navarrette is 13/10 to get the nod on the cards. I actually fancy Dogboe here, altho not confident to say for sure. I’ll be taking the 4/9 for this to go 12 and maybe a few quid on Dogboe on points.