If it’s a return to normalcy we’re all craving, nothing could make boxing fans feel more at home than paying premium pay per view prices for a night at the fights. I kid, I kid. Regardless of the whether or not Saturday night’s card featuring co-headlining fights by the Charlo twins, Jermell and Jermall, is worthy of the $75 price tag, it is a stacked affair that no doubt signals the full-on return of boxing in the Covid era.
With marquee fights on seemingly every continent, it’s a welcome return to the marathon days that boxing live for. Let’s take a closer look at some of the big fights this over-stuffed weekend of action has in store.
Boxing Betting Picks - Saturday 26th September
Jermall Charlo vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko
It seems hard to believe but the Charlo twins are already 12(!) years into their professional careers. They’re a promoter’s dream in every department, save for their resumes. If this weekend’s double header is to finally be their coming out party, older brother Jermall couldn’t have picked a tougher assignment than Ukrainian tough guy Derevyanchenko. It’s great to see Jermall step up the competition but this has to feel a bit like walking into a buzzsaw. Are Charlo’s advantages in hand speed and footwork enough to keep him out of range from Derevyanchenko’s relentless attack? That’s a tough ask for anyone.
The obvious corollary here is Matt Korobov, who gave Charlo fits back in 2018 in a fight most felt should’ve gone the Russian’s way. A little magic on the scorecards kept Charlo’s undefeated record in tact but it was obvious Korobov’s style and extensive amateur background (a reportedly 300-12 record) made Charlo noticeably uncomfortable. The problem for Jermall is that Derevyanchenko has an even greater amateur pedigree (390-20) and has already faced the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin and Danny Jacobs in the pro ranks, dropping razor-thin decisions to both. To stack the even further, Derevyanchenko is younger than Korobov and has improved with every outing.
Charlo being favored here is testament to his manifestly sublime skillset. He’s capable of beating anyone in and around middleweight and looking good doing. Derevyanchenko, however, feels all wrong in all the right ways. And at +145 this is too good to pass up. It should be close but give me the Ukrainian underdog in this one.
Jermell Charlo vs Jeison Rosario
Just like his older brother, Jermell Charlo has chosen a formidable foe for this pay per view showdown. Jeison Rosario was last seen in a boxing ring blowing out the highly-regarded Julian Williams in five rounds this past January. His resume leading up to that fight left a bit to be desired, but you can only beat the opponent in front of you and Rosario did just that in compiling a tidy 20-1 record, including 14 KOs.
If you’re looking for any through line as it pertains to Charlo on his docket though, it gets a little less optimistic for Rosario. His only defeat came back in 2017 in a six round KO loss to Nathaniel Gallimore. The same Nathaniel Gallimore who lost a near shutout decision to Erickson Lubin last year who in turn suffered a first round knockout in 2017 to, yep you guessed it, Jermell Charlo.
That’s obviously a roundabout game of musical chairs being played with both guys’ resumes but common opponents can tell a story. Charlo’s lone defeat came in a heavily disputed decision loss to Tony Harrison in 2018 which was avenged with gusto a year later. You can’t help but feel that Charlo’s ceiling is just a bit higher than Rosario’s and that he’s finally ready to step it up to the next level. I expect a tough fight from Rosario but for Charlo to pull away in the second half of the fight. He knows he simply can’t afford another loss at this stage and he’ll do what’s necessary to avoid it. Give me the younger Charlo here by KO, as he’ll be looking to make a much needed statement.
Yuniel Dorticos vs Mairis Breidis
Ooh baby, this will be a fun one! The finals of the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight tournament pits Mairis Breidis (26-1, 19 KOs) of Latvia against tough Cuban, Yuniel Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs). It’s as close to a pick em’ fight as you can get at this level and a mouth-watering matchup for fight fans. Dorticos is generally regarded as the puncher here, with Breidis playing the role of boxer. That’s obviously a broad overview, but there’s simply not a lot that separates these two.
Breidis dropped a hairline decision to Oleksandr Usyk back in 2018, while Dorticos’ lone defeat came at the hands of Murat Gassiev that same year. The rest of their combined 52 bouts are littered with a who’s who of the top cruiserweight names of this era. At nearly the same age (Dorticos 34, Briedis 35) and sky high KO ratios (88% for Dorticos, 71% for Breidis) there just isn’t much to push your chips one way or the other.
It all will come down to whether you think Dorticos can land the big one and if Breidis’ chin can hold up if/when he does. If he can avoid getting caught, Briedis should be able to outbox and outlast Dorticos. It says here that he does, and at -200, it feels okay to run with the favorite here. Give me Breidis in a high-IQ chess match between two of the world’s best.
Josh Taylor vs Apunin Khongsong
Who doesn’t love a hail mary, right? Josh Taylor has proven himself one of the very best junior welterweights in the world. Apunin Khongsong very much has not. That doesn’t mean he’s a pushover though. Very few people outside of his native Thailand do. What we do know is that he sports a glistening 16-0 record with 13 KO’s, albeit against competition that could charitably be described as “unheralded.” YouTube videos of his shocking, highlight reel knockouts have made the rounds recently, and the power is quite evident. Could this be a case of an uncut gem making his way to the national stage?
History says probably not, but who knows. Khongsong stands no chance of outboxing Taylor, but if the power is real and he catches his man daydreaming, a big payday could be in store. Betting on a lucky punch is a tough sell, but +1600 you’re not going to go broke if it doesn’t pan out. Again, this is a longshot but if you’ve got a couple extra bucks laying around, I can think of worse ways to spend it.
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