Fight night tips: The best bets as Brook and Spence battle at Bramall Lane
We make our picks for Saturday night in Sheffield, with two British fighters likely to leave Bramall Lane as world champions...
Kell Brook v Erroll Spence
This should be a cracking fight between two boxers who are unbeaten at welterweight.
With eight consecutive knockout wins, Spence is a scary prospect.
It’s fair to say, however, that the 27-year-old has never fought anyone even close to the top level.
Chris Algieri – his best opponent to date – would lose to at least a couple of the fighters Brook has beaten.
Unlike Spence, Brook has been in fights of this size before, having travelled to California to take the IBF world title away from Shawn Porter in 2014, and even in his only professional defeat to Gennady Golovkin the Englishman was hugely impressive.
While there are several unknowns surrounding Spence – like whether he is ready to face a world-class opponent, and how he will deal with fighting in front of 26,000 people – there is only one with Brook.
He might be drained after making the 147lb weight limit, and will certainly move up a division after this fight.
Nevertheless, there is huge value in backing the Englishman at home in Sheffield at .
He should use all of his experience to take control of the centre of the ring, and is certainly worth backing at to earn a decision victory.
George Groves v Fedor Chudinov
This is really Groves’ last chance to become a world champion.
The 29-year-old has lost all three of his world title fights to date, having been stopped twice by Carl Froch before a split decision defeat to Badou Jack in September 2015.
Since that last loss, Groves has climbed back to the top of the division with four consecutive wins, the most impressive of which was a unanimous decision against Martin Murray last June.
You have to fancy him to finally win a belt here against Chudinov, who has only had 15 professional fights and lost to Felix Sturm in his last outing.
Groves is by far the most accomplished fighter the Russian has ever faced, and the Londoner’s stiff jab will likely nullify the constant pressure that Chudinov usually looks to exert.
A knockout is unlikely, though, given that Groves’ last two fights have gone 12 rounds, as have Chudinov’s last three.
Back Groves to win by decision at .
Dave Allen v Lenroy Thomas
After being used as a whipping boy for world title hopefuls Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz, Allen has received his own shot at glory here.
The 25-year-old Yorkshireman has a record of 11-2-1, with his only two defeats coming against opponents that he really shouldn’t have been matched up against.
Thomas doesn’t fall into that category.
The American has been stopped by Arron Lyons, Andrey Fedosov and Dominic Breazeale in his last seven fights, the latter of whom had only had five professional bouts before he knocked Thomas out.
Allen has the tools to win this fight, and with it the vacant Commonwealth title.
He has a rock-hard chin – having never been knocked down in his career – and can punch, with eight stoppages in his 11 wins.
Back the Englishman to win by knockout at .