PAULIE, ZAB, battle for Brooklyn bragging rights tonight. / Photo: TOM CASINO, for Showtime
Malignaggi +100; Judah -120
Over 10.5 -280; under 10.5 +240
The most intriguing fights aren’t always between superstars and they don’t have to feature an undefeated star-in-the-making either. A match between two veteran fighters can also have appeal if the ingredients of the match add up to a compelling contest. We have such a fight tonight when Paulie Malignaggi takes on Zab Judah at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
These are boxers who have held championships and who have been on boxing’s big stage many times.
PACQUIAO, RIOS: Speed versus toughness on HBO PPV tonight.
Pacquiao -500; Rios +300
Over 9.5 +130; under 9.5 -150
Eleven months after crashing face-first to the canvas against Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao is back in the ring tonight, meeting Brandon Rios in a 12-round welterweight fight in the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Macau, with TV coverage on HBO PPV in the U.S. and BoxNation in the U.K. The fight takes place on Sunday morning in China to allow for peak-hour TV viewing in the U.S., as happened when Ali met Frazier in the Thrilla in Manila.
Pacquiao is the clear betting favourite, and I’m expecting him to win this fight. Bob Arum’s Top Rank organisation promotes both men, but Pacquiao is the big moneymaker and this match hasn’t been made to get him knocked off.
WARD made weight for tonight's fight, Rodriguez didn't
Friday’s weigh-in for tonight’s Andre Ward-Edwin Rodriguez fight on HBO (BoxNation in the UK) casts a shadow over the contest, with Rodriguez coming in two pounds over the super middleweight division limit and choosing to pay a forfeit of 20 per cent of his purse rather than trying to lose the excess. Rodriguez agreed to a second weigh-in on the morning of the fight, at which he agreed not to weigh more than 180 pounds.
I’m starting to wonder if there is any point in having weight divisions. Why not just agree to fight at the championship weight “or anything from two to five pounds over?”
GOLOVKIN, STEVENS: Full-distance fight isn't very likely.
Golovkin -1050; Stevens +500
Over 7.5 +180; under 7.5 -240
The boxing world is in agreement that tonight’s middleweight title fight between Gennady Golovkin and Curtis Stevens won’t be going the full 12 rounds at Madison Square Garden’s theatre (TV coverage on HBO in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the U.K.) Furthermore, there seems to be almost unanimous accord that Golovkin is going to win, probably quickly.
I’m certainly expecting Golovkin to retain his WBA and IBO titles with a stoppage victory but I think that Stevens is going to be dangerous initially, and I’m not sure that Golovkin is going to blow Stevens away as easily as some believe will be the case.