Free boxing betting tips: Simon Crawford previews Crolla v Burns and Eubank Jr v Yildirim

Crolla (l) faces Burns this weekend
Crolla (l) faces Burns this weekend

Our tipster Simon Crawford is backing an Anthony Crolla-Chris Eubank Jr points double on a busy weekend of boxing.

It's a pity that Anthony Crolla did not face Ricky Burns a couple of years ago when both were arguably at the peak of their powers.

It will certainly be a crying shame that whoever loses Saturday night's lightweight clash in Manchester between the two former world champions will be staring retirement firmly in the face.

Two hugely-likeable fighters, their careers have followed similar paths in having to overcome early setbacks before going on to land world honours.

However, both are currently without titles and it's a must-win if they are to stand any chance of having a belt placed around their waist once again.

Crolla (31-6-3, 13KOs) overcame life-threatening injuries suffered when tackling two burglars to land the WBA world lightweight title by stopping Darleys Perez almost two years ago. However, the 30-year-old made just one successful defence against Ismael Barroso before suffering back-to-back defeats to Jorge Linares.

Burns (41-6-1, 14KOs) is the only Scot to be a three-weight world champion (lightweight, super-lightweight and super-featherweight) and has had 12 world-title fights in a stellar career which has also seen him pick up belts at European, British and Commonwealth level.

But last time out in-front of his adoring fans in Glasgow, the 34-year-old was outpointed by Julius Indongo as he lost his WBA world super-lightweight strap.

So now it is last-chance saloon for both and I don't expect anything less than 12 compelling rounds.

Crolla has become a much more rounded fighter under trainer Joe Gallagher, happy to box off the front or back foot and cleverly picking his shots, particularly to the body as Perez found to his cost.

Crolla v Burns, October 7 - Manchester Arena

Burns, on the other hand, is very much a come-forward, pressure fighter with a terrific engine who works behind a solid jab to force openings for fast combinations.

Crolla is an odds-on favourite across the board and I also favour the Manchester fighter on this occasion as I believe the greater variety in his work will catch the eye of the scoring judges and he will win on points - a 6/5 chance.

Over in the German city of Stuttgart, Chris Eubank Jr defends his IBO world super-middleweight crown against Turkey's Avni Yildirim, which is also a quarter-final in the inaugural World Boxing Super Series which carries a prize fund of US$50million.

The colourful Eubank (25-1, 19KOs) caused something of a surprise by moving up to 168lbs, but has done it seamlessly so far with wins over former IBO champion Renold Quinlan and tough veteran Arthur Abraham.

The Brighton-based fighter is a big favourite to beat the unbeaten Yildirim (16-0, 10KOs) whose best win came last time out against Marco Antonio Periban, while he also retired American veteran Glen Johnson two years ago.

Chris Eubank
Chris Eubank

You can't afford to overlook anyone in this tournament, especially as the Turk reportedly gave British world champion James DeGale all he could handle when they sparred earlier this year.

But I expect Eubank to pound his way to a points win - which is even money - and the advice is to put wins on the cards for both him and Crolla in a double which is paying 17/5 at bet365 and BetVictor.

Where to watch on TV: Crolla v Burns - Sky Sports; Eubank v Yildirim - ITV Box Office

Recommended bet

2pts double Anthony Crolla and Chris Eubank Jr to win by decision/technical decision at 17/5

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Posted at 1255 BST on 04/10/17.

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