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Boxing Picks & Predictions: Joyce, Zhang, More – April 15, 2023

Boxing Picks & Predictions: Joyce, Zhang, More – April 15, 2023

We have a full Saturday boxing slate, with multiple fights across TV platforms and from different parts of the world – all with multiple titles at stake.

Let’s take a look at our boxing predictions, picks and best bets and see if there is any value in some plays we can take advantage of.

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Joe Joyce vs. Zhilea Zhang

After the large buffet of fights last week, this week in the boxing world has a small selection of fights with major implications. The only card of note takes place at the Copperbox Arena in London on ESPN + in the afternoon when Joe Joyce takes on Zhilei Zhang in a battle of heavyweights.

The fight will be for the WBO interim heavyweight title, with Joyce stopping Joseph Parker in September 2020. Joyce is undefeated in 15 professional fights, with 14 wins by knockout. He is a former Olympic silver medalist and has names like Bryant Jennings, Daniel Dubois and Carlos Takam on his resume.

Zhang is also a former Olympic silver medalist and has a record of 24 wins, one loss and one draw. His only defeat came by a close decision to Filip Hrgovic nearly two years ago.  He has 21 wins by knockout but his resume isn’t as impressive with wins over Andriy Rudenko, Devin Vargas and Don Haynesworth.

Joyce has the advantage of size, reach and experience, while Zhang has the edge in speed, power and he fights from a southpaw stance. Joyce’s nickname is the “Juggernaut” and it fits him perfectly. He breaks down fighters methodically while sometime taking massive shots and coming forward. There isn’t a secret of how Joyce fights. He will keep coming forward throwing punches until he breaks you down and gets the stoppage. He hasn’t been stopped or even knocked down while facing some good heavyweights.

Zhang is a fast starter with quick hands but seems to fade light in most of his fights. Zhang has shown he also possesses a good chin after taking a lot of big shots from Forrest and from Hrgovic too which will be vital against Joyce. However, the relentless pressure for Joyce and the fact that Zhang seems to lose stamina late to me makes this fight very predictable.

Joyce is a huge favorite at -1100 with Zhang being priced at +600. There isn’t value anywhere there.  I think the value is in the stoppage in the second half of the fight.

Mikaela Mayer vs. Christina ‘Medusa’ Linardatou

The former unified super-featherweight belt-holder Mikaela Mayer will make her lightweight debut against former two-time super-lightweight world champion Christina ‘Medusa’ Linardatou.

Mayer (17-1, 5 KOs), a 2016 U.S. Olympian, won the WBO junior lightweight championship with a unanimous decision victory against Ewa Brodnicka in October 2020. The following year, the Los Angeles native unified the WBO and IBF titles in an action-packed slugfest against Maiva Hamadouche.

In her last fight, Mayer suffered the first defeat of her career, a razor-thin split decision setback to Alycia Baumgardner, Linardatou is the only woman to defeat Baumgardner.

Mayer is a massive favorite at -1100 while Linardatou is a big underdog at +600. I think Mayer wins by decision but there is no value there or on this fight.

Raymond Ford vs. Jessie Magdaleno

Rodriguez vs. Gonzalez undercard (DAZN)

This will probably steal the show on this DAZN-televised event.

Magdaleno is coming into this fight with a record of 29-1 (18 KOs). His last fight was against Edy Valencia Mercado, which he won via 8-round unanimous decision.

Ford comes in with an undefeated record of 13-0-1 (7 KOs). He won his last fight via 8th-round KO.

This is a step-up fight for Ford and, to me, is close to a 50-50 fight. Oddsmakers don’t see it that way. Sportsbooks currently list Ford as a -450 favorite.

Based on these heavy odds alone, the play is Magdeleno. He has only lost once and that was to former super bantamweight titlist Isaac Dogboe. He currently is priced at +320, which has a 24% implied probability.

No matter how you slice it, +320 is good value for a veteran with one loss who’s taking on a prospect.

Pick: Magdeleno to win (+320 at DraftKings)

Sebastian Fundora vs. Brian Mendoza

WBC interim junior middleweight title (Showtime)

This championship bout between Sebastian Fundora and Brian Mendoza will take place at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. 

Fundora is coming into this fight with an undefeated record of 20-0-1 (13 KOs). His last fight was 6 months ago against Carlos Ocampo, which he won via 12-round unanimous decision.

Mendoza comes in with a record of 21-2 (15 KOs). His last fight was against Jeison Rosario, which he won via 5th-round KO.

This is going to be a fun fight, but really to me, there is only one outcome: Fundora by stoppage.

Pick: Fundora by KO, TKO or DQ (+110 at DraftKings)

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