A belting weekend of live boxing opens with this Channel Five show on Friday night and Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse offers his thoughts...
"This looks to be a well-matched contest, certainly on paper, and should provide armchair fans with their fair share of entertainment."
Busy weekend of boxing
Shakan Pitters and Craig Richards dispute the British light heavyweight title at Fly by Nite Rehearsal Studios in Redditch on Friday. The Channel Five cameras are back in attendance, providing boxing fans with the second live fight on terrestrial TV this month.
This bout is just one part of a bumper weekend of championship boxing which includes Gennady Golovkin's return to the ring and Callum Smith's world title defence against Saul Alvarez. You'll find expert betting previews designed to help you land a profit right here.
Pitters make his first defence
Pitters enters the arena with a perfect 14-fight professional record, debuting in Birmingham with a four-round points verdict back in 2017. Since that win, the 6ft 6inch orthodox boxer from the West Midlands has climbed the British and world rankings at a steady pace and now sits amongst the top-five in the UK, a list currently topped by Joshua Buatsi and Callum Johnson.
Shakan was last seen in action scoring a points win over Chad Sugden at this venue in August to win the vacant Lonsdale strap and is now making his first defence of that title. The 31-year-old enjoyed a wide margin on the scorecards that night, winning by nine rounds on one card and seven on the other two. That result meant Pitters hasn't recorded a stoppage win since March 2019, his last three on points.
The current betting available on the Betfair Sportsbook for Friday's fight has Pitters trading at 1/3 in the fight winner market. Traders expect him to make a successful defence of his British title. Supporters may be encouraged into the method of victory betting to gain better odds. Another points win is 4/7 with a rare KO/TKO 6/1.
Richards made an explosive start
Richards is the man planning to wrestle the hard-earned belt away from his opponent and he'll duck between the ropes with a CV detailing 15 wins against one draw and a single defeat. The 30-year-old from Crystal Palace has been around professional boxing since 2015 and made an explosive start, knocking out journeyman James Child in a round at the world-famous York Hall.
Half of the challenger's first four wins came inside the distance but the 6ft 1inch orthodox is certainly no one-punch KO artist or a fighter who relies on power alone. Spider is a talented boxer and he proved than when out-pointing the previously unbeaten Andre Sterling over 12 rounds in Bethnal Green last summer.
We last saw Richards a year ago when suffering a surprise draw against Chad Sugden over eight rounds, the card of referee Lee Cook reading 77-77. That was a blow for the Londoner's progress, and he knows he must now get back to winning ways if he wants to get his career moving in the right direction. He's 9/4 on the Sportsbook to win, the points verdict 7/2 and a KO/TKO 7/1.
Competitive contest expected
This looks to be a well-matched contest, certainly on paper, and should provide armchair fans with their fair share of entertainment. It will be competitive, but Pitters is the champion and enjoys a height and reach advantage over the challenger. He has scored only four stoppages in his career with the most recent almost two years ago.
Richards is a danger and his punch power will ensure he has a chance of causing an upset while he's on his feet. He has fought for the British title before, beaten on points by Frank Buglioni late in 2017. Pitters is picked to bag a points win.