Back AJ and St George to dispatch their opponents in rapid time on the Bellew v Cleverly undercard
There are plenty of big names on the undercard of Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew, but the fans in Liverpool will not be seeing the likes of Anthony Joshua and
George Groves for long, with both set for quick knockout wins.
2012 Olympic gold medallist, Joshua, has not gone past the third round in his nine pro bouts to date, destroying every opponent put in front of him. These have not been against complete chumps either, with seven of them holding winning records before meeting the big man.
Michael Sprott, Joshua’s opponent on Saturday night, is another of these solid performers who has operated at a decent level for over a decade. He has held the British, Commonwealth and European titles in the past, which shows just what he is capable of, although at 39-years-old he is now well past his best.
So far past his best, in fact, that he has suffered two first round knockouts in the last year-and-a-half, including last time out. These were men not half as good as Joshua, which bodes ill for Sprott in Liverpool.
12 times Sprott has been knocked out in his career, and coming in nearly five inches shorter than the huge-punching Joshua on Saturday, he is about to reach unlucky 13. It is going to be another short nights’ work for AJ and he will have dispatched his compatriot before the third round, as he has done to eight of his previous nine foes.
Another Londoner, Groves, is also ready to walk through an over-matched opponent on Merseyside. Denis Douglin has been brought in at fairly short notice and has no one of any note at all on his record. He is not only lacking in talent, but also in natural size as he began down at light-middleweight whilst this bout takes place two divisions above that.
St George may have come up short against Carl Froch in their double-header, but opponents of a lower standard rarely make it to the final bell against him. Douglin has twice been knocked out in the first five rounds by very average opponents and the same will happen when he steps up against Groves at the weekend.
It will not be such a short ending for yet another Londoner in James DeGale who has a sterner test in front of him. Mexican, Marco Antonio Periban is a very steady operator and has never been knocked out despite being in with world level fighters such as Sakio Bika and Badou Jack.
DeGale is very classy, on route to bigger things and will win the fight, but it will almost certainly go the distance against a tough opponent who also has a height advantage over the Englishman.
3/10 – Anthony Joshua to win in rounds 1-2
2/1 – George Groves to win in rounds 1-3
4/7 – James DeGale to win on points