Boxing Preview: Big Card Slated for London on Saturday (May 30)

lee selby_getBritish promoter Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing are coming off a successful May 23rd showing in Boston where James DeGale took home the vacant IBF World Super Middleweight title with a UD win over Andre Dirrell. Not one to take a break, Hearn returns to the UK and London’s O2 Arena this Saturday that features three world title fights. Of the nine fights planned for the event, seven have lines posted. No over/under odds have been put up yet, and former World Champion Nathan Cleverly is still awaiting an announced opponent, so it may warrant checking back for additional numbers. At Featherweight Lee Selby (20-1) faces Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1) for the IBF World Featherweight title. Gradovich has held the title since March of 2013 and through three successful defenses, but he is entering this fight as a (+265) underdog, with the payout for Selby coming in at (-325). Gradovich has an extensive amateur career and he won the IBF belt as a late replacement more than two years ago, defeating Billy Dib via split decision. Eight months later, he fought Dib again and knocked him out in the 9th round to affirm his hold on the title. Selby’s lone loss came in his 5th fight, so he has won sixteen in a row. Selby has followed the usual British progression to earn this world title shot, having held, British, Commonwealth, European and a WBC International belt. The main event of the evening sees IBF World Welterweight Kell Brook come in a huge (-1500) favorite over fellow countryman Frankie Gavin, who is returning at (+1000). Brook is (34-0) and he has been positioning himself to get into the big money and big fights, targeting the likes of Amir Khan, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Gavin is (22-1), having won three in a row since his August of 2014 loss to Leonard Bundu for the European title by split decision. The WBC World Lightweight title held by Venezuela’s Jorge Linares (38-3) will be on the line as he faces veteran Kevin Mitchell (39-2). The fight is the closest of the card at the books, as both men are paying back at (-110). Both men carry similar records, and both men went (0-2) in their first attempts at getting a world championship. For Mitchell, this will be his third try, while Linares won the WBC belt in his third attempt when he beat Javier Prieto by KO in round 4 of their December of 2014 match held in Tokyo. Rising Heavyweight star Anthony Joshua is a massive (-7000) favorite over rugged American Kevin Johnson, who is paying back at (+3000). The massive line shows that Joshua is not expected to lose, but it will be interesting to see how long the fight goes, as Joshua (12-0) has never been beyond the 3rd round, while Thompson has taken the likes of Tyson Fury and Vitali Klitschko the distance and has never been down in his career. Lightweight – 12 rounds Craig Evans +290 Scott Cardle -350 Note: match is for the vacant BBBofC Lightweight title. Super Lightweight – 12 rounds John Wayne Hibbert -150 Dave Ryan +130 Note: Veteran Dave Ryan (16-8) puts his recently (Oct of 2014) acquired Commonwealth Super Lightweight title on the line against John Wayne Hibbert (15-2). Hibbert’s last loss was at the hands of Ryan, so the bout is a re-match. Since that March of 2013 defeat, Hibbert has won five fights in a row. Middleweight – 12 rounds Nick Blackwell +155 John Ryder -185 Note: match is for the vacant BBBofC Middleweight title recently vacated by Billie Joe Saunders.

Written by Miguel

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