Weekend Boxing: Billy Joe Saunders Has Chance To Get Back On Track6 min read
Josh Taylor v Ivan Baranchyk
A busy night of world championship boxing sees Josh Taylor take on IBF world super lightweight champion Ivan Baranchyk in Glasgow on Saturday.
The World Boxing Super Series semi-final pits two unbeaten fighters together but home favourite Taylor is the 1/6 favourite to win the bout and progress to face American Regis Prograis in the final.
Taylor will have the passionate fans behind him at the SSE Hydro as he bids to become the first world champion from Scotland since Ricky Burns.
The 28-year-old has been extremely impressive during his career to date, winning all 14 professional fights with 12 coming inside the distance.
The Tartan Tornado was taken 12 rounds as he won a unanimous decision against Viktor Postol last June as he defended the WBC Silver super lightweight title.
In his last fight in November, Taylor ended Ryan Martin’s unbeaten record as he stopped the American in the seventh round.
Baranchyk, who will have Freddie Roach in his corner, has won all 19 fights with 12 by knockout. But he does not have any significant names on his career record and the Belarus boxer is likely to come under intense pressure in Scotland.
Taylor is a very aggressive boxer and his hand speed should prove the difference. He has a prolific stoppage record and Taylor looks generously priced at 2/1 to win inside the distance.
Tip: Back Josh Taylor to win by KO, TKO or disqualification at
Naoya Inoue v Emmanuel Rodriguez
Another fight between two unbeaten boxers on the same card in Glasgow sees explosive knockout king Naoya Inoue face Emmanuel Rodriguez with the IBF and WBA world bantamweight titles on the line in their Super Series semi-final.
Japanese star Inoue is an exceptionally exciting boxer with his ferocious punching power a huge weapon.
‘Monster’ Inoue has stopped 15 of his 17 opponents and demonstrated his phenomenal power with a devastating first round knockout of Britain’s Jamie McDonnell in Tokyo one year ago to win the WBA bantamweight title.
He only needed 70 seconds to defeat Juan Carlos Payano in his last bout in October.
Rodriguez has won 12 of his 19 fights by stoppage. He defeated Paul Butler by unanimous decision at the O2 back in May to win the vacant IBF bantamweight title. The Puerto Rican’s last bout saw him claim a split decision victory over Jason Moloney in October.
Inoue is an overwhelming 1/12 favourite to win this showdown and his staggering speed and blistering attacks should prove too much for Rodriguez.
The Japanese boxer’s last six rounds have all ended inside six rounds and the best bet for this weekend’s fight could be to back under 7.5 rounds at 4/5.
Tip: Naoya Inoue v Emmanuel Rodriguez to go under 7.5 rounds at
Billy Joe Saunders v Shefat Isufi
Billy Joe Saunders has the chance to get his career back on track this weekend when he takes on Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO super middleweight title in Stevenage.
The unbeaten southpaw is a tremendous technical boxer but vacated the WBO middleweight title last year after testing positive for oxilofrine, a banned substance, which scuppered his scheduled fight against Demetrius Andrade.
Saunders has won all 27 professional bouts which include a split decision victory over Chris Eubank Jr in 2014 and a superb unanimous decision win in Canada against David Lemieux in 2017.
He returned to the ring last December in Manchester against 41-year-old Charles Adamu with his opponent retiring after four rounds.
Isufi has a record of 27 wins, three defeats and two draws. The German has only been stopped once in his career although he has been written off as a 16/1 outsider.
Saunders is virtually unbackable at 1/100 but odds of 1/4 on a stoppage win do not appeal. The British boxer has only stopped one of his last five opponents and is not renowned as a big puncher.
More than half his fights have gone the distance, 14 of his 27 bouts, so 11/4 on Saunders winning on points looks the value bet.
Tip: Back Billy Joe Saunders to win by decision or technical decision at
Also in the weekend:
Deontay Wilder v Dominic Breazeale : Wilder returns to the ring this weekend for the first time since his dramatic fight against Tyson Fury as the American defends his WBC world heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale in Brooklyn. The Bronze Bomber is the 1/6 favourite to win Saturday night’s bout at the Barclays Center and will be looking to put on a big performance to assert his authority in the division. … Read more here!