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Dillian Whyte v Mariusz Wach (December 7)
Dillian Whyte’s wait for a world title shot will extend to 2020 as he prepares for his second and final outing of the year. The 31-year-old took his win streak to 10 fights when he bested the very dangerous Oscar Rivas to win the WBC interim title back in July, but issues surrounding a failed drug test meant he was subsequently stripped of the belt and forced on to the sidelines, derailing his bid to land a crack at one of the world champions this year. Whyte passed the time by showing off his cooking skills on Celebrity Masterchef, but his team were able to get the ban lifted and he will now return to action on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia. Providing the opposition will be Polish veteran Maruisz Wach, a former world heavyweight title challenger who possesses a solid record of 33-5. Three of those five losses have come in his last five outings however, and they have hardly come against notable opposition. So this really is a tune-up fight for Whyte as he hopes to finally get his big fight in 2020 and I expect ‘The Body Snatcher’ to send a message to his rivals by getting the job done inside the distance. Wach has been stopped three times in his career and two of those stoppage losses have come in his last three fights, but Wach has never been stopped in less than eight rounds so Whyte may have to show some patience before putting him away in the second half of the contest.
Michael Hunter v Alexander Povetkin (December 7)
The move up to heavyweight has agreed with former amateur standout Michael Hunter, but can he now thrust his name into the world title picture by getting the better of a former world champion? At 40 years of age Alexander Povetkin is no spring chicken and he is clearly on the downturn in his career, but he provided a challenge for Anthony Joshua in his most recent tilt at becoming world champion once again and back in August he bested Hughie Fury over 12 rounds to ensure that nobody was writing his career obituary post-fight. Can Povetkin turn back the clock once again though to stop the rise of Hunter? I do not think so. Hunter is one of the smaller heavyweights but what he lacks in size and power at the weight, he makes up for with good footwork and fast hands. He is able to get in, land his shots, and get out safely and this will be his approach to victory here as he builds up a lead on the judges’ scorecards and stays out of trouble down the stretch.
Chris Eubank Jr v Matvey Korobov (December 7)
Having bounced back from his loss to George Groves with back-to-back wins, Chris Eubank Jr will now look to make a splash on the other side of the Atlantic as he makes his American debut against Matvey Korobov. The US-based Russian should be a tough test for Eubank Jr – many felt he did enough to beat Jermall Charlo last year and he has the skills and style that can trouble the British fighter in much the same way Groves and Billy Joe Saunders did. However, unlike those fights Eubank Jr does have a size advantage here because he is moving down from super-middleweight to middleweight, and when you couple that physical advantage with the speed and power at his disposal, you have to like his chances of out-working Korobov and getting the nod from the judges.
* Odds correct at 10:20 GMT on 4/12/2019
Jermall Charlo v Dennis Hogan (December 7)
Jermall Charlo is making the second defence of his WBC middleweight title and it should be a successful outing against Dennis Hogan. The challenger suffered a highly controversial majority decision defeat to Jaime Munguia last time out, but there will be no such controversy here as Charlo takes this on the scorecards. Hogan’s approach is somewhat crude – he aggressively presses forward and relies on his chin to take whatever comes back at him. That is not an approach that will work against a classier fighter who has a significant height and reach advantage and should be able to pick him apart. Hogan’s toughness will see him make it to the second half of the fight, but somewhere between rounds 7 and 12 he will either find himself looking up at the lights or he will be saved by the referee or his cornerman.