It’s back to business for two of the biggest names in the feather and heavyweight divisions. Different size, same aspiration; another shot at the world title. Carl Frampton looks to make a statement against Luke Jackson, while Tyson Fury goes toe-to-toe with Francesco Pianeta as he takes another step on the road to redemption.
Wins for the pair appear a formality. But with so much at stake, expect a frenetic fight night in Belfast.
Frampton to win by decision or technical decision – 37/20
The Jackal is without a knockout victory since stopping Chris Avalos in 2015. Going further back, his last 10 fights have brought just two KOs. An inevitable consequence of fighters in the lower divisions having less power, but Frampton has always been renowned for his punching variety rather than brute force.
Jackson has been quick to highlight his perceived superior fitness, which suggests he’ll be looking to take the fight into the later rounds. “He may beat me at Ninja Warrior but in boxing terms he can’t beat me,” Frampton has retorted.
But with a potential world title shot on the horizon, the former two-weight champion may opt to take the fight the full twelve rounds to keep his journey to more featherweight glory on track.
Frampton to win in rounds 7 to 9 – 11/4
Saturday will see the biggest stadium fight ever held in Northern Ireland. Frampton has made no secret of his long-held ambition to fight at Windsor Park and expectations will be high both with himself and in the capacity crowd.
The Belfast native will be looking to put on a show in front of his fans and with potential featherweight opponents watching on against Jackson. “I’m faster than him, I hit harder than him, I’m a better boxer than him and I’m a better fighter,” Frampton has said.
Going off his recent approach and form, an early KO seems unlikely. But a stoppage in the second half of the fight, after showcasing his skills in the first six, could be just what Frampton needs as he bids for a third world title.
Fury to win in rounds 1 to 5 – 6/4
All signs point to Fury having far too much for Francesco Pianeta. The former champ is unbeaten in the professional rank and boasts a massive height and reach advantage.
He has been bullish in his comeback since last fighting in 2015, labelling current champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder as a “weightlifter” and “football player” respectively rather than genuine boxers.
As well as brashness and bravado, Fury will be aiming to showcase his undoubted boxing talent as he continues his quest to reclaim the heavyweight belts. Victory seems inevitable, but the bigger challenge here will be how it comes. A showdown with WBC king Wilder is said to be tantalisingly close and nothing less than a comprehensive KO will suffice for Fury.
The Mack is back and set to have a crack at becoming heavyweight king once more.
Fury to win by decision or technical decision – 5/2
The self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ has many attributes, but explosive power isn’t one of them. Whilst topping 18 stone means he is by no means devoid of punching power, Fury has never been renowned for being heavy-handed.
Against the durable Pianeta – with a record of only four defeats in 40 bouts – and still shaking off ring rust after nearly three years away, Fury could be in for a frustrating night’s work. Questions remain if the man who outfought and outthought Wladimir Klitschko can ever return.
Facing this awkward southpaw, combined with all the pressures Fury has heaped on himself, the lineal heavyweight champion has a sizeable point to prove. Will it be shown on the judges’ scorecards?
Odds correct at time of publication. Subject to change.
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