Hello again, ladderers.
Whilst many have been waiting to see Tyson Fury battling for world honours again, it’s cousin Hughie that gets his opportunity on Saturday night, tackling New Zealander Joseph Parker in an attempt to claim his WBO crown. Mild-mannered Hughie doesn’t garner as many column inches as his controversial cousin, and it’s odd that he’s flown under the radar when he’s been spotted for so long.
Cheap shots aside, Hughie is a much better boxer than Tyson was at the same age, and in terms of technique, is probably one of the best in a slugger-heavy division. He’s been stepped up gradually whilst struggling with a debilitating blood disorder, not only covering him in acne, but also robbing him of energy. Team Fury claim this ailment is all cleared up now and I fancy the young gun to cause a minor upset, dethroning the somewhat overrated Parker over the course of twelve rounds. Fury win on points – 15/8 Coral
In other boxing news, Light-heavyweight king Andre Ward announced his shock retirement from boxing this week. Despite his impeccable CV, it’s been difficult for Ward to get the public to warm to him. For me, I’ve always thought that his self-styled persona as a deeply religious man was at odds with his fighting style, which was plain filthy.
Whilst the old testament teaches “an eye for an eye”, Ward often had an elbow or forehead for his opponents’ eyes instead. For his standout win against Kovalev, the Russian juggernaut was only stopped by Ward after receiving more low blows than Warwick Davies in a brothel. This ‘Son of God’ image he portrays is perhaps misguided, he would have been much better off embracing his dark side, moving the ‘W’ in his name across, and rebranding himself as Andrew ‘Ard. Look to Artur Beterbiev and perhaps some of the bigger Super-Middleweights to claim his vacant light-heavy throne.
On to Ladder business. Those who remember the previous incarnations of the Lucky Ladder know the score: start with £3 and bet your way up to a million. For each bet, half of the Ladder pot will be staked, meaning the kitty is never blown on one unlucky bet. To kick us off this week then…
East Fife to beat Forfar 4/5
Loyal ladderers will know that I’m a slave to studying form and trawling the Scottish lower leagues for more predictability. Enough games have passed now to get an inkling for who’s hot and who’s not. Forfar are most certainly not. East Fife have won their last two, Forfar have lost their last five.
Royal Excel Mouscron to beat Eupen – Evs
Who? No me neither. Doesn’t matter, they’re breathing the exalted air of the upper half of the Jupiler league, whilst Eupen are gargling the pissy remnants of Stella Artois in the Belgian Pro League gutters. Mouscron have won 2 out of their three home games so far, whilst Eupen have lost all 3 of their games on the road.
A little something to bulk out your accumulator, sir?
Inter (3/10) at home to Genoa, and Stirling (4/7) entertaining Annan are both solid acca picks.
Longer odds for the brave ladderers
Luke Campbell travels to LA this Saturday to take on Jorge Linares. The Hull Lightweight’s ledger is tainted by a loss to unheralded Yvan Mendy, but this can be ignored. Campbell went into that fight expecting to blow Mendy away, and his hubris prevented him from switching tactics when it should have been obvious that Mendy was skillful and awkward enough to trouble him. Cool Hand Luke won’t make such assumptions against a genuine world-class fighter such as Linares, and can be backed for as high as 7/2 at Betfair.
These are generous odds for an Olympic gold winner who still has his best years ahead of him. Perhaps worth backing and tracking in case you fancy an early pay out before the final bell.