This coming weekend we see a number of fantastic match ups. One of those is the IBF Super Bantamweight title eliminator between former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3, 16) [岩佐 亮佑] and the often entertaining Cesar Juarez (23-6, 17), with the two men battling to get a shot at the IBF title currently held by the unbeaten TJ Doheny.
Interestingly Iwasa has been made the favourite for the bout, which will be his US debut. The Japanese fighter, who is managed by former world champion Celes Kobayashi, has been priced at 11/25 to win the bout and move a step closer to getting a chance to reclaim the title he lost to Doheny last year. Juarez on the other hand is 12/5 to come out on top, and earn a shot at IBF belt. The draw is priced at 25/1, in what is expected to be a competitive bout.
The bout has the "Method of Victory" market available, with Iwasa by decision seen as the most likely outcome, priced at 5/4 whilst an Iwasa stoppage is 3/1. A stoppage for Juarez is widely available at 5/1, a very attractive price, whilst a Juarez decision is as high as 7/1 with some book makers.
The fight is 8/11 to go the scheduled distance and 5/4 for it to end early. Give the power of the two men this could well end up being a very brutal and testing affair, and we wouldn't be surprised to see both men busted up at some point during the contest, so a stoppage based on accumulation or damage for either man wouldn't be the biggest surprise.
Related - Iwasa and Juarez meet in IBF eliminator!
Later today we'll see Shohjahon Ergashev (15-0, 14) [Шохжахон Эргашев] battle against 23 year old American Mykal Fox (19-0, 5). The bout matches up two talented an unbeaten fighters with very different styles, and physical traits, with Ergashev being an exceptionally heavy handed boxer-puncher and Fox being a freakishly rangy boxer mover.
Despite both being unbeaten the odds makers are seeing this as a total mismatch, with Ergashev best priced at 1/25 to continue his unbeaten start, and event Fox's run. Fox on the other hand can be backed at a hugfe 14/1 to defeat the hard hitting Uzbek hopeful. The draw can be backed at 33/1.
The "To Win" market is one of several available here, with another being the "Method of Victory". An Ergashev is available at 2/9 to win by stoppage and 6/1 to win by decision. Fox on the other hand is 20/1 to win a decision a massive 33/1 to score the win inside the distance.
Given the odds on Ergashev to get the stoppage it should come as little surprise that the bout isn't expected to go the distance, and amazing you can get 2/9 on the bout finishing within the distance, a freakish price given the Ergashev stoppage price, and 50/11 on the bout completing the schedule.
Related - Ergashev to go off Fox hunting, against Mykal
The next few days are packed with interesting match ups, some of which have gone a bit over-looked. One of those is the Bantamweight clash between once beaten American Joshua Greer Jr (19-1-1, 11) and Filipino Giovanni Escaner (19-3, 12). On paper this is one of the best bouts taking place on Friday, yet in the eyes of many is a mismatch, with the bookies also seeing the contest as a foregone conclusion.
With the UK bookies Greer is a 5/19 favourite to win the bout, and extend his current winning record to 17 fights. Coming in he is unbeaten since December 2015, when he was beaten by the then 7-0 Stephen Fulton, in a result that saw Greer's record fall to 3-1-1 (2). Escaner on the other hand is available at 50/11 to win, and extend his own 8 fight winning run, which has included strong wins over Naoto Uebayashi and Rene Dacquel. The draw is available as high as 33/1.
Interesting the bout has a method of victory market available for it. A Greer decision win is available at events, whilst Greer by stoppage is available at 2/1. A stoppage for Escaner, who has stopped 5 of his last 8, is 9/1. A decision for the Filipino is 12/1.
It's also worth noting that the bout has been priced at 4/7 to go the distance and 11/8 to end early.
On February 10th unbeaten Japanese fighter Hiroki Okada (19-0, 13) [岡田 博喜] will face former WBO Lightweight world champion Raymundo Beltran (35-8-1-1, 21) in Fresno, California. Interestingly some book makers have already priced the bout up, and have made Beltran a very clear favourite for the bout.
The Mexican veteran has opened as a 1/8 favourite for the contest, in what will be his first bout since losing the WBO Lightweight world title to Jose Pedraza last August.
Okada has opened as 9/2 under-dog for the bout, which will be his second contest Stateside. Notable Okada awful on his US debut, struggling past Argentina's Cristian Rafael Coria.
At the moment only the "To win" market is available, though other markets are expected to open closer to fight night.
On March 24th we'll see Kazakh born Russian Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10) take on Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17) in a battle of former world title holders.
Interestingly, given how far that bout is away, there are odds available in the UK for the bout, and the bookies have viewed it as a really hard to call bout.
The odds have opened with Lipinets as the slight betting favourite, with odds of 8/11 for him, whilst Peterson has been priced at 11/10 and the draw is 16/1.
At the moment there aren't many bookies taking bets on the bout, which is no surprise given how far away the bout is, but it is interesting to see the man born in Martuk as the favourite, especially given that he didn't look good last time out against Erick Bone and will be fighting at Welterweight for just the second time.
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