Talking Boxing

Interviews, opinions, features and news from the greatest sport in the world!

February 4, 2017

Fighting the odds: February 4

Chris Eubnk Jr, Renald Quinlan, Adam Etches, John Ryder, David Price, Christian Hammer, Kid Galahad, Joseph Agbeko

Chris Eubank Jr will do some posturing, go on a walk as well as fighting against Renald Quinlan, but there may still be value to be found in the betting markets.

by John A. MacDonald

Fear not, depraved gamblers 'Fighting The Odds' has not abandoned you. Last week was a mere blip, I will still be here to guide you to vast riches - or (more likely) be the scapegoat when you have to explain to the wife why you are remortgaging the house.

It is a shame I was occupied elsewhere last Saturday, otherwise I would have advised scraping together every penny you own, the title deed to your Granny's house (when betting with property, it always advisable to stake someone else's), your first born child, and stick it all on Miguel Berchelt to stop the ghost of Francisco Vargas. Unfortunately, I was too busy catching a whale shark - which broke my line and escaped at the last second. Oh, I also spent the evening with Margot Robbie, but accidentally dropped my phone under a marauding steamroller before I had a chance to upload the evidence onto a popular adult video sharing website. I guess you'll just have to take my word on all three.

In the real world, the SNP attempted to add a blocking amendment to the government's Article 50 bill. Now, some may see this an attempt to usher in a second Scottish independence referendum. However, I can exclusively reveal that this is not the case. I personally contacted the runner-up of the 1982 North Ayrshire Jimmy Crankie-look-a-like contest (wee Nicola, to those not well versed in the history of the Scottish celebrity impersonation circuit of the 1980s), to explain that without the free movement of people, promoters would not be able to bring in Horace The Hapless Hungarian, at three days notice to face their latest rising fighting star. Who will our former Olympians squash if these Eastern European warriors require work permits? This should have the crux of the Brexit vote. Why wasn't this laser-etched on to the side of bus?!

Anyway, onto tonight's boxing. Yes, it is on Pay-Per-View, but I'm not here to debate the validity of the model, let's see if I can help you win back your money if you have decided to pay for it, so at least there's food on the table.

Andrew Selby V Ardin Diale
WBC International flyweight title

Selby really has looked the part so far, even though he has been matched harder than most prospects at similar stages in their careers. Next up is former world title challenger Diale. Now, the term "former world title challenger" isn't necessarily indicative of quality, similar to how the term "Olympian" isn't a sure-fire mark of quality either - after all, Eric Moussambani compete in the 100m freestyle at the Sydney games. Now, Diale isn't the boxing equivalent of Eric 'The Eel', but he does usually get stopped when he mixes in good company and I feel he'll suffer that similar fate again tonight. Take Selby in rounds 1-6 at evens, with Sky Bet or Paddy Power.

Adam Etches v John Ryder
IBF International super middleweight title

This is the archetypal boxer versus puncher contest. In such match-ups I tend to favour the boxer, and this time is no different. We know Etches can bang, 17 knockouts in 20 victories, and working as nightclub doorman as a teenager will attest to that. The issue here, is we have no idea what he's capable of due to the level of opposition he's faced. The only time he stepped up, he got stopped by Sergey Khomitsky. I can't back anyone who has been more protected than the giant panda (although Etches backers can take comfort from the fact that last time I used that phrase, Gervonta Davis looked devastating.) The pick is Ryder on points at 11/8 - Christmas may be in February this year.

Kid Galahad v Jospeh Agbeko
12 Rounds, featherweight

Firstly, please insert whatever brother-related joke you believe is necessary. Feel better? Good, we can move on.  For years, lazy comparisons have been drawn between Galahad and 'Prince' Naseem Hamed, expect them to intensify now that the Kid has moved up to featherweight. In fact, if you have a drink every time someone mentions Naz in relation to Galahad, I suspect you will be in an alcohol-induced coma by the first bell of his contest with Agbeko. Of course, both being of Yemeni descent, and trained by the Ingles is enough for most to make the link. If that's all it takes, can I please implore people to link me with Gerard Butler, after all we are both Scottish. Anyway, whereas Naz was explosive - an occasionally reckless - Galahad is far more careful. I'm backing Galahad on points at 4/7.

David Price v Christian Hammer
WBO European heavyweight title

Had this fight taken place prior to David Price taking on Tony Thompson the first time, Price would have been a massive odds-on favourite. Of course, in light of what has happened since, Price is priced at 4/11. I believe that tonight we will see David Price back to being a "big, horrible heavyweight" - as his Twitter bio used to state. You may think I'm mad, that those days are behind him and that fighter is long gone, but I'm a believer. I never gave up hope that Kirstie Alley would reclaim her glorious figure from her "Cheers" days, even when she seemed determined to consume every cheesecake in America. Ok, she never quite got there, but she got closer than most thought she would, and I think David will too. Price in rounds 1-6 at 8/11, or if you are feeling adventurous 1-3 at 9/4. To borrow a catchphrase from a former foe "YES HE CAN!"

Renald Quinlan v Chris Eubank Jr
IBO super middleweight WORLD title

Calling the IBO a "real" world title is like claiming you lost your virginity to your right hand. It just doesn't count. Let's move on from the title, the platform and focus on the fight. Mr Eubank Jr will look to put on a show: power-punching, posturing, and long romantic walks around the ring. As such, back him to stop Quinlan in rounds 4-6 at 15/8.