Boxing – Favourites unlikely to have any issues this weekend

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DEBUTANT WLB contributor and boxing analyst Nick Munday (@NM_Sport) shares his betting thoughts on Saturday’s bouts featuring Amir Khan and Danny Garcia.

Amir Khan v Samuel Vargas | Saturday 8th September 2018, 22:00 | Sky Sports

Amir Khan boxes in Birmingham for the first time in over 10 years this Saturday, as he looks to secure a huge clash with either Manny Pacquiao or Kell Brook.

In April, Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) needed just 39 seconds to stop Phil Lo Greco in his comeback fight, which was more like an exhibition in truth. While Samuel Vargas is a slightly better opponent on paper, it’s only a marginal step up as shown by Khan’s odds of 1/16 (BetStars).

Vargas has a solid record of 29-3-2 (14 KOs), but both times he’s stepped up in competition, against Errol Spence (2015) and Danny Garcia (2016), he didn’t hear the final bell.

Under new trainer Joe Goossen, Khan wants to send a message to the welterweight division. While he should record his second straight stoppage (2/5 BetStars), don’t expect another first round blowout. If he is to challenge for world honours next, then he needs some rounds under his belt considering he’s only been in the ring for less than a minute in over two years.

Khan still carries fantastic hand speed and is significantly more talented than Vargas, so he should be able to take the Canada-based Colombian out around halfway through the fight. Bigger challenges await the Bolton man. He can snatch victory in rounds 5-8 (21/20 Betfair).

Danny Garcia v Shawn Porter | Sunday 9th September 2018, 01:30 | BoxNation

Just a few hours later, one of Khan’s former foes Danny Garcia takes on Shawn Porter in a mouth-watering match-up in Brooklyn, New York.

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs), the slight favourite (4/6), is hungry to reclaim his old WBC world welterweight title which he lost against Keith Thurman on a close split decision verdict in March 2017.

The 30-year-old has several notable scalps on his record from when he held the WBC and WBA belts at super-lightweight. After knocking out Khan, ‘Swift’ outclassed Lucas Matthysse and Zab Judah before defeating the likes of Lamont Peterson and Pauli Malignaggi up at 147lbs.

Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) is also a former world champion, holding the IBF welterweight crown between 2013-2014 before coming unstuck to Sheffield’s Kell Brook. A dominant win over Adrien Broner followed, but he tasted defeat again in June 2016, losing to Thurman in a Fight of the Year contender.

After two confidence-boosting wins over Andre Berto and Adrian Granados last year, ‘Showtime’ is certainly a lively underdog and will attract support at 7/5 (Marathon).

Porter’s style could be described as relentless or reckless, but both Brook and Thurman have shown how to defeat the energetic Ohioan. This is an excellent match-up, but Garcia should be able to punish Porter’s wild attacks, as he‘ll try and swarm all over him.

Back the Philly puncher to pick Porter off with accurate and powerful blows to earn a hard-earned decision at 7/5 (Marathon). It should be a fun fight and we may even see a rematch down the line!

Best Bets

Amir Khan v Samuel Vargas – Amir Khan to win in rounds 5-8 (21/20 Betfair)

Danny Garcia v Shawn Porter – Danny Garcia to win by decision (7/5 Marathon)

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