We’ve got a south London ding-dong and something resembling a Matchroom bachelors party in Las Vegas this weekend, as Buatsi and Azeez turn friends to fren-emies and Conor Benn lines up the midday shots against Peter Dobson.
Azeez a healthy 3/1 dog
Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez square off in north London on Saturday night in what could easily be argued as each of their toughest tests to date as a pro.
A win for either would catapult them into the second tier of light-heavyweights below your Beterbievs and Bivols, with world title opportunities surely opening up post-undisputed fragmentation.
Buatsi is a big 1/4 favourite here and the bookies are clearly siding with the pedigree of Buatsi – an Olympic bronze medalist and one of the few jewels in the Boxxer crown.
3/1 for the upset Azeez win is a cracking price outright, and can be stretched to a monster 6/1 by Decision/Technical Decision. Azeez continues to impress and improve fight after fight, and channelling his inner Marvin Hagler there is a chance he may be able to swarm and outwork Buatsi if he isn’t at 100%.
Buatsi is the more technical fighter but Azeez will be willing to meet him centre ring as push the pace for as long as this fight lasts. But if Buatsi is at his clinical best, then his powerful, spiteful shot selections could well wear Azeez down. Buatsi has 13 KOs in his 17 wins and is priced at 7/4 to record another inside Wembley Arena.
The bookies believe this one is Going the Distance at 4/7.
Benn needs to make a statement
You would have got good money in boxing bingo on predicting Conor Benn to be headlining in Vegas on a Saturday afternoon in 2024 – especially inside a boxing ring.
But we are where we are in the Big Reset of Benn’s career and he’s entering the ring for the 23rd time in his career as a 1/14 favourite.
This tiny price is a reflection of the obscurity of his fight against Peter Dobson, an unbeaten American that has recently been competing in the Team Combat League, racking up an extremely modest record of 3-7 in the process.
Dobson is a huge 17/2 underdog, and the signs are pointing to a statement KO for Benn so that Matchroom and DAZN and continue to push his name forward for big fights in the welterweight division.
Benn is an aggressive fighter who more often than not slips into heart mode over head. An early stoppage for the Briton inside three rounds comes in at 4/1 and is probably the best punt to squeeze some value out of this underwhelming contest.
And if you fancy Benn to score a flash knockdown straight out of the blocks, then 9/1 is your price for the Briton to floor Dobson in the opening three minutes.
Azim 9/2 on the cards
I am not going to lie and claim to have studied Adam Azim’s latest opponent, Enock Poulsen’s, career fighting in Denmark, but considering two of the Briton’s last three fights have gone to a decision, a 9/2 punt on a repeat here isn’t the worst look.
It’s Poulsen’s third 12-rounder and only Azim’s second, and considering his Danish opponent is unbeaten and has forced his way into a shot for the EBU title, then it could be shortsighted of the bookies to assume Azim is just going to blast away the 31-year-old.
Azim is a hot, hot prospect, but he’s still got lessons to learn and stripes to earn. 1/4 for Azim to register a KO win is far too short to back.