Liam Smith, Jono Carroll, Filip Hrgovic, and Shakhram Giyasov Preview and Predictions

The usual method of selling out an arena in a location overseas is to stack the card with local fighters in winnable fights against imports, but Matchroom Boxing USA have done the opposite and put European’s against Mexican’s on the Juan Francisco Estrada vs Dewayne Beamon undercard with the foreigners favoured to be victorious.

Filip Hrgovic vs Mario Heredia
Croatia’s fast-rising heavyweight star Filip Hrgovic (8-0-0, 6Ko’s) takes the next step in his professional career that has so far seen him gain a world ranking from the IBF (#12), WBC (#11), and WBA (#6).

Fighting Mario Heredia at this stage, it seems that his management and promoters at Matchroom Boxing USA believe he may be moving too fast towards a crack at a world title, and he is. Wins over Amir Mansour and Kevin Johnson in his 6th and 7th bouts respectively pushed him up the world rankings at a time when most prospects wouldn’t be considered for domestic honours. But, Hrgovic is not your usual prospect. The 6’ 6” Croatian won bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, losing out on a close decision to eventual gold medal winner Tony Yoka of France. As a pro he has been moved quickly because he had 30 bouts while he was still an amateur in the World Series of Boxing where the fights are over 5 rounds and the boxers wear no vests or headgear, essentially these are the same as short pro fights against the best amateurs in the world.

There is nothing in Heredia’s record to suggest he is anywhere near the level of Hrgovic, but in his last bout in April, he scored a split decision win over former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter in Atlantic City, a win that looks better than it actually is, having witnessed Peter’s last fight against Hughie Fury in Saudi Arabia. Peter, at 38 years of age is simply going through the motions in an attempt to earn some cash using his name.

Hrgovic will stop Heredia in 1 or 2 rounds.

Betting for this bout by Betfair | Terms & Conditions
Filip Hrgovic 1/100
Mario Heredia 16/1
Draw 33/1

Liam Smith vs Mario Alberto Lozano
Liverpool’s former WBO Super-welterweight champion Liam Smith takes on Mario Alberto Lozano (33-9-0) in a good test that he should come through with another ‘W’ added to his current record  of 27-2-1. Smith is looking to fight for a world title again soon and Lozano is the sort of opponent that will push his case.

Lozano has only been stopped once so I am sure Liam will do his best to be the first to do so. Smith is one of the best inside fighters we have in the UK, so I expect he will attack the body of the 32-year-old Mexican.

Lozano has won 4 out of his last 5 fights and it’s the loss to world ranked Brazilian Patrick Teixeira on a majority decision that convinces me that Lozano will hear the final bell.

Liam Smith to win by Unanimous decision.

Betting for this bout by Betfair | Terms & Conditions
Liam Smith 1/50
Mario Alberto Lozano 12/1
Draw 33/1

Jono Carroll vs Eleazar Valenzuela
Dublin’s Jono Carroll returns to the ring just 5 months after losing to IBF Super-featherweight champion Tevin Farmer in Philadelphia in a brave challenge for the title. The 117-11 twice, and 117-110 scores did nothing to reflect the contribution from the teak tough Irishman who will now attempt to rebuild and come again for another title challenge.

Carroll’s last 5 fights have all been demanding affairs so he is due an easier nights work and Matchroom have found him one. Valenzuela (20-11-4) of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico made a dreadful start to his career with 1 win, 2 losses, and 2 draws in his first 5 outings but recovered to win his next 10, after that he has lost every time he has stepped up in opposition.

Carroll is not a big hitter with only 3 stoppages in his 16-1-1 record and Valenzuela has only been stopped twice so I can see this fight going the distance.

Jono Carroll to win on a wide points decision.

Betting for this bout by Betfair | Terms & Conditions
Jono Carroll 1/50
Eleazar Valenzuela 12/1
Draw 33/1

Shakhram Giyasov vs Darleys Perez
Matchroom are not wasting time with Giyasov as they put him in with former WBA world Lightweight champion Darleys Perez of Columbia in only his 9th professional outing.

A silver medallist in the 2016 Olympic games and world amateur championship gold medal winner in 2017, Giyasov also won 3 out of 4 in the WBS, losing only to Cuba’s Roniel Inglesias.

The 26-year-old native of Bukhara, Uzbekistan has faced tough opposition since his pro debut in March 2018 and will be knocking on the door of a world title shot if he takes the scalp of Perez who is still operating at a decent level.

Giyasov looks destined for world honours and at 35 years of age and with only 2 wins and 2 draws in his last 7 fights, Perez will do well to last the distance.

Giyasov to stop Perez around the 6th round.

Betting for this bout by Betfair | Terms & Conditions
Shakhram Giyasov 1/25
Darleys Perez 10/1
Draw 33/1

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