Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 Boxing Preview

For these boxing previews that I do from time to time, I usually like to find a fight card that is as obscure as you can get while still offering betting lines. That's the kind of contrarian hipster I am.

Not this week, though. This week we have a fantastic card from Abu Dhabi that features three fights where both competitors are ranked in the top 8 of their weight class by Boxrec. Two of those fights feature two fighters in the top three. Plus. we have a great main event match on Showtime in Minneapolis. Let's dive in. All odds from Bovada except where noted, my bet in parentheses:

Jessica McCaskill (+133) vs. Chantelle Cameron

The winner of this fight will be the undisputed women's super lightweight champion, as they each have a couple of the belts each. McCaskill is ranked No. 1 in the weight class, Cameron No. 2. Doesn't get any better than that.

For me, McCaskill is the play and a live underdog. Besides the Boxrec algorithms having her ranked ahead of Cameron, she's just beat better opponents (which, come to think it, is why the Boxrec algorithm has her ahead), notably besting Cecilia Braekhaus twice.

All but one of Cameron's fights have come in the UK, but here she won't have home field advantage and home-cooked judging. Love CasKilla in this spot.

Zelfa Barrett (+250) vs. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov

I'm really asking for it backing all these underdogs — my last betting column in this space, ahem, didn't go well.

Here again, though, Zelfa's resume is more impressive. Rakhminov only has one draw in terms of blemishes on his card, but that was to Joseph Diaz, who now sports a two-match losing streak and is looking more and more like a mere gatekeeper in the making.

Zelfa has beaten names like Kiko Martinez and Viorel Simion, and his lone loss was in 2018. I think he wins a close decision here.

Dmitrii Bivol (-410) vs. Gilberto Ramirez

Bivol, of course, is coming off his big win over Canelo Alvarez. It's a bit of a shame that he doesn't get more credit for that win, but the fact of the matter is, it's hard to know whether the victory means Bivol is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, or if Canelo just hit his upper weight limit of effectiveness.

I'm not sure "Zurdo" Ramirez is the man to give us the answer. He is the #3 ranked light heavyweight (Bivol is at the top) and he sports a ridiculous 44-0-0 record, but in the last fight I saw him in, against Yunieski Gonzalez, he looked less than impressive.

More specifically, Zurdo was between promoters at the time, so essentially started his own promotion just for the purpose of putting together a fight for himself, with a hand-picked opponent and venue, and it just took him forever to put Gonzalez away. -410 for Bivol is a good price here.

David Morrell (-1000 on Fanduel) vs. Aidos Yerbossynuly

Shifting to Minnesota for our final fight, David Morrell is a fighter to keep your eye on. They set him up with an interim world title shot in just his third professional fight. They don't fast-track a fighter like that unless important people believe he is very special. He won that fight, and he's knocked out everyone he has faced since (four opponents) by the fourth round.

That interim title shot was against Lennox Allen, and Morrell won by decision. Allen's next fight was against Yerbossynuly. Unlike Morrell, Yerbossynuly knocked Allen out, in the tenth. But, he wasn't dominating the fight prior to that — one judge had it even, and every judge has given Allen at least two rounds.

Morrell is based out of Minnesota, so he will have a significant fan advantage. -1000 is a stiff price to pay for a favorite, so I'll probably parlay him with Bivol.

Enjoy the fights!

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