Main Fight – Hughie Fury v Chris Norrad, 12 rounds, Channel 5
There isn’t really one this week, it should have been Uysk/Takam, but that’s been put back due to an Usyk injury. So i’m going with Hughie Fury (21-2) v Chris Norrad (17-0), god help me. Odds are stupidly wide as they should be, Fury 1/100, Norrad 18/1. He’s not having the best time recently Hughie. He’s lost 2 of his last 3, although not against tomato cans. Joseph Parker, while not flashy, is better than a lot people make him out to be. Ask Dillian Whyte, who if there were another round or so in their fight, would have been in serious trouble. Hughie pushed him close back in 2017 in his only world title shot, but Parker came away with a majority decision win. There were calls that Fury was robbed and deserved to win, but the only robbery I saw was Rocky Young’s 114-114 card. Parker won clean and clearly for me. He rebounded with an easy win over Sam Sexton, then travelled to Sofia last October to challenge Kubrat Pulev. He lost on the cards again, 117-111, 118-110 and a close 115-113. I imagine this is the sort of career Hughie will have, domestic level should always be fine, European level will be a good test, but he’ll struggle at world level or close to. That’s not a dig at Hughie, he comes to fight every time and I think he would fight anyone they put in front of him.
Chris Norrad is the very definition of a domestic level fighter, so Hughie gets back to winning ways in a feel good fight back in Manchester. 35 year old Canadian Norrad has a “perfect” record of 17-0, but considering his last 3 opponents have a combined record of 53-28-2, makes it hard not to laugh. He’s coming to the UK to get beat and get paid id imagine more than he’s ever made, which makes me pretty comfortably think this isn’t going 12 rounds. Rounds are the key to profit here. Under and Over 5.6 rounds are both 5/6, im thinking the over could be better. Fury to stop him is a poor 2/9. There might be nothing better out there. Fighters like Norrad don’t usually fancy a hard scrap, they want to get in and get out as soon as the going gets tough, or feel they’ve “done enough” to earn their paycheck. Maybe Norrad is different. If this does go the distance (which is 10/3 for all 12 rounds), Hughie Fury may need to find a new profession. He needs to get in, take care of Norrad easily and quickly, and get himself in the mix for bigger fights. A struggle here, or 12 boring rounds and a points win (10/3) could potentially lose him fans, as he’s not seen as the most excitable and enjoyable boxer to watch anyway.
BNC Tip – Fury to win by stoppage (2/9), Over 5.6 rounds (5/6)
Other Notable Fights
Michael Hunter v Fabio Maldonado, Sky Sports – Eddie Hearn has high hopes for Michael Hunter (16-1), and has him down as a potential future Joshua opponent. He starts at 1/50, with Maldonado 14/1. We get to see if the hype is warranted this weekend on Sky Sports. His only loss has been to Usyk, who I don’t think would or will ever be beaten at Cruiserweight. He stepped up to heavyweight after that loss, and got himself a few wins, one of them an impressive TKO in 9 over Alexander Ustinov last time out. Maldonado (26-2), is a 39 year old Brazilian, who has lost his last 2. He’s never been stopped, so this has the looks of a showcase fight for Hunter, and the hope of a good stoppage win. The 1/2 looks great odds to me here. Eddie Hearn will want Hunter to look good and try to get Maldonado out of there in exciting fashion to raise his profile, and get him in the mix for the Joshua’s and Whytes of the division in a year or so.
BNC Tip – Hunter stoppage (1/2)
Devin Haney v Antonio Moran, Sky Sports – Another man Eddie Hearn, and USA boxing fans, have high hopes for is 20 year old Devin Haney (21-0). He’s had 21 fights, and 21 wins, before his 21st birthday, and his last 3 have been good solid wins – Mason Menard, Juan Carlos Burgos and Xolisani Ndongeni. He looks the real deal. Antonio Moran (24-3) is probably of the same calibre, possibly slightly below Burgos and Ndongeni, but still represents a good test for Haney. The odds are, again, wide. Haney 1/50 and Mora 14/1. Can you say standard Eddie Hearn card? Haney maybe isn’t the hardest puncher, but neither was Mayweather. His boxing skills and intelligence are definitely worth tuning in for here if you’ve never seen him. I fancy a wide points win for Haney (8/13) here. If he can frustrate Moran and pepper him with counter punches and solid shots, Moran could eventually crumble. If you fancy a stoppage win for Haney, odds are around 5/4.
BNC Tip – Haney to win on points (8/13)
Austin Trout v Terrell Gausha – Trout should still be good enough to deal with Terrell Gausha at this stage of his career, although it probably won’t be easy. Both men went the distance with Erislandy Lara and lost, so this will almost surely go 10 rounds. Trout by decision 6/5
With nothing really on offer this weekend, an accumulator of Fury(KO), Hunter(KO) and Haney (points) is 1.96/1