Boxing is back on our screens with Top Rank's midweek show and its a sign of things to come. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse gets us moving again...
"Stevenson is fav in the method of victory market, but a better bet looks to be taking a chance on him scoring another points victory at an appealing 5/2."
Top Rank make long-awaited return
It's the news fight fans have been holding out for. Professional boxing will return this month with Bob Arum for Top Rank staging a six-fight card at the MGM Grand on Tuesday.
The bouts will take place behind closed doors, live TV coverage the only way for supporters to keep pace with the action. Organisers hope this proves to be the first step on a long road back to somewhere near normality.
Fight game back in business
The noble art follows in the footsteps of mixed martial arts promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship. Dana White set the wheels in motion last month with shows in Florida before moving back to Vegas at the Apex, a night headlined by Tyron Woodley v Gilbert Burns. With combat sports locked down since mid-March it was a welcome return for all concerned.
This midweek card will feature many American based fighters. The headline bout pairs unbeaten Virginia southpaw Shakur Stevenson (13-0-0) with Felix Caraballo (13-1-2) in a contest scheduled for 10 rounds. Chief support comes in the form of California's Mikaela Mayer (12-0-0) and Helen Joseph (17-4-2), a Nigerian born super featherweight fighting out of Connecticut.
Other names on the programme include unbeaten prospects Jared Anderson and Guido Vianello. The line-up doesn't boast too many household names for British fans but the late night action is sure to be popular on both sides of the Atlantic. It is hoped the British Boxing Board of Control will stage their comeback fight night in July with Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn promising several domestic clashes.
Form makes points win a better bet
Betfair users will find betting odds available on the midweek boxing action. 22-year-old Stevenson is hot favourite to secure win number 14 of his career but there's more to be had when playing the method of victory market. The 5ft 8inch southpaw has won two of his last three on points, including a 12-round decision last time out over Joet Gonzalez late in 2019.
Opponent Caraballo has suffered just one defeat in a 16-bout career, the spare coming in January 2018 to Pedro Marquez Medina on points in Puerto Rico. Since then he has bounced back to form with five comeback wins, setting his career on track. A man that has never been stopped, half of his last four have travelled the distance.
Stevenson is fav in the method of victory market, but a better bet looks to be taking a chance on him scoring another points victory at an appealing 5/2. We've seen our fair share of upsets in UFC since it's return, the deserted arenas making for a strange atmosphere. Caraballo to spoil the party and snatch this bout is 20/1 in the fight winner market.
Mayer expected to be taken the distance
On the undercard, number one ranked American female super featherweight Mayer aims to take her career stats to 13-0-0. The 29-year-old has picked up a dozen victories since making her debut in the summer of 2017. The 5ft 9inch orthodox was last seen stopping Alejandra Soledad Zamora in six rounds for the NABF title. That was an impressive performance but rates as her only KO in five.
Opponent Joseph is the more experienced fighter by 11 bouts. Iron Lady has won 17 times already but lost four and drawn two. Despite that patchy form the 31-year-old Nigerian has never been stopped and will provide a tough test, expected to drag Mayer the distance without causing an upset by winning the fight.
Joseph is as big as 10/1 to inflict the American's first defeat with Mayer no more than 1/25. A points win for the favourite looks a more interesting bet.