Charles Martin (23-0-1) versus Anthony Joshua (15-0)
Right off the bat, I think most boxing fans would agree that neither of these men really deserve to be fighting for a world title. It was grossly unfair to force Tyson Fury to relinquish his belt so soon after he justly defeated Klitschko.
He should have been given time to make his contractually obligated rematch with the Ukrainian and then face a mandatory. That would have been the proper thing to do, but this is boxing….
The fight to decide the new champion between Glazkov and Martin was further insult to injury. Glazkov has been gifted some big decisions against the few quality opponents he has fought, and in my humble opinion, Charles Martin has never fought quality opposition.
Is there a less deserving title holder?
As it happened, Glazkov looked promising in the early rounds and then suffered a knee injury, gifting the TKO win to Martin. If anyone can think of a less deserving heavyweight world title holder I would be genuinely interested to hear it @jonlbest (my boxing history is not as good as it should be).
Martin looks very crude to me, he is an impressive physical specimen (although not to the same extent as Joshua) but I question his technical ability and his chin has simply never been tested.
I think Joshua is a fabulous prospect but I just believe the CV is far too thin to merit this opportunity. People point to the Olympic gold but anyone who watched that tournament knows just how lucky Joshua was when it came to judging decisions.
He has been expertly matched by Matchroom and has never really been put in harm’s way. Joshua’s biggest test was undoubtedly his last bout with Whyte, but this was more about settling an old amateur score, than a credible challenge to his unsullied record.
Powerful but naive
The fight itself highlighted Joshua’s impressive power but also his naivety. Against better opposition his open style and poor defence would have put him in real danger.
Matchroom have done it again, they will soon have a real prize on their books. Joshua will be a world title holder and I imagine promotion will be ramped up. I would expect to see a number of soft voluntary defences before he finally faces a stern test.
Cynical ramblings aside, I am looking forward to watching the bout. I anticipate a tentative start to the fight and then a brawl to ensue. Their respective failings should make for an entertaining showcase.
Many of the hyped fights recently have been such disappointments; Pacquaio versus Mayweather, Fury versus Klitschko, Frampton versus Quigg and other technical bouts have all been interesting for the minority of boxing connoisseurs, but they were significantly less interesting for the majority of blood-thirsty fans (I’m ashamed to say myself included).
No value in outright win
There’s no value in an outright win for Joshua, so unless you’re a real cliff-jumper I doubt you are going to be interested in that.
I like Joshua to get the stoppage but again the odds on this are really not that attractive. I will have a flutter on Joshua to win in rounds 7-12 @ 4/1 (Ladbrokes).
I think that’s good value given that so much is riding on this for both men, I can’t see Joshua going out brawling from the opening bell with the gay abandon he displayed against Whyte. I think he will settle in for the first half of the fight, see what Martin has to offer and then take a few more risks to get him out of there.
Joshua to win in rounds 7-12 – 4/1 @ Ladbrokes bet now
Emmanuel Pacquiao (57-6-2) versus Timothy Bradley Jr (33-1-1)
We have seen this movie before, nothing has really changed. Pacquiao has done more than enough to win this fight on points on two previous occasions.
Needless to say, his inexplicable points loss in their first bout ranks up there with the O.J. Simpson trial as one of the worst travesties of justice in recent history.
Pacquiao is no longer the force of nature that tore through 8 weight divisions. He is a statesman in the making, a religious zealot and has clearly shown mercy to some boxers he should have easily stopped.
Personally I preferred the gambling, drinking, womanizing, cock-fight orchestrating Manny Pacquiao! If I’m betting on a boxer I want him to be angry and merciless, like the great Sergey Kovalev is today.
I think religion is a fantastic influence on some people, but it has softened Pacquiao to the point where he relies on his technical ability to win points decisions, as opposed to taking the decision out of the judges’ hands.
A different level
You might have guessed that I’m predicting a points win for Pacquiao, Bradley is one of the best around but he is simply not on the same level as Pacquiao, we have seen that twice already.
Manny is healthy (although that’s what we were told before the Mayweather fight) so unless he has really fallen off a cliff he should easily win 7 or 8 rounds. Pacquiao will not throw caution to the wind looking for the KO and Bradley has an iron chin (see his bout with Provodnikov for evidence).
People have pointed to Atlas’ influence as the new coach of Bradley. I don’t really see that as too important.
Bradley was a long way from winning both previous bouts with Pacquiao and it had everything to do with the speed difference. Atlas is clearly a knowledgeable trainer but he will not be able to give Bradley significantly quicker hands or reflexes, this is what is required to beat the Filipino.
Bradley may have stopped the ghost of Brandon Rios, but I don’t think that significant power has suddenly emerged. He is a volume puncher and in my opinion he is simply outmatched here.
Manny Pacquaio by decision or technical decision – 10/11 @ Bet365 bet now
No value in the rest
There are some other interesting bouts this weekend but I don’t see any real value out there. I like Arthur Abraham but even if he deserves a victory after 12 rounds, I expect the decision to go to Ramirez.
I’m inclined to take Rose in his bout with Macklin but both are far too inconsistent for me to give a firm prediction. Selby, Groves and McDonnell will all win but the odds are horrific. So aside from an each-way bet on Rory to win the Masters (Paddy Power are paying 5 places) I will stick to the two bets I mentioned earlier.
A brief note on my betting strategy: My approach would normally be to make X picks and then make X separate bets, only risking a maximum of 3% of my betting fund on each. The logic being, that I will get far more right than wrong over the course of a year and I’ll never risk enough to significantly wipe out hard fought gains.
With proper research and sensible risk management it’s achievable to beat the bookies and earn far more than you would get from an ISA or similar safe investment. It’s important to note that discipline is absolutely paramount and I would not recommend bundling these tips into an accumulator – that is exactly what the bookies want you to do!