STAR PREVIEW Sat: Weekend Boxing

WBO welterweight king Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford returns this weekend as he takes on former world champion Shawn Porter at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Crawford has a perfect 37-0 (28KO) record and is considered by many to be the best welterweight on the planet and with nine stoppages in his last ten fights, it’s easy to see why.

The Nebraska native is a three-weight world champion and has been at the top of a sport for a long time but he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at 34. In fact, he could be in the form of his life as he enters this bout and if he can produce another knockout against someone like Shawn Porter, it would be a real statement to the rest of the division and the sport.

Porter, also known as Showtime, is one of the most fan friendly fighters in the world. Not only is he incredibly talented, but the former standout amateur also has a marauding style that makes him a tough puzzle to crack. He held a world title back in 2013 but he is a better fighter now than he was then and he poses a genuine threat to Crawford and his undefeated record.

It’s hard to see this being anything other than a fantastic fight here. Outside of the other champions, Porter is the best welterweight about so Crawford will enter this knowing he must be at his best. It has been too easy for ‘Bud’ in recent years but expect him to pay his challenger huge respect, especially early in the fight.

As the record suggests, Crawford can end fights but it is his accuracy rather than his brute power that usually catches out his opponents. Porter is very sound defensively and knows how to keep himself out of danger but even when he does get hit clean, like he did against Errol Spence, he has the durability and toughness to ride out the storm.

Porter enters this one as a live underdog but it’s very difficult to back against Terence Crawford in current form. He is considered the best welterweight on the planet for a reason and he will want to prove that this weekend. The champion will be looking for the stoppage, especially in the second half of the fight, but he is facing a man who always brings his best and although Crawford should win here, he might have to settle for the victory by decision.

The action in the USA is incredible but we also have some very entertaining fights lined up here in the UK. On Sky Sports, light heavyweight contenders Hosea Burton and Dan Azeez will clash for the British light heavyweight title in a genuine 50/50 fight.

Burton was long considered a fighter who could one day compete at a world level and although he has never reached those heights, he still poses a serious threat to Dan Azeez who is untested against this calibre of opponent.

A quick glance at the odds will tell you how close this one is with Azeez the slight favourite at (8/11) and Burton at (11/10). This really hangs in the balance but neither man can truly afford to lose if they have hopes of progressing towards European honours.

Azeez certainly has the momentum but he is entering unknown territory against someone with the class of Hosea Burton. The question marks surround the favourite this weekend but this is the opportunity he has been crying out for and he will want to take it with both hands.

Also on the card, cruiserweight prospect Richard Riakporhe continues his comeback against Olanrewaju Durodola. Durodola has a deceptive record of 36-8 but the Nigerian has only been beaten by the very best cruiserweights in the world including two of the current champions.

This is very smart matchmaking and will give a chance for Riakporhe to make a statement to the rest of his cruiserweight rivals. The Londoner dusted off the cobwebs a few weeks back with a points decision and will be looking for one of his trademark statement knockouts here this weekend. It should come but Riakporhe may have to wait until the second half of the fight to close the show.


RECOMMENDED BETS

BACK Terence Crawford to win on points 2pts @ 5/6 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Dan Azeez to win on points 1pt @ 13/8 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK At Least 6 rounds completed in Riakporhe vs Durodola 1pt @ 11/10 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (NOVEMBER 2021): LOSS -1.36 points
(Excluding ante-post recommendations CLICK HERE)


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