Saturday, 25 June 2022
Boxing Picks 2022- Jesse Rodriguez vs Wisaksil Wangek (June 25th)
There really isn't anything more you can say about THAT Artur Beterbiev performance that hasn't already been said over the last week.
I think many would have predicted that Beterbiev's power will eventually prevail against Joe Smith Jr, but the latter is teak-tough so to see him obliterated in two Rounds is stunning to say the least. You have to believe that Artur Beterbiev will be moving up the pound for pound list, while he reminded everyone that he is still the man to beat in the Light Heavyweight Division even after Dmitry Bivol's strong win against Canelo Alvarez.
Unlike Bivol, Artur Beterbiev crushed a legitimate Light Heavyweight Champion and I would still favour him over Dmitry Bivol, although any Undisputed Title clash looks to have to wait until 2023 at the very least.
Both Russian fighters will likely be heading to the United Kingdom before the end of the calendar year to clear away some mandatories and Dmitry Bivol may still be in line for a rematch with Canelo, a much more lucrative fight than risking it all against Artur Beterbiev. We will see how it all shakes up with those fighters over the course of the next twelve months, but I will say that all British fans should be looking to see the two Light Heavyweight Champions if they do end up on these shores.
This weekend we have an absolutely stacked card coming out of Texas where three World Titles are on the line (would have been four, but for an injury to Julio Cesar Martinez) and the top of the bill looks like a really good fight.
We also have a card in the United Kingdom earlier in the night which is headed up by Sam Eggington and Adam Azim as Sky Sports and Boxxer continue to build the profile of their new look stable.
Jesse Rodriguez vs Wisaksil Wangek
A few months ago, Wisaksil Wangnek had to withdraw from the latest fight between four in the Super Flyweight Division who have given the fans plenty of entertainment over the years.
That opened the door for Jesse Rodriguez to not only move up in weight, but on short notice and the 22 year old became the youngest active World Champion when beating Carlos Cuadras on the cards.
He knocked him down on his way to that victory and it has meant Jesse Rodriguez has decided to stay at this weight and defend the World Title he won in February. Some may have opted to take an easier test, but Jesse Rodriguez has underlined his character by giving Sor Rungvisai his shot that was missed a few months back.
A former World Champion, Wisaksil Wangek has the big wins over Roman Gonzalez that brought him to prominence and also holds a victory over Juan Francisco Estrada. He did lose the rematch with the Mexican having made a strange decision to box from the orthodox stance, but it was a close fight and three relatively easy wins have been earned at a lower level since then.
He is 35 years old now and you do have to wonder how much is left in the tank, but this does feel a big step up for Jesse Rodriguez.
The win over Carlos Cuadras is a respectable one, but there were other factors to consider- for starters he had not been in the ring for sixteen months since being stopped for the first time in his career by Juan Francisco Estrada. He had also been beaten in half of his previous six fights and I think Sor Rungvisai would have done a pretty strong number on him if they had faced off as scheduled.
In saying that, it is a win that will have given Jesse Rodriguez confidence and another win here will set him up for some more huge fights in the months ahead. He may see the Estrada win over Wangek as the blueprint to follow, but I would be surprised if the veteran gets his tactics as badly wrong as he did that day and instead I think he will go back to the tried and tested methods which saw him win a World Title against a future Hall of Famer and defending it very well too.
Bam Bam is going to be a force for years to come in and around this Division, but I still think Sor Rungvisai has something to say in the Super Flyweight ranks. His experience could be key and his physicality will be something that Rodriguez has not faced before and I just feel the former World Champion is being dismissed a bit too easily for my liking, at least by the oddsmakers.
We should see Jessica McCaskill retain her World Titles, but there isn't much in the prices that makes anything appealing. The likelihood is she will win a Unanimous Decision on the cards, but the layers have priced that up very short and instead my focus is on the World Titles being defended in the Super Bantamweight Division.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev is defending his World Titles against Ronny Rios, who has only been beaten by the best, and MJ is looking for a win that may set up an Undisputed bout at this level against Stephen Fulton.
We have seen him called out by Fulton following the American's win over Daniel Roman, but Murodjon Akhmadaliev has to focus on himself and make sure he remains a World Champion.
MJ took the World Title from the aforementioned Daniel Roman, and I do think he will have too much power for Ronny Rios.
The latter has won four in a row since being stopped by Azat Hovhannisyan and it is perhaps the win over unbeaten Diego De La Hoya which has pushed him back into this position. However, Ronny Rios has been beaten when stepping up to this kind of level and has twice been stopped, while the 32 year old may not have the resistance he once did.
I don't want to dismiss Ronny Rios easily, but I do think Akhmadaliev will be able to produce a statement win to put himself in a position to call out Stephen Fulton behind a win someway around the middle of this fight.
We have a number of younger fighters on the card in Coventry on Saturday night and many of the fights are expected to be one-sided, showcase short of deals.
Adam Azim has a big reputation and is expected to win another bout in impressive style as he continues his climb in the professional ranks, but the layers are expecting a very early night too.
His opponent looked like he couldn't wait to get this fight over and done with and I think you can back Azim to win very early and start to fulfil Shane McGuigan's hopes of seeing his talented fighter put a streak of KOs together.
Further Picks from this card will come from Dylan Cheema and Sam Eggington headlined bouts.
After winning the Boxxer Tournament and signing up with the promotion and Sky Sports, Dylan Cheema is ready to really get his career going. He is going to be well backed by the promotion, but also the Sikh and Punjabi community and there is an excitement about what and where Cheema can go.
He is fighting Stu Greener who has lost eight of his twelve pro bouts, although 'Little Canelo' is coming in off a victory. Three of the eight defeats have been in stoppages in the first two Rounds and that includes losses to unbeaten Mark Chamberlain and Adam Azim.
We don't really know the kind of power that Dylan Cheema possesses with a single stoppage in five wins, but he is spiteful enough and I think Greener has been picked as someone he can physically impose himself on.
With a build towards a huge domestic fight with Azim likely being set up, I think it is worth a small interest in backing Dylan Cheema to win this one in the Second Round to match The Assassin's win over Greener.
I also like Sam Eggington's chances of beating an unbeaten opponent who has never fought outside Poland and who will not be used to the kind of output and stamina that Eggington will put on him from Round One.
Przemyslaw Zsyk has only been Ten Rounds once before and this fight has been scheduled for Twelve Rounds- I am not sure he will be ready to deal with the pressure that Eggington can put on opponents and I think the 28 year old can win this one inside the distance.
His up and down career makes it hard to fully know how much Sam Eggington will have left if he does get up to the World level, but I think he is going to be given every chance to do that. I expect his all-action pressure to break down Zsyk and a Stoppage can be earned.
MY PICKS: Wisaksil Wangek to Win @ 5.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Murodjon Akhmadaliev to Win Between 5-8 @ 3.75 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Adam Azim to Win in the First Round @ 2.37 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Dylan Cheema to Win in the Second Round @ 5.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Sam Eggington to Win by KO/TKO/Disqualification @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Boxing 2022 Update: 25-38, + 19.86 Units (114 Units Staked, + 17.42% Yield)