Some of the biggest mouths in British boxing have talked themselves on to a pay-per-view show in London this Saturday so let’s sort the insight from the hype.
Chris Eubank Jr should easily win his fight with not-a-proper-title holder Renold Quinlan, Andrew Selby can prove his credentials against Ardin Diale, David Price might have picked a banana skin in opponent Christian Hammer, Kid Galahad can graduate to world level by beating Joseph Agbeko, and Adam Etches may struggle against John Ryder.
Eubank Jr’s bluster and bravado is reaching Donald Trump levels and has hyped up his opponent and the title he holds. The reality is that Quinlan is not world class and the super middleweight belt on the line is paper.
Before his last fight Quinlan had 10 wins against journeymen and one loss – to a journeyman. In his last fight the ‘Dunghutti Destroyer’ faced Australian boxing hero, former world champion, and way over the hill, Daniel Geale.
Quinlan won by KO in the second round and now he’s got some fanfare and the Australian a lengthy 16/1 to win. Quinlan likes to come forward, and against the opposition he’s faced he’s been able to dominate.
Eubank’s last 15 wins have come by KO and he’s 1/9 to win by KO again. With Quinlan coming at Eubank, this fight might not last long.
Flyweight Selby is a fighter making quick progress. The younger brother of featherweight world champion Lee became British champ last May on only his fifth professional contest.
This weekend he gets the chance to earn enough ranking points to get him within touching distance of a title shot.
The opponent, Diale, is a tough, experienced brawler from the Philippines. He’ll try to pile on the pressure but ‘Superstar’ Selby will be too quick and too slick. Paddy makes the Welshman just 1/200 to win the bout but we can do better than that.
In the past Diale he has come unstuck when he’s stepped up-in-class. Five of his 10 losses have come by stoppage.
Paddy thinks another KO is a sure thing and that means there’s less meat on a Selby KO victory than there is on Selby himself.
At the opposite end of the scale is the heavyweight contest between Price and Hammer. Both have won their last few bouts but both also have three losses by stoppage on their records. Paddy makes the Scouser favourite to win – but the German could cause an upset.
Price is a good boxer with serious power but he’s got the engine and durability of a Lada. Hammer on the other hand has OK skills, decent work rate and an abysmal record of one KO win in his last seven contests. Price has never beaten a better pro than Hammer, but he stands a chance against old feather-fists.
Having said that, a boxer as chinny as Price always needs to be cautious. Check out his weight at the weigh-in on Friday, anything above 260 pounds is a bad sign. Big Dave could win in the first few rounds, or get knocked out at any stage.
Galahad is finally taking the step up to the world scene with his featherweight contest against Agbeko. The unbeaten Sheffield man has been world class at talking himself up for years – in the same league as Eubank Jr and his hero Naseem Hamed – but his boxing record reveals only British-level victims.
At his best Agbeko was a world champion who took some of the best the distance. And he’s never been stopped. But the Ghanaian is 36 years old now and he’s only had two fights in the last three years. What’s more worrying for the travelling fighter is his record of one KO win in the last nine years.
Galahad has improved his conditioning and he’s taken out four of his last five opponents. The former British and Commonwealth champion is going to have trouble shifting Agbeko before the final bell, but he can do it.
Etches built up his record on flimsy opponents but it all came crashing down in 2015 when he got dropped and stopped by Siarhei Khamitski. The Belarusian is a decent fighter but Ryder, Etches’ opponent this Saturday, beat Khamitski clearly on points last year.
Ryder has looked top drawer at times in his career but a couple of losses in the last couple of years have exposed weaknesses. Stamina and controlling a fight are two things Etches won’t be able to take advantage of however.
I expect the ‘Gorilla’ to break up his opponent by the middle rounds.