Big time boxing returns to the forefront of our thinking this weekend with cards of note taking place all over the world, the best of them in the UK and America. Frank Warren hosts a fantastic evening of domestic action that’ll be shown live on BT Sport and you can follow an in-depth preview of the night on the boxing section of our site. Here are our Regis Prograis v Kiryl Relikh betting tips.
Before turning our attentions to England, however, we pick though what promises to be a thrilling bill at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette where the WBA world title and WBC Diamond belt will be decided at super lightweight. We’ll also take a step closer to crowning the winner of this year’s World Boxing Super Series when Regis Prograis and Kiryl Relikh face-off over 12 rounds.
This may not be one for the casual fans but in the top-of-the-bill tussle we’re guaranteed a bout that’ll appeal to the sport’s purists. Bookmakers help spark interest amongst the masses by offering attractive betting odds on a number of markets, including fight winner, method of victory, total rounds, will the bout go the distance and round group betting.
Prograis the Bookies’ Pick
30-year-old American Regis Prograis is the bookies pick to win this fight before going on to claim the World Boxing Super Series and Muhammad Ali Trophy outright. The 5ft 8inch southpaw brings a perfect 23-fight record into this bout, winning 19 of his previous starts by knockout, gifting him a fearsome 83% KO average. He made a sparkling debut by knocking opponent Carl Almirol out in the first round in Houston seven years ago and hasn’t put a foot wrong since, climbing through the ranks and collecting a host of respected titles along the way.
The Texan came to the attention of British fight fans when beating Terry Flanagan in the quarter-finals of the WBSS late last year, easing his way to a wide points margin and living up to the expectations of bookmakers in the process. The judges’ scorecards were called out at 117-110, 118-109, 119-108, accurately reflecting the victor’s dominance over his opponent from the first bell. Those who sat through that punch-perfect performance instantly marked Prograis down as a man to keep on the right side of going forward.
Terry Flanagan was beaten comfortably on the night, but he can take heart from the fact he lasted the distance and heard the final bell, keeping in mind Regis went into that challenge having stopped each of his previous seven opponents, often early in bouts. Turbo got nowhere near winning, of course, but he did show his determination and fitness by standing with a man who was expected to get him out of there without troubling those sat at ringside scoring.
It’s little surprise to see bookies have joined the Prograis fan club and have priced him as red-hot favourite to continue his winning ways, taking his tally to 24. Those looking to back the jolly will have to make do with the 1/7 offered by William Hill as that’s the best price available at the time of writing. Tight, of course, but it is on the generous side and William Hill deserve credit as most of the competition are stuck around the 1/12 mark.
Such cramped odds in the fight winner market will drive many punters into the specials as they search out a bet carrying a bigger price, but you’ll be glad to know there’s plenty worth a second look, including the method of victory. This is a tough ask as you’re being challenged to call the winner of the fight and how he’ll achieve the result – KO or points – but the prices are well worth shooting for, the rewards more than reflecting the risk of the bet.
As mentioned, Prograis went the distance last time and that’s worth keeping in mind as Bet365 are offering a cracking 11/5 on him winning over the scorers once again. That’s bigger than expected, but Flanagan’s stubbornness played a part in that result. Regis has stopped 19 of his previous 23 opponents, as well as seven of his last eight and that wins us over. Unfortunately, traders seem to have done their homework on that one too and offer Prograis by KO/TKO as a 1/2 favourite with Bet365. That’s another short odds bet but there’s enough there for big-hitters to get stuck into as a super single, while more casual players can put it to good use in weekend accumulators.
Can Kiryl Upset the Odds?
Kiryl Relikh will arrive on fight night with the weight of expectations dead against him and the current betting would have you believe he has little chance of winning this bout, but he’s a talented fighter, not to mention a world champion, who will go in confident in his ability to upset the odds. The 29-year-old from Minsk in Belarus has a professional record showing 23 wins against two defeats since making his debut in 2011. In that time, he has rose to champion of the world, despite losing half of his last four starts.
Relikh suffered his first defeat at the hands of three-weight world champion Ricky Burns on points in Glasgow late in 2016, ending on the wrong side of a 116-112, 118-110, 116-112 tally. The WBA world super lightweight title was on the line that night at The SSE Hydro and Relikh almost lost his chance on the scales when needing three attempts to make the championship limit, but he eventually got in under the wire. That’s worth noting as if he still suffers from the same weight problems that will come back to haunt him at this level.
Kiryl’s only other negative came when beaten by Rances Barthelemy next time out at the MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill in 2017, mastered by a man with a 25-0-0 record at the time. He was beaten on points again that night and the scorecards made the victor a comfortable won. It looked like Relikh would struggle to progress his career from there, but he was able to get back on track and has quickly thrown himself into contention.
Relikh started along the comeback trail when scoring a revenge win over old foe Barthelemy in a San Antonio rematch, this time doing enough to impress the judges and level the scores. The beaten man that night was deducted a point for landing a low blow in the seventh round and that played a part in him being well down on the cards at the end. We thought we’d see a third and deciding fight between the pair, but it hasn’t happened yet.
That win earned Kiryl the vacant WBA world title and he went on to make a successful defence when winning his first outing in the Super Series with a points cheer over Eduard Troyanovsky in Yokohama, Japan in October of last year. Troyanovsky went in with an impressive 27-1-0 record but was narrowly beaten on the cards, losing by two points each time. A rub of the green for Relikh, some thought, but that luck looks set to run out.
The trading team at Bet365 have written off Relikh’s chances of winning again and those willing to go against the grain will secure a chunky 6/1 about a shock result. That’s a big price but you’ll get more in the method of victory market. Another points cheer seems to be his best chance, priced at a staggering 16/1 (Bet365).