BOXING expert Iwan Evans (@IwanEvans19) is back to share his best bet from the weekend coupon.
Bradley Saunders v Renald Garrido | Saturday 20.00
I don't usually look at eight-round bouts from a betting perspective but in a rather thin weekend of boxing betting, I've found a pretty appealing punt in a non-title contest between unbeaten Sedgefield boxer Bradley Saunders (12-0, 9 KOs) and tough French journeyman Renald Garrido (14-11-1, 2 KOs) at the Olympia in Liverpool.
Saunders is a real talent; he was a very good amateur boxer, winning a bronze at the 2007 World Championships and Silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. His pro career has been plagued by injury however, and for someone who's had so many early finishes in his career, 12 fights in nearly four years as a pro is not nearly enough.
A mooted 4 April clash with Dave Ryan earlier this year was postponed two weeks beforehand after the man from the north-east picked up a hand injury, and this is his ring return after over nearly six months out of the ring. That would have been a great test for the man who boxes out of the MGM Marbella camp but there are more questions than answers about Bradley's ability to date.
His big time move from Frank Warren's stable to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom hasn't really reaped the rewards as of yet. In fact, he's not impressed in his two outings on Sky Sports, looking a long way off his best in a six-round points win over Latvian Ivans Levickis in November and struggling for much of his fifth round TKO win over average Frenchman Stephane Benito in March.
Before that he produced a sensational first round body shot KO of tough Finn Ville Pispanen but I don't see Saunders as a concussive puncher and we'll see more of those honed amateur skills come into play as he steps up in class.
Garrido isn't a massive step up from the type of opponent he's been facing but he's a step up nonetheless, and is not an easy fight to come into on the back of some hand problems.
The Frenchman has suffered 11 defeats in his 4+ year pro career but is yet to be stopped, taking the likes of talented British prospects Jack Catterall and Robbie Davies Jnr the six-round distance, as well as two good Spanish fighters, Ceferino Rodriguez and Sandor Martin, over eight-rounds, and in May he gave Ukrainian former world title challenger Sergiy Fedchenko hell over eight-rounds in New York, losing only on a Majority Decision.
The Marseille-based boxer is aggressive and will be there to hit but I've got a feeling Saunders won't be at his best on Saturday night. He really could do with the eight-rounds to be honest, and I'm hoping this bout goes the distance. I see great value in the 7/4 offered by Paddy Power on a Points win for Bradley Saunders.
Bradley Saunders v Renald Garrido – Bradley Saunders to win by Decision or Technical Decision (7/4 Paddy Power)