Unfortunately, the main Wimbledon draw takes place too late for me to include any tennis bets in this weekend’s column, but starting on Friday evening and live on Sky Sports 1 from 19:30, we’ve got a few boxing bouts in England.
Plus, from 02:00 in the early hours of Sunday morning on Box Nation, we also have a welterweight contest between former world champion Timothy Bradley and the undefeated Jessie Vargas. Where possible, and as always take note of the stake sizes, I’ve picked out a few bets worth chancing.
Callum Smith: 16-0 (12 KO) v Christopher Rebrasse: 23-3-3 (6 KO)
Brother of the Paul Smith that was easily beaten by Andre Ward last weekend, Callum Smith is expected to become a better boxer than his brother and his fight with Rebrasse is seen as a step up in class as he moves towards fighting for major honours.
Rebrasse, on the other hand, is not a bad fighter and went the distance with George Groves last year. As such and considering that Rebrasse has never been stopped as a pro, a Smith points win looks like the most sensible betting pick.
Worth a small punt: Smith to win on points at 7/4
Rocky Fielding: 20-0 (11 KO) v Brian Vera: 23-9-0 (14 KO)
Cristian name Michael, ‘Rocky’ Fielding is rated as a top super-middleweight prospect in Britain, but while he may still become an elite level fighter, the Liverpudlian hasn’t yet fought anyone of note.
His opponent this weekend, Brian Vera, on the other hand has fought at a much higher level, beating current WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee and former WBA light-middleweight champion Sergio Mora (twice).
Now, It’s true that Vera lost the rematch to Lee, and the American has lost his last three bouts, but he was blatantly robbed in his first loss to Julio Chavez Jr – clearly losing the rematch – and Willie Monroe Jr is a better boxer than people think based on his showing against GGG, so Brian Vera is certainly a ‘live dog’ against Fielding and capable of causing an upset.
All in all, yes, Fielding is six years younger, three inches taller, more of a natural super-middleweight and has home advantage against Vera, so he will likely win, but I think he’s too short priced at 2/5 and am happy to chance a small wager on an upset.
Worth a small punt: Vera to win at 5/2
Timothy Bradley vs. Jessie Vargas
Bradley: 31-1-1 (12 KO) Pro Record
Nicknamed ‘Desert Storm,’ Timothy Bradley is from the sort of tough American neighbourhood that can force a young man into either being a bully or being bullied himself. Taking on the former approach, the now 31-year-old put his fighting skills to use by committing to boxing at a young age and was trained by his father.
Interestingly, Bradley spoke of performing 100 sit-ups in a row at the tender age of seven on a recent boxing TV show, and it’s been clear to see that the four-time, 2-weight world champion has led a disciplined professional lifestyle from a very young age.
All in all, he’s a popular, hard working fighter that’s overcome the odds to beat fighters like Manny Pacquaio in the past. Of course, Bradley did convincingly lose a rematch to ‘Pacman,’ and his win in their first bout was controversial, but the American is superb fighter who’s rightly ranked as one of the top pound-for-pound fighter’s currently in boxing.
However, on the comeback trail after suffering his first professional career defeat at the hands of Pacquiao, Bradley surpassingly drew with Argentinean Diego Chaves in his last bout. That said, I included, most ringside observers and boxing experts thought that ‘Desert Storm’ had done more than enough to win, landing 225 of the 572 punches he threw compared to Chaves’ 152 out of 570.
Vargas: 26-0 (9 KO) Pro Record
Trained by the legendary Mexican boxer Erik Morales, 26-year-old Jessie Vargas was tutored by Roger Mayweather as an amateur, compiling an impressive 120-20 record on his way to becoming a two-time Mexican national champion, a two-time US junior national champion and a member of the 2008 Mexican Olympic team.
Turning pro in 2008, Vargas won his debut with a first round KO but, despite a stoppage defeat of former world champion Vivian Harris later in his career, has proved to be a feather-fisted boxer with a total of nine stoppages from twenty-six wins.
A talented technical boxer with good footwork, the undefeated Vargas became WBA light-welterweight champion when defeating Khabib Allakhverdiev on points in April 2014, following up with successful title defences against Anton Novikov and ex-world champion Antonio DeMarco.
Bradley v Jessie Vargas Betting
Bradley is offered around 2/9, Vargas is available at 7/2 and you can bet on a draw at 22/1. In terms of method of victory, Bradley is priced around 11/2 to win by KO/TKO/DQ or 8/15 to win on points, while Vargas is 11/1 to win by KO/TKO/DQ or 9/2 to win on points.
The Bradley v Jessie Vargas Betting Verdict
Vargas is five inches taller than Bradley and has a three-inch reach advantage, but then he’s failed to live up to the hype that followed him a few years ago, is moving up in weight and, put simply, Bradley’s a better boxer. Also factor in that Bradley’s fought the best of the best, and beaten Pacquiao, and we should strongly favour ‘Desert Storm’ to end Vargas’ undefeated streak, despite the difference in height and reach.
Since Bradley has only won twelve of his thirty-one contests within the distance, we also have to strongly fancy him to win on points. The bad news, however, is that such an eventuality is only priced at 8/15, which is too short priced for a single bet recommendation.
You could add this bet to an accumulator if you like, or should you prefer to be chancier with a small stakes single, given the height difference between the two it could also be argued that Bradley will struggle to outbox Vargas from distance and may have to get in close, making a KO/TKO win, which is priced at 11/2, more likely.
Of course, I still expect Bradley to win on points, but one must have rules with regards to prices on single bets and the main idea of betting is to bet when the price is incorrect in your eyes. This time the 8/15 about a Bradley points win is priced correctly.
Of course, whether you do or don’t opt for a wager, have a great weekend and feel free to contact me on Twitter via @JCLaLiga if you have any questions or feedback.
Photo credits – Flickr (Creative Commons – Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))