Fight fans have an action packed Saturday evening to savour with Sky Sports coverage coming from the Hull Arena before we cross the Atlantic to take in Gennady Golovkin’s latest mission at New York’s Madison Square Gardens.
Starting with an intriguing domestic card in Hull where all eyes will be on Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell’s third outing as a professional fighter. The 26-year-old southpaw targets victory over Lee Connelly which would stretch his early record to 3-0. As fans of the sport we look forward to seeing how the talented Yorkshire lad progresses, but as punters there’s little to take from these first steps.
Instead, we turn our attentions to another clash on the card that promises much in the way of excitement and betting value. Rock hard Scotsman John Simpson (25-9) takes on Hull native Tommy Coyle (16-2) for the vacant IBF International title. You may remember Coyle’s thrill-a-minute July tussle with Derry Mathews when the 24-year-old orthodox boxer was stopped in 10 rounds for the vacant Commonwealth crown when seemingly on his way to victory. Mathews pulled out a fight-saving punch that evening to pull victory from the jaws of defeat but bookmakers saw enough of 'Boom Boom' to merit favouritism here, with no more than bet365’s 2/5 available.
It seems like opponent John Simpson has been around the game forever. Having lost to Dazzo Williams for the British featherweight title amid controversial circumstances way back in 2004, the 30-year-old from Greenock has gone from strength to strength, winning British, Commonwealth, Celtic and WBC International honours at featherweight and super-featherweight. He enters this latest clash on the back of a three fight winning run and was in impressive form when out-pointing Mongolian warrior Choi Tseveenpurev in Glasgow last time out.
If you love boxing, you’ve got to love what John Simpson does. He’s an honest pro who doesn’t concern himself with Twitter feuds or trash talk. He works hard, turns up on the night and gives his all for the fans.
I spent a few days training alongside John in the run up to this fight at his gym in Greenock and I can tell you honestly that he’s in spectacular shape, and his knowledge of the game is improving all the time. He makes another step up in weight here to lightweight, but has contested 164 rounds more than his opponent, most of which has come at championship level, and I’m backing him to use that experience to pull off a shock at 9/4 (888Sport).
Moving to America, middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin (27-0) makes his return to the ring following the 3rd round destruction of Matthew Macklin in June. WBA and IBO titles are again on the line but the betting suggests it’s a matter of how 'GGG' wins, rather than if, with Sportingbet best at 1/8 while opponent Curtis Stevens (25-3) trades at 7/1 (bet365).
The German-based Golovkin has halted each of his last two opponents in the 3rd round and a hat-trick is 6/1 (William Hill). All of his last 14 victims have failed to last the distance, a run stretching back to 2008, and a KO/TKO win is 1/4 at Paddy Power, which may appeal to the big hitters of the gambling world. Golovkin in the first half-dozen rounds is 4/7 (Skybet).
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