By Karl Freitag
A lot of interesting fights today, including a world heavyweight championship match. In each fight, the “A” side is a lopsided favorite to win, but all the action below figures to be entertaining match ups. Here’s a brief rundown:
Unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his title against WBO mandatory Alex Leapai tonight in Oberhausen, Germany. Klitschko is still a prohibitive favorite, but Leapai betters have been backing their man all week causing a significant drift. Wlad is currently at -1000, while Leapai is now +600. Wlad was at -1600 and Leapai was +1100 earlier in the week.
Leapai’s countryman Lucas Browne will face Eric Martel Bahoeli in Sheffield, England for the Commonwealth heavyweight title. The unbeaten Browne is a heavy -2000 favorite to beat Bahoeli +1100.
WBA/WBO flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada has a hometown defense against Richie Mepranum in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Estrada is a whopping -3000 pick to keep his belt, while Mepranum is +1300.
Of course, there’s the huge Showtime tripleheader in Southern California, headlined by WBA interim welterweight champion Keith Thurman against ex-lightweight champ Julio Diaz. Thurman is a heavy -1900 favorite to take care of Diaz, who is at +1200. Lucas Matthysse is -1700 to defeat John Molina +1100 in the co-feature. Also, WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa is -750 to retain his belt against former amateur rival Jerry Belmontes +525.
Also, of possible future significance, Shane Mosley Jr., son of ring legend Sugar Shane Mosley, makes his pro debut in Port Hueneme, California. In addition to Mosley, that card features five unbeaten fighters including Jose Zepeda, Trevor McCumby, Saul Rodriguez, Danny Franco and Erick De Leon.