Boxing

The Hookmaker: Land A Few Blows This Weekend With Balls.ie's Boxing Accumulator

The Hookmaker: Land A Few Blows This Weekend With Balls.ie's Boxing Accumulator

As anyone who backed David Haye in the first round and Deontay Wilder by KO two weekends ago will tell you, the world of boxing betting is a hidden gem - both in terms of added excitement and earning yourself a bit of cash-moola for the weekend.

Each week from now on, I'll be be coming at you with The Hookmaker - Balls.ie's 'boxing bet of the week', which will test the whiskers of bookies everywhere.

Ladbrokes offer the most flexible round betting for most big fights, so we're going to be rolling punches with them this weekend. We're talking a six-fight accumulator to turn a tenner into a hundred bob - give or take - with three smaller fights being absolute gimmes, and three main events to explore in greater detail for more potentially lucrative odds.

It's a cheeky punt from a cheeky...pup, but they say that in boxing, you always have a punter's chance. Let's start with this weekend's big fights:

Sergey Kovalev KO/TKO/DQ Jean Pascal: 1/4

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Simply put, Sergey Kovalev is a freak. This fight has already played out once how it will play out again at Montreal's Bell Centre on Saturday night/Sunday morning, with the light-heavyweight Beast From The East (28-0-1) predictably buckling a gallant Pascal (30-3-1) inside 8 rounds.

Of the undefeated Kovalev's 28 victories, 25 have arrived by stoppage, and that trend should continue in his rematch with Pascal - a gutsy Haitian former champion who will fight back in ernest, but lacks the boxing fundamentals and footwork to stay out of harm's way for long enough to survive this contest.

'The Krusher' has been burnt by Pascal's thrash-talking, and it's simply not in his nature to punch with anything other than spite. Lights out by round 10.

George Groves TKO/KO (rounds 1-6) Andrea Di Luisa: 4/6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gefUChHnOXU

On the back of a split-decision defeat to WBC super-middleweight champ Badou Jack, Groves has once more switched trainers, this time from Paddy Fitzpatrick to Shane McGuigan, who has already guided Carl Frampton to world honours. I'd back the 2013/2014 version of Groves in three rounds here, but since his consecutive defeats to Carl Froch he has looked somewhat nonplussed and sloppy, perhaps giving credence to Froch's claims that "he could be finished."

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Nonetheless, another shell-shocked Froch victim Lucian Bute finished Groves' Italian opponent Di Luisa in four rounds. The 18-3 former European champ has been stopped on three occasions, and his 'Philly Shell'-like defence is a lazy invitation for Groves to land his still-dangerous right hand to the chin. And Groves will, it's just a question of how many times he will need to in order to end tomorrow's fight. I'm playing it safe with 1-6 rounds, but with McGuigan in his corner, we could yet see a newly-focused Groves end this one far earlier.

John Ryder to beat Sergey Khomitsky by decision or technical decision: 13/8

The bogeyman of British middleweight boxing returns to London this weekend. 41-year-old Sergey Khomistsky (30-12-3) has registered sensational upset KO victories over then-undefeated Frank Buglioni and Adam Etches on British turf, and also fought to a draw with former John Ryder conqueror Nick Blackwell in 2014.

Ryder (21-2-0) has a serious fight on his hands here, particularly if his six-round decision victory over the 5-10-4 Adam Jones is anything to judge by. But the once-lauded middleweight prospect, despite recent career setbacks, certainly possesses the boxing fundamentals to edge Khomitsky in front of his home fans in London.

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With 12 KOs in 21 victories, Ryder might not carry the pop to follow in Robert Stieglitz's footsteps and put the veteran Belarussian away. But with his career on the line, the 27-year-old should learn from the mistakes of Buglioni, Etches and Blackwell en route to a hard-fought but fair decision victory.

Next up, the easier fights to pick...

Martin Joseph Ward to beat Mario Pisanti: 1/25

24-year-old former amateur standout 'Wardy' (14-0-2) takes on twice-beaten Italian southpaw Pisanti, 36, who has never fought outside his native land in 19 professional outings. Three fights ago Pisanti dropped a majority decision to domestic rival Carmine Tommasone, and he was once knocked out in a round by a then-winless opponent on the back of 16 consecutive losses.

Ward has responded well to two controversial draws, and the undefeated British no.3 will soundly outbox his overmatched opponent to a shutout decision or late stoppage at London's Copper Box Arena.

Ben Hall to beat Kris Agyei-Dua: 4/11

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'The Sensation' Hall (7-0-1) takes on former Prizefighter contender Agyei-Dua (8-3-2) at the same venue; an opponent on the back of a third round stoppage of then-undefeated Freddie Turner in a rematch last October.

On paper Agyei-Dua looks extremely dangerous here, hence the unbeaten Hall's relatively generous odds of 4/11 to win. But what the bookies may not have paid attention to is the circumstances surrounding Agyei-Dua's upset of Turner - which has driven Hall's odds up - where the 35-year-old dropped his foe in the third only for Turner to twist his knee, preventing him from continuing.

Hall should have the class to outpoint Agyei-Dua in London this weekend. This one is a bit of a bargain.

Leon McKenzie to beat Kelvin Young: 2/9

37-year-old McKenzie (7-0-1) is a late-comer to the professional scene, but the super-middleweight southpaw will have enough to see off the ironically more experienced Young, 28, all four of whose defeats have arrived by stoppage.

Form is key here; Young drew with 45-times-beaten Kieron Grey in his last outing in Swindon, his second tie in three fights after failing to overcome the 2-15-2 Joe Walsh last February. He was also stopped by 13-32-2 Lithuanian Kril Psonko in November 2011.

Forget accumulator-busters, this is an accumulator-booster.

The Hookmaker

  • Sergey Kovalev KO/TKO/DQ Jean Pascal: 1/4
  • George Groves TKO/KO (rounds 1-6) Andrea Di Luisa: 4/6
  • John Ryder to beat Sergey Khomitsky by decision or technical decision: 13/8
  • Martin Joseph Ward to beat Mario Pisanti: 1/25
  • Ben Hall to beat Kris Agyei-Dua: 4/11
  • Leon McKenzie to beat Kelvin Young: 2/9

€10 returns close to €100 over at Ladbrokes.

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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