The third instalment of the Prizefighter light-welterweights tournament is upon us and it looks to be an intriguing renewal, with not one but four undefeated fighters taking part alongside the reigning Southern Area Champion.
One of those men yet to taste defeat is Swansea-born Chris Jenkins, a man who possesses no small amount of power having stopped four of his seven opponents.
It’s a testament to the esteem in which Jenkins is held that he is 9/4 favourite to cash the £32,000 winner’s cheque despite being drawn in quarter final four.
Quarter final one is widely agreed to be the best jump-off into the competition, as it allows the lucky fighter who prevails the maximum amount of between-bout rest en-route to the final.
Connor made a less than auspicious start to life inside the squared circle – failing to get off the mark until the sixth outing of his career – but after a points loss to Matthew McAllister back in October 2011 he has turned his career around, winning five successive bouts.
Arguably the biggest scalp on that list was Chris Evangelou, who came into the pair’s first clash unbeaten in nine outings. Connor beat him thanks to a tight decision call on that occasion, but made no mistake in the rematch, twice sending Evangelou to the canvas in the seventh.
The six-fight unbeaten Bird stands in his way however and beyond him 5/1 third favourite Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor, beaten just once in his nine fights to date.
That loss came last time out to Liam Shinkwin (7/1), who faces off with Connor’s three match-unbeaten sparring-partner Eren Arif (16/1).
The unbeaten Shinkwin’s victory earned him the Southern Area Lightweight belt and could bode well for him, with increased punching power likely to accompany his return to the 140lb limit.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.