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Betting odds and preview: Garcia-Malignaggi, Jacobs-Mora, Campbell-Coyle

Tom Craze breaks down the odds and takes a look at today's biggest fights.

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With three big favourites in the weekend's three biggest fights, it doesn't look the most competitive of weekends. Is there an upset in store, or do the bookies have it right?

Danny Garcia (-700) vs. Paul Malignaggi (+550)

After introducing Adrien Broner to welterweight and posing him all kinds of questions in the process, Paul Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) reprises the role here, and at the same venue. Garcia (30-0-0, 17 KOs) has flirted with the idea of fighting at 147 for a while, and after two straight fights in which he's checked in between divisions, he makes the full jump here.

This isn't the fight most would have hoped to see him in, but equally it's no formality. Garcia is a peculiar case. Still unbeaten, he just keeps notching up the wins whether he looks fantastic or mediocre, whether he wins emphatically or fortuitously.

A 1/3 (-300, or worse) shot against Lamont Peterson last time out, this fight means it's four straight contests now that Garcia has been listed as the betting favourite since his career-best performance against Lucas Matthysse as a 2/1 underdog. That this streak also includes Rod Salka (Garcia was a landslide 1/33 (-3300)) and Mauricio Herrera (Garcia -1000) indicates somewhat the varying impressiveness of the Philadelphian's recent form.

Many thought the four-round bulldozing at the hands of Shawn Porter was to be the last we saw of Malignaggi in the ring, and retirement is something he's spoken about. Now 34, it may well be the case that he's merely seeking a happier swan song.

Victory on Saturday night at the Barclays Center, in Malignaggi's native Brooklyn - the location for three of his last four outings - would be a fine way to bow out. The fact that another loss draws level his number of defeats with his number of knockout wins will be a sobering statistic for Malignaggi, and yet in it there begins an argument for approaching this fight from a betting perspective.

In Malignaggi's 39-fight career, 29 have gone the distance, with a mere 21% of his wins ending by stoppage. In six defeats, he's heard the final bell in half of them, with Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, and Porter the only men to close the show. In the cases of Hatton and Khan, it wasn't until the eleventh round that they forced the referee to step in.

Rightly excluding the rout of a painfully overmatched Rod Salka, you have to go back nearly three years to find a Garcia fight that didn't require the scorecards. With this in mind, backing the rounds feels sensible. Over 9.5 rounds at 2/5 (-250) looks likely to land, but is of little appeal at the price.

If you fancy backing against the above logic, Garcia is available at 6/4 (+150) to score what would be is 18th stoppage win, with the lesser-spotted Malignaggi KO at 18/1 (+1800). It's the decision markets that are of more interest here though, with Garcia a solid play at even money to eke out a points nod, and Malignaggi up at +700 to do enough in front of a home crowd.

Daniel Jacobs (-700) vs. Sergio Mora (+800)

This fight, the support on the same PBC card (or co-main, if you're feeling extremely kind), is a fairly neat summary of 2015 in boxing so far and, as such, is hard to get particularly excited about. Like Garcia-Malignaggi, it's another bout where the A-side is a fairly heavy favourite, and another bout where the A-side's in against an opponent that nobody was clamouring to see him against.

That said, Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs) is a credible test for Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs), whose resume is still paper-thin despite looking like one of the better fighters at 160lb. Looking good against Sergio Mora is, however, a feat that not many truly achieve.

Being a firm betting favourite isn't a role unfamiliar to Jacobs, who was around 1/11 (-1100) against Caleb Truax last time out, and 1/6 (-600) prior to facing Jarrod Fletcher, a bout from which he picked up WBA's oh-so-prestigious ‘regular' title. Mora represents the best opponent that Jacobs has been matched with since his knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog (remember him?) and since returning and rehabilitating from illness, but whether he's much of a live underdog is another question.

Still, who said anything about needing to have an exciting fight on tap in order to find a betting angle? There is - at least from this viewpoint - some value in the Method of Victory side market. Jacobs should be too much for Mora, and is 4/6 (-150) to rack up a remarkable tenth successive stoppage. On one hand, then, that's a fair price.

On the other, Mora's never been knocked out in any of his three defeats, having dropped decisions to Bryan Vera (twice) and Vernon Forrest, and with only 9 KOs from his 28 wins, he's well-versed in going the distance. The 7/4 (+175) on Jacobs working his way to a win on the cards is of reasonable appeal, while there's 5/4 (+125) that we hear the final bell with either man - or both - having their arms raised.

Luke Campbell (-900) vs. Tommy Coyle (+800)

It won't exactly be moving the needle in the US, but, for what appears to be a relatively respectful local rivalry with little impact on the division at present, Campbell-Coyle has built up a decent amount of buzz on the other side of the Atlantic. An outdoor stadium fight is something the UK does well, and Craven Park, Hull, east Yorkshire, seems as suitable a place as any to determine hometown bragging rights.

Going into this - the headline on Saturday's Matchroom card on Sky Sports - the so-called ‘Rumble on the Humber' appears to be the very epitome of one of those ‘levels' fights that boxing throws up every so often.

Campbell (11-0, 9 KOs) is a blue-chip British prospect, picking up medals at both World and European level in the amateurs before completing the set by claiming gold at the 2012 London Games. Coyle (21-2, 10 KOs), two years Campbell's junior, is a limited, but all-action, fighter, best known for his 2014 Fight of the Year contender with Daniel Brizuela and a dramatic late knockout loss to Derry Mathews. The difference in pedigree seems stark, yet it's fair to say that both men are taking a step up in competition here.

Much talked about alongside Felix Verdejo as the near-future of the lightweight division, Campbell could claim a WBC International trinket here and, in what's a fairly weak weight class at 130lb, may soon be in line for much bigger things. It's no surprise, then, that Campbell's the heavy favourite here, with a 1/9 (-900) quote being the best priced across an industry where he's available at 1/20 (-2000 with the most cautious of layers.

What's startling is the way in which the line has moved. Having opened at 1/5 (-500), and as generous as 1/4 (-400) earlier this year, it's been one-way traffic ever since, and it's hard to remember such a dramatic move on a fighter pre-event. Conversely, then, any early Coyle backers will be kicking themselves that they got involved with a little over 3/1 when their man is now available at 8/1 (+800) or thereabouts. It may all matter little by late Saturday night in the UK, but what it shows is that there's a groundswell of support for the Olympian.

To put that shift into context, Campbell opened at 8/13 (-163) to KO Coyle. That's now been cut as short as 1/5 (-500) with some firms - the same price he was originally to win by any means.

For Coyle, the stoppage is surely his best chance of success here, given the unlikelihood of him outboxing the technically superior Campbell over the distance. That's available at a sizeable 12/1 (+1200), while the 22/1 (+2200) on him being given the nod by the judges tells the story. It's 7/2 (+350) that the favourite wins on the cards, but it feels a stretch to imagine this goes the twelve, and the 6/5 (+120) - cut from 13/8 - on Campbell to win anywhere inside the first half is the standout bet.


Dillian Whyte (1/33) vs. Irineu Beato Costa Junior (12)
Brian Rose (1/2) vs. Carson Jones (15/8)
Ricky Burns (1/41) vs. Prince Ofotsu (14)

Follow Tom Craze on Twitter @Box_Bet

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