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British boxing had its moment in the sun over the weekend, with a big line up of boxing bouts going down on Saturday night in Manchester.
Eight fights in total were on the cards, with the headline fight between Chris Eubank Jr. and Liam Smith. Warming up the ring were cruiserweights Richard Riakporhe and Krzysztof Glowacki who fought in the co-main event, and heavyweights Joseph Parker and Jack Massey getting in the ring as well.
We look at how each of these fights went down at the AO Arena over the weekend, and review how our pre-match bets unfolded.
Liam Smith Stuns Chris Eubank Jr.
The crown jewel of Saturday night’s boxing was a headline fight between two excellent British middleweights—Chris Eubank Jr. and Liam Smith.
While both men stepped into the ring in excellent form and with strong records, Eubank Jr. was the undeniable favourite in the betting odds. We suggested a conservative bet of Eubank Jr. to win this one on points, picking that the veteran would have devised a game plan to stay away from Smith’s power and win on decision. However, we also offered up an alternative bet, that if Eubank Jr. was unable to execute on his gameplan, he’d get knocked out.
And that’s exactly what happened. After three competitive rounds which saw the rivals exchanging blows evenly, Smith stepped up his assault in the fourth round. Pinning Eubank Jr. in a corner early in the fourth, landing a series of blows with a left hook and follow up right doing most of the damage. Eubank Jr. went down but was allowed to return to his feet, though it was clear the 33-year-old was hurt.
Seconds later, Smith was getting stuck into him again, but this time the referee would intervene and call the technical knockout in the fourth round.
Riakporhe Ready for Bigger Things
British cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe has had a blistering start to his boxing career, one which carried on with a comprehensive win on Saturday night.
Fighting against Polish boxer Krzysztof Glowacki, Riakporhe was the overwhelming favourite to win this clash. These odds were well placed, with the Brit claiming his 16th consecutive win through a fourth round knockout of Glowacki. Our bet of a third round knockout just missed, while our other suggestion of the fight being under 5.5 rounds came through nicely.
The first round between these two was cagey, and it wasn’t until the second that Riakporhe struck with a hard right. Only the ropes saved Glowacki, and further combinations in the third led to Riakporhe’s knockout blow towards the end of the fourth, when the referee stepped in to call a technical knockout in the Brit’s favour.
Following his victory, Riakporhe was vocal about his desire to have a title fight, declaring, “Next stop all the champions!” before calling several out by name.
Bitter Sweet Victory for Underwhelming Parker
Warming up the ring prior to these two main event bouts were heavyweights Joseph Parker and Jack Massey.
This was the first time Massey has worn this label, having just stepped up from the cruiserweight division himself. As such, Parker was expected to win this one comprehensively—in fact, it was something we believe he had to do, if he was to have any hope of getting his career back on track after a loss to Joe Joyce last year.
Parker was underwhelming, however, and while he did walk away victorious on points, was never able to assert himself over Massey. We picked that Parker would come out with some purpose to finish this one early, but the defense and movement of Massey meant that the heavyweights went the distance.
For Massey, while his heavyweight career has started on a loss, will take some solace from the fact that he went to points against a past heavyweight title contender.
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