We’re travelling the untrodden path of Belfast to Phoenix via London in search of value this weekend, as Jaime Munguia (1/4) and Lewis Crocker (1/12) attempt to make statements as big betting favourites.
John Ryder is a tough, tough bastard. We know that. He has also enjoyed an Indian Summer as a 168-pounder despite six blemishes on his record – one of which was heavily contested against one of the top rated in the division, Callum Smith.
He sits as a 3/1 dog against Jaime Munguia this weekend and as a 13/2 shot to get a Decision victory over the Mexican.
Now, this isn’t a prediction piece, so underlining Ryder’s value as an underdog is by no means a look into my broken crystal ball, but against a fighter who is so defensively flawed as Munguia – and untested at the top table of super-middleweights – Ryder is certainly worth a small stake in this fight.
Munguia is lots and lots of fun, but that doesn’t inspire predictability as a 1/4 FAV. Munguia is the guy you spend your early 20s hitting bar after bar on a Saturday night, which is great fun, just not one you invite round for cheese and wine in your mid 30s.
But still, he is the favourite for a reason, and with youth, power and explosive offense on his side, it’s still more than likely that he’ll get the job done against a durable Ryder. Munguia is Evens to get a decision on the scorecards and that has to be the pick of the weekend, despite having to watch 36 minutes through your fingertips if you back big.
Crock-er of gold
Lewis Crocker is a huge 1/12 favourite in-front of a presumably raucous Belfast crowd this Saturday night, with 7/1 placed on the head of Jose Felix to make it back-to-back upsets in Ireland.
Jose Felix stunned Gary Cully in May as a massive dog in Dublin, but is unlikely to get the same success against a shorter, orthodox fighter in Crocker. Big, swinging overhand rights were his tonic that evening, but he’s going to have to be more compact and aggressive in the pocket if he is to squeeze anything out of Crocker up at welterweight.
Felix is a 47-fight veteran and coming up in weight at 31 years of age; his previous heaviest has been 141 pounds back in 2020 and looks to be at that stage in his career where he will bend for the paychecks.
“He comes to fight” is the lazy narrative attached to a travelling Mexican like Felix, but at 8/15 this has a Crocker stoppage written all over it as Felix walks on to some heavy shots.
If you fancy this one going early, then Rounds 3-4 for a Crocker stoppage at 5/1 looks very healthy for a smaller stake. It’s also always fun to back a prop bet of punches thrown – especially if we are to buy into the Mexican stereotype – with Felix priced at 7/4 to throw 300+ punches in the contest (although we will need more than 3-4 rounds here).
The weekend’s undercards are pretty stacked full of bad match-ups.
Gabriela Fundora (1/25) and Oscar Collazo (1/50) are unbackable at monster prices, and Paddy Donovan at 1/33 isn’t much better in Belfast, but Cheavon Clarke vs Tommy McCarthy is probably worth a small look.
Despite both being 33, Clarke and McCarthy’s careers are going in different directions. McCarthy has lost three of his last five, been stopped three times and looks a couple of defeats away from hanging up the gloves.
At 7-0, Clarke could yet make some moves in the cruiserweight division, has a nice style and hits hard. At 8/15 to record a stoppage win over McCarthy in this ten-rounder, it’s the best value you are going to squeeze out, unless you fancy a spin of round roulette.
If you’re only here for the fiddy-fiddy match-ups, then Quaise Khademi vs Jackson Chauke inside London’s York Hall offers you the chance of a coin toss for the IBO world flyweight title. Khademi is the 4/5 slight favourite, with Chauke placed as an Evens underdog.
The bookies fancy this one to go all the way with 2/7 placed on the fight going the distance, with Khademi’s youth and home support probably the pick as a 13/10 winner on the cards.