Tomorrow fight fans tuning in to Fuji TV will get the chance to see IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] defend his title against Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (33-5, 11)* [สามารถเล็ก ปูนอินทรียิม] in what will be Yaegashi's second defense of the title he won a year ago, when he upset Javier Mendoza. The champion, who has been out of the ring since a narrow win over Martin Tecuapetla earlier this year, will be seeking to roll back the clock and set up a potentially thrilling bout with Melin Melindo in the new year whilst the challenger will be hoping to prove that he has improved from the fighter who almost survived 11 rounds with Naoya Inoue, a little more than 2 years ago.
Understandably Yaegashi, a 3-weight world champion and a genuine hero of the hardcore fight fan who has seen him go to the well so many times during his career, is the betting favourite. What is a bit of a surprise is that the bookies have him priced at 1/9 to win, almost forgetting his struggle with Tecuapetla back in the Spring and the injuries he has suffered from along with the general wear and tear on his body. Whilst we under-stand him being the favourite we do feel that he has been priced a little on the low side.
For those who are interested in the upset Samartlek has been priced at a relatively attractive 5/1, a nice return on the upset. Whilst it's fair to saw that Samartlek isn't close to a prime Yaegashi it must also be said that Samartlek isn't facing a prime Yaegashi but instead a Yaegashi who has really been in a string of damaging fights recently.
Sadly at the time of writing the only markets available is the to win market, with no one offering odds on method of victory or even the draw. Still if you want a bit of a nibble on this one you may well be attracted to the odds on the upset here.
Related- Yaegashi and Samartlek set to face off in potential FOTY contender?
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