The Bookie Batterer: A punt on Rau’shee is warranted

It’s a quiet weekend at the top level in boxing this weekend.

With just one major card occuring, all eyes are focused on Saturday night the UIC Pavilion in Chicago for a Premier Boxing Champions card headlined by Andrezj Fonfara against huge underdog Joe ‘The Irish Bomber’ Smith Jr.

However, the chief support bout is one which, on paper, is a lot closer.

In a rematch of their 2015 see-saw battle, champion Juan Carlos Payano and U.S. Olympic star Rau’shee Warren renew hostilities for the WBA bantamweight title.

Such is the pick’em nature of the match-up, both fighters were initially available at 10/11, although the odds on Warren have since shortened.

In their first fight in Florida last August, the much busier fighter from the Dominican Republic got the nod over Warren via split decision (113-111 x2, 109-115) in a clash which saw points deductions for both fighters and a knockdown scored by Warren in the final round.

While he outlanded Payano with cleaner shots and counters, Warren (who holds amateur wins over Declan Geraghty and Ruairi Dalton) fell afoul of the judges in a somewhat controversial decision that rewarded Carribean fighter’s activity.

This time around expect Cincinatti’s Warren to up his work rate, get less involved, and possibly receive the benefit of the doubt from the judges in the closer rounds, to get the victory in the city where he won World amateur gold back in 2007.

Irish-Boxing.com pick: Rau’shee Warren to win on points @ 13/8 (SkyBet & Lads)

Saturday night’s card is available to watch on Boxnation TV.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie