Nick Ball (right) is fancied to win what could be a classic
Nick Ball (right) is fancied to win what could be a classic

Boxing betting tips: Preview and best bets for TNT Sports and Sky Sports cards

Chris Oliver is forecasting a domestic classic on Saturday night and he's backing Nick Ball to come out on top against Isaac Dogboe.

Boxing betting tips: Saturday November 18

1pt Nick Ball to win by decision at 11/8 (Coral, Ladbrokes)

2pts Denzel Bentley to win in rounds 1-6 at 15/8 (Paddy Power, Betfair)

1pt Adam Azim to win by unanimous decision at 11/4 (Coral, Ladbrokes)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Frank Warren showcases the best of his stable with a cracking show at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, live on TNT Sports.

This could be the best domestic card of the year and fans are in for a treat with a string of intriguing matchups. The pick of them appears to be the top of the bill, with NICK BALL taking on Isaac Dogboe.

Arguably Warren’s best prospect, Ball (18-0) is on a real roll at present and has become a big hit with the fans thanks to his all-action style. He has won all four outings by stoppage since stepping up to 12-rounders and is knocking on the door of world honours now, but this test will tell us whether he is capable of dining at the top table or not.

Born in Ghana before soon moving to London, Dogboe (24-3) has done most of his fighting in America and proved himself to be world class by winning and defending the WBO super bantamweight title in 2018. His stock rose in defeat when losing that title to the excellent Emanuel Navarrete via decision in a barn-burner, before being stopped in the final round of their rematch in 2019.

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Only succumbing to the serious power of Navarrete in the final of the 24 rounds they shared tells you how tough Dogboe is, and although he arrives this weekend on the back of a third career loss, there is certainly no shame in being outboxed and outpointed by the supremely talented featherweight champion Robeisy Ramirez.

Ball is a warm 2/5 favourite to extend his winning sequence, but this is a serious test, and he will need to be every bit as good as his promoter is saying for him to overcome Dogboe, who can be backed at a generous 5/2.

Like Ball, the underdog is known for his fan-friendly style and Dogboe loves nothing more than trading leather. The pair are also physically similar, as both are short and stocky for the weight with frames built for aggression rather than the sweet science. Given their preference for applying pressure and letting their hands go, this has all the ingredients of a classic and the best looks to have been saved for last in Manchester.

This should be exciting from the very first bell as both men like to get on with things, but they are also durable, and I don’t expect any early blowouts. Having become known as a bit of a knockout artist, the worry for Ball would be that if he believes in his power a bit too much and empties the gas tank looking to get rid of Dogboe in the first third of the fight.

However, in stopping both Nathanael Kakololo (June 2022) and Ludumo Lamati (May 2023) in the 12th round, Ball has shown he can navigate the championship distance well and, as well as that, he carries his power late and has the engine to do it at a good pace.

Dogboe is dangerous and much more experienced, so I think this will be a lot closer than the odds suggest, but the timing of the fight may just tip the balance in favour of the favourite.

Despite only being 29 years old, Dogboe has plenty of miles on the clock, with a style that makes every fight a tough one and he took plenty of punishment in those two bouts with Navarrete. He has also done his best work at super bantamweight and Ball could just be the stronger man in this featherweight contest.

Ball may also be the more skilful of the pair and, if he uses his brain, his faster feet can prove the difference against an opponent who appears to be slowing down a little now.

The favourite from Liverpool is 12/5 to get a sixth consecutive knockout and a late stoppage win for him is a possibility, but I see this one going the distance and Ball winning a decision at 11/8.

It won’t be easy and Dogboe will certainly have his moments, but the upward trajectory of Ball earns him the nod against someone who looks to be coming down the other side of the mountain.

Bentley to cruise past Heaney

There is plenty to go at on the undercard but another fight that looks sure to be very entertaining is DENZEL BENTLEY’s British title defence against Nathan Heaney.

Heaney (17-0) is probably most famous for his large, and very vocal, following but the Stoke man has always dreamed of fighting for this famous belt and earned his chance with a career-best performance when outpointing Jack Flatley in their rematch in March.

However, this is a big step up in class and, unfortunately for Heaney, the man holding the belt has proven himself to be above British title level.

Following his first defeat to Felix Cash, Bentley rebounded with three good wins before getting a surprise world title shot against the heavy-handed Zhanibek Alimkhanuly 12 months ago and gave a very good account of himself against the unbeaten champion.

Not only did he go the distance with the feared Kazakh, but he also won rounds and returned from Las Vegas with an enhanced reputation.

The Londoner displayed the benefits of that confidence-boosting world title tilt when despatching of Kieran Smith in 45 seconds on his only outing since and will be looking to prove he is beyond this level again, just as his odds of 1/7 suggest.

Heaney’s odds of 6/1 won’t stop his army of followers from backing their man with a wall of noise and that vociferous support could spark the underdog into an aggressive start, while Bentley won’t need asking twice to oblige in a tear-up. I expect this to catch fire early and neither man is particularly hard to find, but Bentley carries the superior power and that can prove the difference if things get heated early on.

A 16th stoppage in 19 outings for Bentley is just 4/9, but 15/8 is available for it to come in the first six rounds and that looks rock-solid bet for a man with a big advantage in power and experience.

Is the Sky still the limit for Azim?

At the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Sky Sports and BOXXER put their brightest prospect on display as ADAM AZIM challenges for Frank Petitjean’s European super lightweight title.

All and sundry were waxing lyrical about Azim (9-0) as he rattled off four highlight reel knockouts from as many outings in 2022, all coming inside two rounds, with his demolition of the usually durable Rylan Charlton last November being the most impressive.

Throwing explosive shots from all sorts of angles, the 21-year-old has the speed, footwork and reflexes to bamboozle and dismantle his opponents in a manner that is very easy on the eye.

However, the hype train has slowed down a little after being taken the 10-round distance on both outings so far in 2023. While both were invaluable learning fights, his shots didn’t get the same reaction from Santos Reyes (12-0) and Aram Faniian (23-1) and posed the question about whether the youngster’s power is carrying up in class.

Petitjean (24-6-3) won the title with a very close majority decision against Samuel Molina in June, when fighting in his native France may have helped him get the nod, and this will be his first outing in the UK.

This may not be a step up in terms of quality of opponent for Azim, who should justify odds of 1/12 easily enough, but it is his first 12-rounder and the visitor (8/1) has proven to be durable in the past, with only one of his six losses coming by stoppage, and that was nearly 10 years ago.

The gulf in quality may well be too wide and Azim could overwhelm his man to get back on the knockout trail, but that outcome is short enough at 8/11 and the 15/8 about the favourite needing the judges to prevail for the third time in a row makes more appeal.

That can be boosted to 11/4 for Azim winning a unanimous decision and that looks the value call, with facing a southpaw for the first time possibly giving him something to think about.

Posted at 1415 GMT on 17/11/23

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