Frank Warren for Queensberry Promotions stages a night of championship boxing at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday. The TV cameras will be in attendance and armchair fans can keep pace with the best fights of a stacked bill live on BT Sport, with the main event scheduled for a 10.00pm GMT start time. It’ll be one well worth being in your seat early for.
The venue will be packed to the rafters and there will be millions more watching around the world as Josh Warrington defends his IBF featherweight world title against fellow unbeaten Brit Kid Galahad. Two of the division’s most promising fighters putting it all on the line to secure a world title and drive themselves towards a money-spinning unification bout later this year, this one will have followers gripped from the opening bell.
Undercard Packed with Delights
It’s a clash you won’t want to miss but it’s not the only fight of note taking place at the Yorkshire stadium that night. The undercard is packed with bouts that’ll appeal to both purists and casual followers of the noble art and Frank Warren really must be praised for putting on a show of such quality. This will be a night for the fans, and they will be rewarded for their continued support.
Major bookmakers have done their bit to allow us a bet on the action and you can have your say on several eye-catching markets. Bet on the winner of each bout and aim to nick a small profit over the course of the evening or throw a few selections together in a punchy accumulator. Small stakes for big wins is the goal there and it’s an achievable one if putting in the work and doing your research. Thankfully, we’re here to help on that one.
Our team of boxing tipsters is made up of former professional fighters, gambling industry insiders and sports betting experts, who have come together to help you profit from the evening. Enjoying live sport is one thing but making money on the outcome is our real passion and we’re more than happy to share our knowledge with the site’s army of followers. We’ve previewed Warrington v Galahad in detail elsewhere on the boxing section and have also run the rule over Tyson Fury v Tom Schwarz. There’s one fixture on the undercard in Leeds that really caught our attention, however, and we’re keen to pick out the value available in Zelfa Barrett v Lyon Woodstock.
Barrett Has Climbed the Ranks
Zelfa Barrett has caught the eye during the early part of his career and enters what will be the 23rd fight of CV when taking on Lyon Woodstock over 12 rounds for the vacant Commonwealth title at super featherweight. The 25-year-old from Manchester brings a record reading 21 wins against one defeat and no draws with 13 of his victories coming by way of knockout, resulting in a 59% KO average. That’s worth keeping in mind if aiming for a bigger price in the method of victory market.
The 5ft 7inch orthodox made a winning debut at the Middleton Arena when beating famous British journeyman Kristian Laight over four rounds back in October 2014. It was a comfortable outing for the victor and one that gave us a taste of what was to come from this man. He certainly appeared to get used to the winning feeling and went on a run of form that saw him quickly climb through the ranks of British boxing. It took Barrett until October 2017 to get his hands on his first respected title and he did that by beating Chris Cornwell for the English strap.
Zelfa was firing on all cylinders that night and looked a man determined to make the wait pay-off. He sent his opponent to the canvas twice in the fourth round before referee Bob Williams waved the fight off for the beaten man’s own safety, awarding Barrett the English title. That win came at the First Direct Arena and he’ll be hoping more joy follows at the same venue this weekend. He’ll have the backing of the majority of those packing the stands and pundits expect that to make a real difference when this one gets underway.
Knocked Off His Stride
Unfortunately for the newly crowned English champion, his best night as a professional boxer was to be quickly followed by his worst and he suffered his first defeat next time out. Matched with Scotsman Ronnie Clark at the York Hall in Bethnal Green in February of last year, the pair faced off for the vacant European title. It was a chance for Zelfa to add another respected honour to his haul, while driving himself towards the big time, but that plan backfired in spectacular fashion.
Clark wasn’t given a hope by the bookmakers or, indeed, any of the experts who previewed that fight, but he put on a performance very few saw coming to upset the favourite. The Shark went on the front foot from the opening bell and battled his way to a stunning points win against all the odds. There was nothing fancy about Ronnie’s work that night, he just rolled up his sleeves and fought like his life depended on it. Closing the distance and not giving his opponent the room he needed to box made a big difference and Barrett seemed to struggle to adjust to the pace of the fight. He was pushed back for most of the evening and looked uncomfortable.
Zelfa retuned with two wins from his next two starts and feels he is ready to get back on track with another title win. Bookmakers have him priced as favourite and punters happy to go along with that will find Barrett no better than 2/7 at Unibet. There’s more to be had in the method of victory market with a KO/TKO win priced at 11/4 by Bet365 while the points cheer will net you 4/5.
Woodstock a Talented Boxer
Opponent Lyon Woodstock has a professional record of 12 wins against one defeat with five knockouts on his card. A lowly 38% KO average shows us this 25-year-old Londoner is a fighter who tends to rely on his polished boxing skills and footwork, rather than aiming for the big punches. Woodstock is a smart boxer who is expected to play his part in what should be a thoroughly entertaining fight over the championship distance.
Win this and he will completely transform his career. That will be the driving force behind Lyon’s work during his preparations for this one and although his style is very different to that of Ronnie Clarke, he does know his opponent can be out worked and beaten by a fitter man. Woodstock’s sole defeat to date came against Archie Sharp at the Leicester Arena late last year when losing on points with the European title on the line. He suffered a nightmare start that night, dropped in the first round, and did well to last the distance.
Lyon scored a return to winning ways last time before jumping back in at the deep end. This is a real crossroads fight for both men involved and that’s sure to make it all the more exciting. Fancy a bet on the Londoner? You’ll find him available at 5/2 with Unibet. The points win at 4/1 (Bet365) makes more sense than a rare KO/TKO, although the latter can be backed at 10/1.