Tete vs Butler, Friday night 7.00pm, BoxNation
The first of five televised boxing events takes place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Friday night, where Paul Butler aims to become a two-weight world champion after just 18 fights. At 26-years-old, Butler is one of Britain’s most impressive boxers, and moved up in weight to win the IBF bantamweight title against Stuart Hall in Newcastle last year. After immediately vacating the belt, the undefeated fighter has returned to his natural super flyweight class and faces Zolani Tete in Liverpool.
19-3 Tete became the IBF super flyweight champion after knocking out Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr in Mexico, and the tall South African followed that up by defeating Teiru Kinoshita in Japan. The champion will be full of confidence after two consecutive away wins, and with 16 career wins by stoppage he packs a punch as well.
Despite Tete’s recent accolades, the bookies have priced him generously at 13/5, with Butler an overwhelming favourite at 2/5. Confident gamblers may like Tete by KO at 5/1 if the home fighter has underestimated his opponent.
Chief support on the undercard is a British title clash for the vacant super bantamweight title between 18-1 James Dickens, and 17-6-2 Josh Wale, who is the nearly man at domestic level, having lost or drawn matches for English, British and Commonwealth titles. Also featuring on the Liverpool bill is the exciting Jack Catterall, the man he last defeated Thomas Stalker, as well as tickover bouts for Derry Matthews, Kevin Satchell and Liam Smith.
Harrison vs Smith, Friday night 4.00am, ESPN
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is headlined this week by a light middleweight battle between 19-0 prospect Tony Harrison, and 23-5-1 gatekeeper Antwone Smith. Harrison has stopped his last eight opponents within three rounds, while Smith hasn’t fought since August 2013 when he was knocked out by Jermall Charlo in round two.
Keep an eye out on the undercard for the 2013 AIBA World Champion Ievgen Khytrov who has won all eight of his professional contests by knockout, and looks to make it nine against Jorge Melendez.
Ruenroeng vs Shiming, Saturday afternoon 12.30pm, BoxNation
Double Olympic champion Zou Shiming has only had six professional bouts, but due to his celebrity status in China he fights for the IBF flyweight title in Macao against the undefeated 14-0 Amnat Ruenroeng. One of the most successful amateur boxers in history, Shiming has struggled in the professional ranks despite the tutelage of Freddie Roach, but at 33-years-old it is perhaps now or never to fulfill the destiny that was prophesied after he won his second gold medal in London.
The Chinese star is 2/7 to succeed, while Ruenroeng, who could quite possibly need a knockout to win has odds of around 3/1. Exciting 22-1 American Glen Tapia faces the 45 fight veteran Australian Daniel Dawson in the highlight of the undercard.
Coyle vs Gethin, Saturday night 7.30pm, Sky Sports 1
A slightly disappointing Matchroom show emanates from Hull on Saturday night, topped by home favourite Tommy Coyle against veteran Martin Gethin. Coyle has won five in a row since being stopped by Derry Mathews, but was knocked down four times last year against Daniel Eduardo Brizuela.
Fellow Hull hero, and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell is being set up for a stadium clash in the city against Coyle should they both continue to win, and after initially pulling out of the show due to his father's illness, he now fights 11-1 Nicaraguan Levis Morales.
Elsewhere on the card, exciting prospect Sam Eggington faces the 20-0 Shayne Singleton, Erick Ochieng meets Tom Knight, while Bradley Saunders, Gamal Yafai and Rocky Fielding all face journeymen.
Thurman vs Guerrero, Saturday night 1.30am, BoxNation
The last action of the weekend involves many of the biggest names in the sport, as Al Haymon opens up his official account as a promoter with a loaded show from the MGM Grand. 24-0 Keith Thurman is a charismatic and powerful welterweight, but did not look spectacular in his last fight with Leonard Bundu. He will hope to dazzle more when he defends his WBO title against former multi-time world champion, and previous Floyd Mayweather victim Robert Guerrero.
Thurman has stopped 21 of his 24 opponents, but may have a difficult time shifting Guerrero who though only fighting twice since November 2012, is a fearless fighter who has a great chin and tremendous heart. The odds are very generous in Thurman’s favour, with Guerrero available at a huge 13/2.
An intriguing undercard features Adrien Broner and John Molina competing against each other, with Broner still on the comeback trail after losing to Marcos Maidana in December 2013. The 29-1 fighter is incredibly talented, but majorly lacks discipline, while the exciting Molina is always capable of springing an upset.
Another fighter still recovering from a damaging loss is former WBC featherweight champion Abner Mares, and he seeks the 29th victory of his career in Vegas with a win over Mexico’s Arturo Santos Reyes.Reuse content