The big fights are coming thick and fast in 2017 with the much-anticipated re-match between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz taking top billing this weekend.
Northern Ireland’s Frampton (23-0, 14KO) took the WBA Super World Featherweight title away from his opponent in the initial encounter last July.
However, 32-year-old Mexican Santa Cruz (32-1, 18KO) will be gunning for revenge when the pair meet again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A split decision saw Frampton emerge victorious in the first bout and bookmakers everywhere are finding this second meeting tough to call.
But thankfully we have an expert on hand in the shape of Boxing trader, Adam Williamson…
Ladbrokes News: Should we expect more of the same in Frampton – Santa Cruz II?
Adam Williamson: I’m really looking forward to the fight this weekend.
Last time was a slug-fest, and I can’t see this one being any different if I’m honest. In the first fight I seem to remember Frampton beating Santa Cruz to the punch early on, and then Frampton getting tired middle rounds, before coming on strong again.
Frampton definitely has the better foot movement of the two, but Santa Cruz is still pretty good at cutting off the ring and making people fight his fight. This involves lots of punching in the pocket.
Both have decent power, but even better chins, so the fight should go the distance. The only possibility of a stoppage might be late on if Frampton gets tired, but I wouldn’t be backing it.
LN: With Frampton now champion and Santa Cruz the challenger, will the psychology of both fighters have changed and how has this affected the betting?
Santa Cruz had problems with his camp last time but I’m not sure how much difference that made. I think he, and the world, may have underestimated Frampton!
The Belfast man drifted from Evens to 2/1 in the weeks leading up to the fight.
The opposite is happening this time around, having opened at 4/5, and being backed into 4/6 with most other firms.
LN: What betting strategy would you advise this time around?
AW: I do think it’ll be close. Usually, the best tactic in re-matches is to back what happened in the first fight. Styles make fights and the two respective styles of these guys won’t have changed in the last six months.
I’d back Frampton to win after being knocked down, or back the Frampton win by Split Decision at 9/1.
LN: What’s next for Frampton following this fight?
AW: Providing Lee Selby wins well on the undercard, he could fight Frampton next.
Belfast has been touted as a venue, and I think if that happened Frampton would go off a warm favourite. I think the judges would prefer Frampton’s more all-action style rather than Selby’s flashly moves.
Click here for the latest Frampton v Santa Cruz II odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing