It's a big night for British boxing and a big night for Carl Frampton. Betfair writer Frankie Monkhouse previews and offers his 9/4 pick...
"A man who has travelled the distance in each of his last six should be backed to do it again at 9/4"
A heavyweight undercard bout is in real danger of overshadowing the main event here but in Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson we have a meeting of two men battling for their futures at the top of the featherweight division.
Frampton's interim WBO world title may be on the line at Windsor Park, Belfast but he's aiming for much more than silverware after losing a narrow majority decision verdict to old foe Leo Santa Cruz in Vegas last January. Such a cruel result seemed to take away a bit of The Jackal's hunger but a convincing performance in front of his own people on Saturday will set him right back on course.
All change in the Jackal's pack
31-year-old Carl Frampton goes into his 27th professional contest with a record reading 25-1-0 with 14 of his wins coming by way of knockout. The spare on his CV was that MD reverse to Mexican Santa Cruz last winter, an opponent he had beaten the fight before, this time given the benefit of the doubt by the judges who scored it 116-112, 117-111, 114-114 in the Northern Irishman's favour.
Since suffering his first defeat Frampton has changed trainers and managers, hooking up with former fighter Jamie Moore and trusting his guidance to the experienced hands of Frank Warren, leaving behind the McGuigan father and son camp. He fired back to beat Mexican Horacio Garcia on points over 10 rounds and built on that when bettering Filipino Nonito Donaire last time at the SSE Arena, Belfast, picking up the interim WBO in the process.
Traders expect that winning run to continue and backers looking to side with the home win will get no more than the [1.06] currently available on the Exchange. Another points cheer sticks out in the method of victory market at 9/4 and that makes plenty more appeal than a rare KO win at 1/3 - both prices available on the Betfair Sportsbook.
Undefeated Action means business
Earlier in his career Carl Frampton promised to bring the big fights and most exciting opponents to a Belfast audience and in Luke Jackson - nicknamed Action - he has certainly found a man who means business. The 33-year-old Australian from Tasmania jets in with a perfect 16-fight record, stopping seven of his previous opponents inside-the-distance.
The 5ft 6inch orthodox's journey has earned him titles including Australian and WBO Oriental straps. Jackson got his shot at the big time with a points win over hard-working Mexican Humberto de Santiago in September 2017 and kept warm when demolishing Thailand's Surachet Tongmala in two rounds last time out.
Jackson has pushed himself into contention for major titles, but odds-makers expect the challenger to fall flat at the final hurdle with a chunky 30/1 trading on another KO/TKO while the points win is far less likely at 50/1, both on the sportsbook. Taking a chance on the underdog on the Exchange will net you [21.0].
Price on a points win just too big
This promises to be an entertaining contest from the first bell but it's a real step up in class for Jackson and he'll find that out very early. Frampton has campaigned for much of his career at a much higher level and, with a little more luck, could still be undefeated. He's hardly put a foot wrong so far and will stretch his win record to 26 on Saturday, as the odds suggest.
There's nothing to be had in backing Frampton in the fight winner pile so we look beyond that. The price on a Frampton points win is much better than I expected and that looks the value play. A man who has travelled the distance in each of his last six should be backed to do it again at 9/4.
Check out Betfair Ambassador David Haye's exclusive preview of the fight