Boxing – Crawford can conquer in Nebraska grudge fight

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BOXING analyst Nick Munday (@NM_Sport) shares his betting thoughts on Saturday night's big bout.

Terence Crawford v Jose Benavidez | Sunday 14th October 2018, 02:00 | BoxNation

Pound-for-pound sensation Terence Crawford makes the first defence of his WBO world welterweight title in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

While there is a lot of fake ‘beef’ in boxing nowadays, nothing is scripted here. The bad blood has been brewing for a couple of years, with Jose Benavidez calling the champion out when they occupied the weight class below.

Their respective teams were booked into different hotels to minimise the risk of any incidents in fight week. Both camps nearly came to blows at Wednesday’s media workout, and afterwards Crawford had a look in his eyes that suggested he wants to dish out some punishment come fight night.

Benavidez boasts a respectable record of 27-0 (18 KOs), but the Mexican-American has boxed mediocre opposition. The only notable name on his record is Mauricio Herrera (December 2014), but he was lucky to get the nod from the judges according to many ringside observers.

Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) has already won world titles at lightweight and super-lightweight. Last year he unified all four major 140lb belts to become undisputed, which is a rarity in boxing nowadays. While critics say he is yet to face a big name, he has still cleaned out a whole division and can call himself a three-weight king.

Odds of 16/1 are available on the upset. It’s highly unlikely that the challenger can outbox Crawford – and he’ll be fully aware of that – so Benavidez will have to apply an attacking game plan, which should play right into his opponent’s hands.

In his last fight, Crawford showed patience when breaking down Jeff Horn and detonating bombs with both hands (TKO9). The American is in the form of his life, stopping seven of his last eight victims before the final bell. That trend should continue (4/7).

Benavidez leaves himself open with wide hooks and Crawford will be able to manoeuvre inside these, meaning we could see a couple of knockdowns as ‘Bud’ gets the stoppage before round nine.

Crawford to win between rounds 5-8 is 21/10 (Betfair) and the fight to conclude within eight rounds is evens (Ladbrokes) – both are worth a poke.

Robbie Davies Jr v Glenn Foot | Saturday 13th October 2018, 19:00 | Sky Sports

Before that grudge match across the pond, there’s a cracking British and Commonwealth super-lightweight title fight on Saturday night in Newcastle, when Robbie Davies Jr takes on Glenn Foot.

Davies (16-1, 12 KOs) had a tough 2017, losing to unknown Pole Michal Syrowatka in July before his father, who represented the GB boxing team at the 1976 Olympics, passed away in August. He subsequently avenged that sole defeat in March and with Matchroom behind him now, the Liverpudlian has a great opportunity to push on to bigger things.

Local lad Foot (23-3, 7 KOs) is full of confidence after picking up the first major title of his career. In February he stopped Jason Easton (TKO11) to win the Commonwealth crown, but prior to that he’d suffered defeats each time he stepped up the level of opposition.

Davies at his best beats Foot at his best, which is reflected in his outright odds of 2/5. With the burning desire to lift the famous British belt in memory of his late father, the challenger has a point to prove here and should be able to nullify Foot’s aggression by using his physical advantage to earn a win on the scorecards (8/5 Blacktype).

Best Bets

Terence Crawford v Jose Benavidez – Fight to conclude within eight rounds (1/1 Ladbrokes)

Terence Crawford v Jose Benavidez – Terence Crawford to win between rounds 5-8 (21/10 Betfair)

Robbie Davies Jr v Glenn Foot – Robbie Davies Jr to win on points (8/5 Blacktype)

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