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Saturday, 21 April 2018

Boxing Picks 2018- Carl Frampton vs Nonito Donaire (April 21st)

Saturday night is going to be a big evening of Boxing with a couple of big names in action in the United Kingdom before the shift to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where Adrien Broner and Jesse Vargas headline an interesting card.

The next few weeks have some huge fights set to go which are going to be very interesting both at domestic and world level and it remains a great time to be a Boxing fan even if the GGG vs Canelo 2 fight has been postponed and the much anticipated Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder fight has yet to be announced.

Zolani Tete vs Omar Andres Narvaez
Many consider Zolani Tete the best Bantamweight in the world, although the likes of Ryan Burnett would have something to say about that.

There are rumours that the next World Boxing Super Series tournament will feature the Bantamweights as one of the two Divisions with some top names in this Division.

Tete will want to be involved and he is a big favourite to defend his WBO World Title when he defends against Omar Andres Narvaez in Belfast on the Carl Frampton-Nonito Donaire undercard.

The 42 year old Narvaez has mixed with some good company in his career, but this looks a very difficult fight for him. He gives up seven inches in height and eight inches in reach and I simply don't think he is going to have enough to disrupt Tete who has shown he has considerable power.

Comparisons will be made to Naoya Inoue who blew past Narvaez in two Rounds, while fans will be expectant after seeing Tete win his last fight in 11 seconds with the first punch landed of the fight. I do think Tete will be coming out to make a statement to the rest of the Division and he should be able to control matters very quickly and unleash some powerful shots.

I am not sure Narvaez will be ready to stand up to the early assault and I can see Tete getting this done early so having a small interest in this ending in the first four Rounds looks the call.

Carl Frampton vs Nonito Donaire
The biggest fight taking place in the United Kingdom comes from Belfast where Carl Frampton headlines against Nonito Donaire.

You have to think Frampton has taken this fight because his team believe Donaire is no longer the fighter he once was and there is plenty of confidence in the home camp that their man is not only going to win, but win very impressively.

Donaire has come for anything but a payday as he looks to remain relevant at world level, but I do wonder if Father Time has gotten the better of him. The Filipino has simply not looked up to the level he once showed and he is fighting at an almost unfamiliar weight to take this opportunity.

I do have to say that I am also not sure where I stand about Carl Frampton.

Sometimes I see a world beater, but other times I see a fighter who looks a little underwhelming although the reports all indicate Frampton should be close to his best in this one.

I lean that way too and I can see Frampton producing a huge fight which takes this away from Donaire.

The smartest choice is that Frampton wins on a Decision, but I think he may be able to push past Donaire in the second half of this fight. The talk is that Frampton is fitter than he has been before and that may see him use his stamina to outwork Donaire and perhaps force a stoppage in the second half of the fight.

Amir Khan vs Phil Lo Greco
You may hear different, but Amir Khan has not picked a live opponent for his comeback fight after almost two years away from the Boxing ring.

And I don't blame him to be perfectly honest.

This is the chance to get a few Rounds under the belt and get rid of the rust which would have accumulated in the last two years, while Khan is not going to risk some big paydays which are in front of him if he can get back to winning ways.

Phil Lo Greco hasn't exactly been a really active fighter himself with just two fights since Khan was destroyed by Canelo Alvarez in May 2016 (and one of those was in June 2016). He has been in with the likes of Errol Spence Jr (TKO Third Round), Shawn Porter (Unanimous Decision) and so it is possible that Lo Greco on a full camp can force Khan to put some Rounds in the bank.

That won't be a big issue for Khan, and I expect his speed to be a real problem for Lo Greco who will be likely looking for the one big counter to open the door to some big opportunities of his own.

Ultimately I expect Khan's speed and combinations to be too much for Lo Greco to deal with, although I do think the Canadian will be durable enough to perhaps hear the final bell.

My only fear for Lo Greco would be a premature stoppage from the referee under a barrage of speedy Khan shots, but the latter has not won a fight inside the distance since 2012 even if the majority of those fights have been against better opponents than Lo Greco. However I do think the Canadian will have made use of a full camp to be able to last as long as he is not overwhelmed early and a small interest on Khan winning a comfortable Decision is the call from this one.

Gervonta Davis vs Jesus Cuellar
This is the first time Gervonta Davis has made weight at the first attempt in three fights and that might indicate a new level of professionalism for a fighter who is lined up for a crack at the awesome Vasyl Lomachenko.

Both have to get through a couple of fights in the next three weeks to set that up and Davis will be looking to make a real statement when he faces Jesus Cuellar at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

His opponent Jesus Cuellar has to be respected having taken Abner Mares to a Split Decision in his last fight, but that was eighteen months ago and Cuellar is also being asked to move up in weight for this challenge.

That is going to be the difference between the two fighters and I think Davis will be too strong and be able to bully Cuellar with the prizes that are on offer for him with a strong win. Davis has proven to be very powerful early on and I think he will get on top of Cuellar and be able to hurt his opponent.

Not many men have been able to put a few Rounds in the Davis bank and I am not sure Cuellar will be able to do that here.

Davis winning in the first half of the fight and set himself up for a shot at Lomachenko is my expected outcome of this one.

Jermall Charlo vs Hugo Centeno
The move up to Middleweight has been a good one for Jermall Charlo and I don't think there is much chance he is going to lose his spot as a mandatory challenge to Gennady Golovkin.

Charlo would have loved to have filled in for Canelo Alvarez, but this fight has been long scheduled and the American may be happy to just keep himself ticking along before moving into a position to fight the winner of the expected GGG-Canelo fight that will take place in September.

He should have too much for the game Hugo Centeno, but I worry that the latter was stopped at the Junior Middleweight level. The only times Centeno has stepped up to this kind of level has seen Centeno struggle and I think that may be the case again with Charlo most likely forcing a stoppage with the heavy hitting he has been producing.

Only Austin Trout has seen the Sixth Round in the last five Charlo fights, but Centeno may be able to last a little longer than most. He has shown some durability in his previous fights, but I do think Charlo will eventually have too much power and intensity for him and can earn the stoppage in the mid-Rounds.

Backing the favourite to win anywhere between the Fifth and Eighth Round is the pick.

Adrien Broner vs Jesse Vargas
I don't know what to say about Adrien Broner.

He talks as if he is one of the greatest pound for pound fighters of all time, but has underwhelmed massively in the last few years.

There is no denying the talent and it can seduce you into thinking something big is going to come from Broner, but he flatters to deceive and I think Jesse Vargas is going to become the latest to get the better of him.

Vargas is bigger and his two losses have come against future Hall of Famers but I think his discipline and hard work is going to provide the difference on the day.

Broner hasn't had a top performance in some time and I am not going to buy into the 'best ever feeling' you will hear every Boxer say before every fight they take part in. Broner fooled me with that line against Mikey Garcia.

This time I can't see a pot shotting Broner do enough to win this fight and I think Vargas will outwork him and win a decision by around three or four Rounds. Backing the narrow favourite looks the right play here as Broner's time at the top is perhaps over or very close to the end with another loss.

MY PICKS: Zolani Tete Win Between 1-4 @ 4.33 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Carl Frampton Win Between 7-12 @ 6.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Amir Khan to Win by Decision/Technical Decision @ 3.75 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
Gervonta Davis Win Between 1-6 @ 2.75 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Jermall Charlo Win Between 5-8 @ 2.80 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Jesse Vargas @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)

Boxing Update 2018: 12-15, + 17.38 Units (41 Units Staked, + 42.39% Yield)

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