A very intriguing fight over the weekend in Moscow as Oleksandr Usyk made history, giving Murat Gassiev a thorough boxing lesson in a near-shutout decision win to become the undisputed cruiserweight world champion in the World Boxing Super Series final. Usyk, the No. 1 seed in the eight-man field, became the first fighter in division history to unify all four world title belts. There’s talk that Usyk could move up in weight next and fight one of the heavyweight champions, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder. Here’s a look at two fights this coming weekend and their respective boxing odds at MyBookie Sportsbook.
Top Boxing Betting Picks of the Week – July 23rd
The day will come soon,when the Boxing world will agree with me that Mikey Garcia is pound for pound the best fighter today. pic.twitter.com/GJGEQQiBNF
— George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) 20 de julio de 2018
Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr
- Boxing Betting Odds: Garcia -1020 / Easter Jr +710
This matchup from Los Angeles is on Showtime and is the WBC/IBF lightweight unification bout with Garcia a heavy -1300 favorite. Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) grew up in nearby Oxnard, but he hasn’t fought in California since 2011. He is moving back down to 135 pounds after defeating light welterweight Sergey Lipinets in March to win a belt in his fourth weight class. Fighters rarely return to a lower weight class once they’ve succeeded at a higher division.
Garcia is considered one of the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters, despite taking a two-and-a-half-year break from competition between January 2014 and July 2016 while engaging in a dispute with his former promoter, Top Rank.
“I wanted to get a fight here at home, and it happens to be the biggest fight of my career,” Garcia said. “Right now at lightweight, there’s no bigger challenge than Robert Easter.”
Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) is looking for a career breakthrough. He has held the IBF belt since September 2016. Easter earned a rocky split decision over Javier Fortuna in January after Fortuna came in overweight. The 5-foot-11 Easter towers over opponents in the 135-pound class. Yet, Easter failed to utilize the size and reach advantages against Fortuna, a strategy which will prove vital when he faces Garcia.
“I believe this fight is what boxing deserves — champion versus champion,” Easter said. “I’m no stranger to tough fights. This is going to define my career and make the best out of me, fighting another best great fighter.”
Easter hasn’t been wowing anyone of late. His KO of former champion Argenis Mendez in 2016 drew praise, but he deserves some credit for beating Richard Commey later that year in an entertaining battle to capture the lightweight belt.
There has been some talk that Garcia might move to the UFC if he wins this fight as UFC president Dana White has been courting him. Garcia is essentially a free agent now as he’s not tied to any promoters. Because Garcia risked so much in order to gain his independence, he hasn’t been hasty in signing the first deal he saw and has enough leverage as a rising star and pound-for-pound ranked fighter to maneuver on his own terms. Garcia has even turned down an offer to sign with reclusive and powerful manager Al Haymon.
Dillian White vs. Joseph Parker
- Boxing Betting Odds: TBA
Parker is a -130 favorite for this heavyweight bout on Saturday from London. Whyte never expected to be fighting Parker next after a fight with the former WBO heavyweight champion “fell from the sky”.
Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) had been embroiled in boxing politics, having been ordered to fight final eliminators with both Luis Ortiz for the WBC title and Kubrat Pulev for the IBF strap, with the WBC’s request for an eliminator that particularly was stinging for Whyte. As the federation’s No. 1 contender, he believed he would be the next mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder before Dominic Breazeale was installed. Meanwhile, the IBF route fell after a deal failed to be agreed, leading to a purse bid that Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn lost.
Whyte, born in Jamaica, spectacularly knocked out Australia’s Lucas Browne in the sixth round on March 24 and is promising another stoppage win against New Zealander Parker, who lost the WBO belt to Joshua in his last fight.
“There’s going to be blood, pain and a knockout,” Whyte said. “He’s a good fighter but he didn’t show much courage against Joshua. I want him to be more adventurous and not go on the run, but he knows that if he has a fight against me, he’s getting knocked out clean and in a brutal way.”
Parker (24-1, 18 KOs) considered other options and had reportedly agreed to terms to face American Bryant Jennings for an Aug. 18 fight. Parker lost his WBO belt on a unanimous points decision to Anthony Joshua on March 31.
“This is our redemption fight,” Parker trainer Kevin Barry said when asked if his 26-year-old charge is a better boxer for the experience of his mega-title-fight points defeat to Joshua. “This has been the key all through this campaign. This is redemption. He wants to show British fans, New Zealand fans and boxing fans around the world that the Joseph Parker we saw fight Anthony Joshua is not the Joseph Parker who will fight Dillian Whyte.”
Parker has accused the world champion Joshua of not showing him enough respect in the wake of their title fight: “He said if he could turn back time, he will knock me out, but I know he tried to knock me out and he couldn’t, so he’s making excuses.
Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone’s failure to let them fight in close quarters was widely criticized. Parker’s team were unhappy with Quartarone. British referee Ian John-Lewis will officiate the Parker-Whyte fight and Parker’s team are happy about that. The 55-year-old has taken charge of numerous world title fights, as well as Whyte’s last win. John-Lewis was the first black British boxing referee to officiate a heavyweight world title fight.
Expert Boxing Betting Predictions
Parker wins by KO and Garcia by decision.