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Billy Joe Saunders vs. Artur Akavov Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 12/3/16

Akavov vs. Saunders

Boxing: Saturday, December 3, 2016 (Lagoon Leisure Centre)

The Line: Akavov +2000 / Saunders -6000 --- Over/Under See the Latest Odds

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Billy Joe Saunders and Artur Akavov fight Saturday at the Lagoon Leisure Centre for the WBO middleweight title.

Billy Joe Saunders enters this fight with a 23-0 record that includes 12 knockouts. This will be Saunders’ third fight since 2015, and he’s coming off a December win over Andy Lee. Saunders will put his new belt on the line for the first time in a fight that has been postponed twice for various reasons. Saunders has really improved his stock the last few years and is inching closer and closer to earning one of those big money fights against a superstar opponent. Saunders is a solid technical boxer with great defensive skills and does have some underrated pop with two of his last four fights ending in knockout. The one concern with Saunders is that he hasn’t fought in a year, so there could be potential rust for the champion. Saunders has fought his whole career in the United Kingdom, his birthplace.

Billy Joe Saunders vs. Artur Akavov Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 12/3/16

USA TODAY Sports

Artur Akavov enters this fight with a 16-1 record that includes seven knockouts. Akavov has won his last 11 fights and is coming off a March win over Todd Manuel. Akavov has just 92 rounds under his belt despite being 30 years old, and his seven knockouts have come in his last eight fights. This is obviously the biggest fight of Akavov’s career, as his best opponent was Michel Mothmora in 2015. Akavov is a tough boxer who works hard in the ring and clearly has some pop in his punches that could give him a shot at an upset. Akavov has to be aggressive from the start if he’s going to give himself a shot at the victory. Akavov’s only loss came against Oleg Liseev back in 2012, which was just the sixth fight of his career. This will be Akavov’s first fight in the United Kingdom.

Akavov doesn’t have the experience against quality fighters or the overall boxing skills to give Saunders much concern. This is one of those typical soft matches for somebody to defend their belt for the first time to look good in hopes of landing a big payday moving forward.

Saunders should have little trouble winning this fight in decision.

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Billy Joe Saunders

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