Last week, this columnist had a couple of near misses: two picks won but they weren’t paired and the bell saved Jordan Thompson, stopping the 11/1 win. These things happen; we go again.
There’s not a lot of terrible action going on today, but I believe there are a couple of price points that stand out.
With only seven matches being priced, it is difficult to determine the long odds. Honestly, I’ve come close to assisting Kevin Johnson to remove the discomfort in Germany. Thankfully, I’ve come up with something more sensible.
Teofimo Lopez returns to the ring for the first time since his shock defeat to George Kambosos, last November. The loss sent shares of the former undisputed lightweight champion falling. However, there were extenuating circumstances that helped explain the lackluster performance: Lopez was extremely tight at the 135lbs division limit and multiple postponements of the Kambosos clash would not have helped his preparations.
I still believe Lopez is one of the best young boxers in the world. The move to the 140lbs weight class will suit him. However, his mentality will be the key to any future success. After beating Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2020, it seems the 2016 Olympic athlete believes he has become a superstar. At his best, Lopez is a clever fighter who sets traps, however, against the Kambosos, he has sought a knockout with every shot. If Lopez has prepared for this match like he did earlier in his career, it will be a tough night for his opponent.
The man in the opposite corner will be Pedro Campa, a once defeated Mexican. From the footage available, I suspect that Campa was designed specifically for Lopez. ‘Roca’ is aggressive, shoots from long range and has no hands particularly fast. That could be the recipe for disaster against Lopez, who owns the stellar timing.
Some might be concerned that Lopez will show signs of rust, but I think the Brooklyn-born boxer knows he needs to make a statement. Therefore, I think it is advisable to favor a match that ends under 2.5 innings at 9/2.
Lopez scored two-thirds of his 12 stoppage-time wins in the first two frames. Yes, those stats are somewhat artificially inflated by the low-level opposition he faced when he first turned pro, but he also soon stopped competent fighters like Richard Commey and Mason Menard.
Hopefully ‘The Takeover’ will continue with another explosive performance.
As mentioned above, I expect Teofimo Lopez to knock Pedro Campa out in no time, but I accept that under 2.5 innings is probably too risky to be included in the matches. However, I believe it is doable to delay the game to finish less than 4.5 innings at 11/8.
On the same bill, Xander Zayas takes on Elias Espadas, over eight rounds. Teen prodigy, Zayas, has looked impressive in his 13 games so far and I doubt he will do so again here. Espadas represent another slight step forward. The Mexicans demonstrated lightning ability in their fight with D’Mitrius Ballard, before the fight was halted due to a cut. Zayas hit fast, accurate shots and I could see him stopping his opponent in the second half of the game. Zayas won in round 4-8 costing 12/5.
This week’s double is available on January 7th.
Further down, Troy Isley faced Victor Toney. I have been impressed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic athlete in his six matches so far. ‘Transformer’ changed his attack well, combining punches to the head and body. Toney suffered just one loss, a match against Sebastien Fundora, in 2017. ‘The Towering Inferno’ failed to stop Toney and it looks like Top Rated is giving Isley a chance to make a statement by stopping one. the man went the distance with Fundora . I believe Isley has the ability to take out Toney and I’m backing Isley to win between rounds 4-6 by 5/2.
If you like all three options, the treble speakers are priced above 27/1.