Head vs Heart - The SimBoxx Betting Preview

The return of SimBoxx’s betting preview article coincides with a busy weekend of boxing action on both sides of the Atlantic, in the UK we have Josh Warrington v Mauricio Lara & a pair of world title fights in the US with JoJo Diaz defending his IBF super featherweight title against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov & Joe Smith Jr clashing with Maxim Vlasov for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title.

Here I’ll give my personal betting tips from each of the three cards with a simple format of what my HEAD (logic) says & what my HEART (a little more risky) says, as a disclaimer I’d like to add I am in no way a betting ‘expert’, just offering my light hearted tips!

Josh Warrington (30-0) v Mauricio Lara (21-2)

Some what of an underwhelming fight of course & as result of the lacklustre opposition there is very little by way of value in betting on a Warrington win outright.

I’ve chose to delve into the rounds market for a little more return for my outlay & even there it’s not very forthcoming but given Warrington is looking for some much bigger fights later in 2021 there’s a pressing desire to see him win in good fashion here, I do believe he’ll like a few rounds under his belt due to the recent in activity so I see this fight edging into the second half but overall a stoppage victory is the aim.

My HEAD says; Warrington win between rounds 6-10 at 7/4

My HEART says; To be a little more precise with choosing round 7 Warrington KO/TKO/DQ at 10/1

Undercard picks;

There’s a particular evenly matched contest on the undercard on Saturday night as Leigh Wood clashes with Reece Mould for the vacant British featherweight title whilst Zelfa Barrett takes on faded former world champion Kiko Martinez

My HEAD says; Leigh Wood was riding a wave of momentum before running into an inspired Jazza Dickens in the Golden Contract, he can return with a points win here at 7/5 while Barrett is looking better & better with each passing contest, he’ll likely stop Kiko Martinez in the middle rounds, 5-6 at 5-1

My HEART says; A Wood victory on the cards coupled with an explosive early KO win for Barrett inside 2 rounds returns odds of slightly better than 25/1

JoJo Diaz (31-1) v Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0)


Diaz overcame an horrific cut above his eye when dethroning Tevin Farmer in January 2020 to lift the IBF super featherweight title via a close UD, here he takes on somewhat of an unknown quantity in Rakhimov, the Russian managed by Egis Klimas who also guides the careers of Olexander Usyk & Vasyl Lomanchenko. The undefeated challenger has 12 stoppage victories in his undefeated 15 fight ledger. Rakhimov is an aggressive southpaw with plenty of power & applies a lot of pressure, although he’s only been the 12 round distance once, he takes a big step up in class here against an established super featherweight in JoJo Diaz who himself has seen the final bell in 5 of his last 6 fights.

My HEAD says; This could be a closely contested fight early on with the potential to explode in to life at any point, I don’t think the fight goes early but the fight to go the distance offers little value at 1/5 so Diaz to retain his belt at 4/6 on the cards looks more appealing.

My HEART says; Although Rakhimov is stepping up massively in class he could announce himself as a major player in a stacked 130lb division with a win here, I believe he can carry his power into the mid-to late rounds so there could be value in him becoming the first man to stop Diaz & my small stake will be going on him to win in rounds 7-9 at 16/1

Joe Smith (26-3) v Maxim Vlasov (45-3)

The vacant WBO light heavyweight title is on the line here & Joe Smith will be hoping to finally claim world honours, his victory over Bernard Hopkins being the stand out moment of his career thus far along with wins most recently against Jesse Hart & Eldeir Alvarez, Vlasov meanwhile has been a pro for 16 years & with 48 fights under his belt is vastly experienced.

My HEAD says; Vlasov has fought as high as cruiserweight & he knows his way around a boxing ring, I do believe this fight goes to the trenches & will be a war of attrition so a points win for the younger, fresher Smith Jr at 13/8 could prove profitable

My HEART says; Smith Jr is a big puncher, 21 of 26 wins coming by way of stoppage, he could make a statement here with a KO win & if the fight becomes a slugfest I favour the American, Smith between 10-12 at 6/1 is worth a dabble.

Luke of SimBoxx


In association with Clint Patrick







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