Our regular columnist Jordan Neild provides his expert betting tips for this weekend's boxing:
August is traditionally a quiet month for boxing but, thankfully, we have two decent cards to take a look at this weekend.
On Friday evening there is action from Liverpool with Matchroom presenting another “NXTGEN” card. Over the last few months, these cards have been ultra-competitive, full of emerging talent, and that is always good news for anyone looking to have a bet.
On Saturday evening, we head over to Belfast for a show headlined by rising star, Michael Conlan. Again, it’s another really good card from MTK Global and they have been very consistent with their standard of shows this year and long may that continue. The main event looks very one sided this weekend but we will look to find some value on the undercard.
August 2, Exhibition Centre, Liverpool - Matchroom Boxing
The main event here looks to be very much a “crossroads” type of fight between Anthony Fowler and Brian Rose.
Fowler, is returning on the back of his first defeat as a professional to Scott Fitzgerald in March. However, he is still very much in the early stages of his career and although a loss is never ideal, it looks to be a learning curve and a motivation boost for the former Olympian rather than a career ending defeat.
Brian Rose is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to his career. The 37-fight veteran competed for a world title earlier in his career and at his peak was a solid domestic level fighter but coming into this fight he has only had two appearances since 2017 and both have been against fighters with losing records which went the distance.
The bookies have Fowler as a heavy favourite (1/12) for this one and rightly so but there could be some value in the round betting market. Fowler has nine wins on his record with eight coming by stoppage, whilst Brian Rose has the same amount of stoppages in 37 fights. This would obviously suggest the power and ability to kill off a fight early lies very much with the younger, fresher man from Merseyside and if you add to this the fact that Brian Rose seems to cut very easily, then a Fowler stoppage seems to be a very likely outcome.
I think Rose may have the experience and ability to navigate the earlier rounds with his ringcraft and experience, but it is inevitable that Fowler, trained by master tactician David Coldwell, will eventually get to him. I like the look of Fowler to win inside 6-10 rounds @ 2/1
On the undercard, one bout that particularly sticks out is the English Middleweight title contest between Jack Cullen and John Harding Jr.
Cullen comes into the fight as the champion and is building a really good reputation for himself in the north west. At 6”3 he is a very big middleweight and he is very much a come forward fighter. He is nine years younger than his opponent tonight but despite the age gap, he is the far more experienced fighter.
John Harding Jr came into professional boxing late but is a really talented fighter. He gives away a lot of advantages in this fight however, with height, reach, power and experience and with only one knockout in nine fights, I think Harding Jr may struggle to stop the persistant pressure from Cullen.
All things considered, I opt for Cullen to win by KO/TKO @ evens looks a fair bet.
August 3, Falls Park, Belfast - MTK Global
As we mentioned earlier, the main event here looks to be very one sided but there is one fight in particular that catches my eye on the undercard between Luke Keeler and Luis Arias. There has been a lot of money in the last week or so for Irishman Luke Keeler but he is taking a huge step up here against American Luis Arias.
Arias was a very good amateur and has mixed at a much higher level as a professional than Keeler. Arias is still a favourite with the bookies but I think he still at a price worth backing. There is some doubt about the motivation of Arias coming into this fight but he is still only 29, and if the desire is still there he should be operating on a whole different level to Luke Keeler.
Keeler, to his credit, is a really good fighter in his own right but I think Arias should be a lot shorter than he currently is. It is always a risky business backing favourites in Boxing but on all evidence, we have seen so far, Luis Arias to win @ 4/6 looks to be a very solid bet.