James Dickens can get one off his training partner Kid Galahad on a fascinating Fight Camp map, according to boxing expert Chris Oliver.
Boxing Betting Tips: Fight Camp, Saturday August 7
1pt James Dickens to win by decision at 4/1 (Sky Bet)
0.5pt to win Dickens by split decision at 18/1 (bet365)
1pt double Wardley-Webb on 3.5 and Babic-Bennett on 2.5 laps at 5/2 (bet365)
Kid Galahad vs. James Dickens
When: Saturday August 7, approx. 2200 BST
Where: Matchroom Fight Camp
Fight Camp 2021 left for a flyer last Saturday and we’re back in Eddie Hearn’s backyard for another night of action on DAZN this weekend.
There were upheavals and tears during a highly entertaining first week of action inside the Matchroom HQ compound, and the second installment features arguably the best fight of the three-week series. While last week’s map was filled with intriguing fights, this time it’s the main event as Kid Galahad and James ‘Jazza’ Dickens fight for the IBF featherweight title in an eight-year rematch.
They were two undefeated young super bantamweight when they faced off for the UK title in September 2013 and provided an exciting contest, until Dickens was stopped in the 10th round. Now at 126 pounds, they’re both much more experienced and dramatically improved fighters heading into the biggest night of their careers yet.
Dickens started well in the first meeting as he was very successful with his high work rate and pressure, but Galahad found his range and came back to it right away as the pace slowed down later in the fight. Considering their evolution since then, that result might not have much of an impact on the comeback, but it certainly won’t hurt the confidence of Galahad, who is a hot 4/11 favorite to repeat the dose.
Fight Week, Ep2: Galahad vs Dickens 2 – Press Conference (behind the scenes)
Those odds are understandable given the first result and the fact that the Qatar-born Sheffield resident came close to winning that belt against Josh Warrington in a grudge match in Yorkshire just over two years ago. Galahad has denied his pre-fight chances of giving the previously undefeated champion a real run for his money, albeit in an ugly and time-consuming affair the challenger has come to ruin.
Those tactics almost worked, but he failed to stick with Warrington when he shifted into high gear in the final third of the fight and lost a split decision. Galahad has only boxed once since, stopping the decent Claudio Marrero in the round of eight with a polite performance in February of last year, and he will know this is his big opportunity to take world honors.
Dickens, who can be backed at 5/2, suffered two more losses in 2016 and 2017 to Guillermo Rigondeaux (broken jaw in the second round) and Thomas Patrick Ward (technical decision) respectively, but his resurgence since his weight increase has been very impressive. He’s coming there on an eight-game winning streak and although 2020 has been a setback for many in the sport, Dickens has had his best year so far.
The popular Liverpudlian completed an unbeaten streak in the MTK Golden Contract tournament with impressive point gains (10 rounds) against Leigh Wood (February) and Ryan Walsh (December) and looked better than ever while doing so. The victory over Wood gave a huge boost to form as the Nottingham man upset Xu Can to win the WBA ‘regular’ title in the main event here last weekend and Dickens heads towards Essex with real momentum.
This recent activity is a huge boon to the underdog and it could be a much closer fight than the odds suggest, with plenty of reason to suggest that Dickens may do better than the first time around. It was his first 12 rounds and it showed as he got tired, but he is now much more seasoned and displayed a more powerful engine now at featherweight. His performance against Wood was relentless, but he also showed his boxing skills by overcoming Walsh in a much more tactical affair and looks a much more complete fighter at 30.
Galahad may not have everything in his own way
Galahad is a delicate customer and can be as clumsy as he would like on his day. A typical product of the famous Ingle Gym, he is a talented slugger who relies on his reflexes to defend himself and digs with authority when he lets go of his hands. He’s a good distance judge with smart footwork and has a very useful jab when he chooses to use it. He may look like a world champion in the making when given the time and space to work, but likes to fight at his own pace and is less efficient when forced to work at a pace higher.
These two haven’t only known each other from the first fight, they’ve also played many rounds together over the years and are friendly outside the ring. When boxers know each other so well, it can often lead to an attempt at bonding as both are fully aware of each other’s strengths, and it wouldn’t be surprising here. This could be a factor in the money coming this week to go the distance, which is now an 8/13 better price, and I agree with the market move as they both do well 12 rounds now and are durable.
This support was matched by punters who clung to Galahad by decision in the Win Method market, and the available 6/4 looks fair enough. However, he’s the type who does just enough to cut laps and chances are it will be really tough to score, with potentially just a lap or two in either direction and plenty of debate to follow. In what I see to be a close fight between two well-assorted opponents, the value call is DICKENS ON POINTS to a juicy 4/1 with Sky Bet.
As we saw the first time around, he has the pace of work to establish a rhythm Galahad is not comfortable with the first doors and seems more able to maintain it these days. He needs to do his job smart on the front foot and keep his head moving all night, but he’s shown he can do it against Wood and Walsh’s win was another real confidence booster.
These two performances and the more recent activity should arguably make the Lancashire southpaw cost less than him, and he assesses the value of the battle of the roses. A little game on DICKENS TO WIN BY SPLIT DECISION also calls for a huge 18/1 with bet365.
Double the overs
The undercard doesn’t have the quality of seven days ago, but it could be a lot of fun as the heavyweights come into town looking to drop the bombs.
Big punch Fabio Wardley is aiming to continue his ascent against a reborn Nick Webb after the two succeeded on the same Matchroom card in Gibraltar earlier in the year.
After being stopped by Dave Allen and Kamil Sokolowski in 2018, Webb won the Ultimate Boxxer tournament (three-round format), but it was his surprise second-round stop to the much-vaunted Erik Pfeifer on ‘The Rock’ in March that really touched him back on track.
Later that night, Wardley took his unbeaten record to 11 (10 earlier) as he stopped two-time world title challenger Erik Molina in the fifth round for a career-best victory. With no amateur experience to appeal to, Wardley is learning all the time and having been tagged heavily that night, he can show the advantage of that experience against Webb.
The favorite can hit but isn’t the biggest for the weight and it might be a little harder than some think so MORE THAN 3.5 (8/11) in the total touring market may be the way to go.
Another “little” heavyweight causing a stir is Alen Babic, who is yet to go past the three rounds of his perfect seven-fight career and Mark Bennett could be victim number eight.
However, MORE THAN 2.5 TURNS reportedly landed in Babic’s last two contests and could make it here at 11/10, with Bennett typically weighing close to 260 pounds and being the tallest man favorite to date. His only loss in seven came to Webb in the aforementioned Ultimate Boxxer event and he might have the size to stick around long enough that we can collect double.
Posted at 1115 BST on 08/06/21
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