Florian Marku v Chris Jenkins
Live on Sky Sports
Newcastle gets the spotlight
Followers of the UK boxing scene turn their attentions to the Newcastle Arena as Boxxer promotions presents a competitive card from Tyne and Wear. The line-up boasts some mouth-watering bouts, including Savannah Marshall's meeting with Femke Hermans to decide the WBO middleweight female world title.
Top of the bill pairs rising star Florian Marku and experienced campaigner Chris Jenkins over 10 rounds for the IBF International welterweight title. Albanian-born Marku boasts an unbeaten record but faces a tough test against an opponent who has seen it all before and kept his ambition. This promises to be another classic for the fans.
Marku is unbeaten in 11
Born in Lushnje, Albania, Marku started his professional boxing journey in Germany before moving to the United Kingdom. The 29-year-old is now based in London and appears to be settled, which has had a great effect on his boxing. He enters the ring with an unblemished record of 10 wins against one draw, six of those victories coming inside the distance.
Despite possessing a great work rate and knockout power in both hands, Florian's most recent knockout win was over a year ago, with his last two bouts won on points. He beat Maxim Prodan at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the undercard of Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk then stayed active with an eight-round points victory over Jorick Luisetto at Wembley Arena in November.
Marku arrives on a great run of form and with confidence in the camp. The betting available on the Betfair Sportsbook has Marku priced at 1.21/5 to win again. Those happy to take more of a risk with the promise of bigger odds can play the method of victory market where a points win trades at 2.47/5 with a KO/TKO yours at 2.111/10.
Jenkins remains a force
Jenkins arrives in Newcastle with a professional record of 23 wins against four defeats and three draws. The Welshman made his debut back in 2012 and has been a constant in British boxing since. Rock 'n Rolla won Prizefighter in 2013 by stopping Danny Cassius Connor in the final and has won a list of respected titles since, including the WBC International.
His recent form doesn't do much to inspire confidence in victory here, though, with Chris travelling from his base in Garnant to Newcastle, having won only one of his last three outings. He suffered a technical draw with Liam Taylor for the British and Commonwealth titles, was stopped in eight by Ekow Essuman for the same belts and made a welcome return to winning ways when beating Julius Indongo in Cardiff last time out.
Fancy another win for Jenkins? You can back the Welshman at 4.3310/3 to claim career win number 24 on the sportsbook. In the method of victory, he's 5.59/2 for a points verdict with a first stoppage since 2019 available at an eye-catching 1211/1, although that's unlikely to attract too much attention.
Momentum is with Marku
This is a step up in class of opponent for Marku, with Jenkins a talent who will arrive in Newcastle believing he has what it takes to win and upset the odds. Marku has momentum behind his work and the confidence that comes from a winning run.
His southpaw style also hands Florian the advantage, and we're backing him to win this bout on points. It should be a close contest, especially in the opening rounds, but the skills and desire of Marku will shine through and impress the scoring judges.