Richie Woodhall: Amir can coast to win but The Jackal could be tested

Boxer Amir Khan
Amir Khan may need all 12 rounds to get past Phil Lo Greco
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It's all about big name British boxers trying to make their way back to the top this Saturday night with Amir Khan and Carl Frampton in action on opposite sides of the Irish Sea. Former WBC super-middleweight champ Richie Woodhall makes us our cards for a pair of intriguing bouts...

"Even if he isn't at his best I don't think Amir will be overly tested against Lo Greco. Khan's strength is his fast hands and movement and that'll keep him out of trouble against the Canadian, who is best when trading blows."

A pair of high-profile British boxers are on the comeback trail this weekend. The Betfair odds tell us both Amir Khan and Carl Frampton's fights are going to be one-sided but I don't think it's that straightforward.

At [1.12] to win Khan is the shorter price of the pair, he meets Phil Lo Greco in Liverpool in what is the Bolton boxer's first bout for nearly two years since Saul Alvarez put him on the canvas in Las Vegas in a fight that Amir was probably always going to lose at the weights.

And at the same time over in Belfast, Carl Frampton gets in the ring with experienced Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire, as he looks to get his world champion status back. The Jackal is [1.25] to put up win no.25.

There's lots on the line for both men but as the odds tell us, Frampton is undoubtedly the man taking the bigger risk. The Jackal may have got back to winning ways last time out but Donaire is dangerous, believe me.

Don't expect Khan at his best, but do expect a win

I think Khan is further down the road than Frampton, and he wouldn't mind me saying that. The ultimate goal for Amir is a big British clash with Kell Brook and he just needs to win and keep winning for that to happen.

He's paired up with Eddie Hearn now and it's in both their interests to get that fight lined up so it would be a major shock if Phil Lo Greco pulled off an upset, especially with a record that shows defeats in three of his last six even if they were all to classy opponents.

The concern is that Khan has been out of the game for a couple of years now and I just can't see him being 100% for this, certainly not if it goes beyond the early rounds, which I think it will. There's an old saying 'the best boxer is a busy boxer' and Khan will surely lack a bit of sharpness here.

I speak from experience. I had operations on my elbow and right hand and spent the best part of a year without a fight and when I had been out of the ring for so long I always needed a couple of visits to the ring to blow those cobwebs off.

Even if he isn't at his best I don't think Amir will be overly tested against Lo Greco. Khan's strength is his fast hands and movement and that'll keep him out of trouble against the Canadian, who is best when trading blows.

Khan has a reputation for being caught late on but I don't entirely agree with that. His problem has been that his speed and movement naturally slow down after the early blizzard and opponents and their trainers know that is their best chance to get at him.

The fact is that if world titles were over six rounds then Khan would be champion all day long! But anyone who saw him against Marcos Maidana back in 2011 will know he can go for 12. The Bolton boy withstood incredible pressure in the 10th round of that fight when others would have definitely buckled.

I think that is what we'll see on Saturday night - Khan to go the distance or to finish it late on. As it's a much bigger price, let's take a chance on the judges giving it to the Brit.

Odds don't reflect the test awaiting Frampton

I'm surprised at the odds for the Frampton-Donaire bout, because this is almost a 50-50 fight for me. I really think Carl will be pushed all the way.

Maybe punters are looking at Donaire's age because 35 is old for the weight.

But I'm not convinced by that.

Donaire is a warrior, the real deal. He is proven quality in the ring, winning 38 of his 42 fights, with 24 KOs. He's second only to Manny Pacquiao in terms of popularity back in the Philippines. Carl is taking a real risk here.

Maybe I'm wrong to be so fearful, and let's just hope that The Jackal has trained right and that Nonito is there for the taking.

I was at Carl's last fight against Horacio Garcia and it wasn't the perfect comeback by any means. There were a few moments of concern. I think you will see a better performance from the Northern Irishman as a win here takes him right back into contention for big belts so he should be ready, but the same can be said of Donaire.

Outside the ring Carl is still embroiled with a court case against his former manager, Barry McGuigan. It's important that a boxer - like any sportsman - is right in his mind, and we know that The Jackal has had his distractions recently, so I hope they don't affect him.

Casting all that against the betting and Donaire looks a big price at [5.8]. Ultimately I suspect Frampton will take this on points but he may suffer at times on the way.

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