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Weekend Betting Angle – Dickens vs Galahad II

IBHOF inductee and boxing gambling expert Graham Houston weighs up Saturday night’s IBF featherweight title showdown between Sheffield switch-hitter Kid Galahad and Liverpool’s Golden Contract winner Jazza Dickens at Matchroom’s Fight Camp.

Eight years after their first meeting, Kid Galahad and Jazza Dickens do it again on Saturday, this time with the vacant IBF featherweight title on the line. Last time they met it was for the British title in the 122lbs division and Galahad won in the 10th round. Both are bigger, stronger, improved fighters, but Galahad has been in the higher-profile fights and he’s favoured. Betfred has Galahad priced up at 4/11 (-275) while if you like Dickens for the upset you’re offered 12/5 (+240).

Bettors might see value in the southpaw Dickens, who is on a run of eight wins in a row. Dickens’ decision victory over Leigh Wood in February 2020 now looks even better after Wood’s world title success last weekend. He’s a live underdog for sure.

Each man is making his second world title attempt; Dickens retired due to a broken jaw against Guillermo Rigondeaux while Galahad lost a split decision to Josh Warrington. 

Galahad wasn’t quite busy enough against Warrington and allowed himself to be outhustled. You get the impression that Galahad won’t want to leave any doubts against Dickens.

There seemed a greater urgency about Galahad’s boxing when he stopped world-class featherweight Claudio Marrero in eight rounds in his last fight. He boxed in an authoritative manner and he basically took Marrero apart and made him quit.

Dickens is a solid pro, what you could call well-rounded. He is adept at counter punching but he’s also efficient on the attack. While not considered a very hard hitter, Dickens had Wood on wobbly legs in the ninth round. He can hurt fighters at the lower level; there was a spell in his career in which Dickens stopped four opponents in a row. Dickens scored knockdowns in his wins over Nathaniel May and Carlos Ramos. So he can punch hard enough to get respect. Galahad, however, is the superior puncher in the fight. 

When he met Dickens back in 2013, Galahad had to come from behind to win. Dickens was in front on two judges’ after nine rounds but he was fading by the 10th Galahad walked him down and flattened him with a big left hand from the southpaw posture. Although Dickens beat the count he looked out of it and the referee waved off the contest. (Interestingly, Galahad was a -300 favourite and Dickens a +225 underdog that night, so after all these years the odds are pretty much the same.)

If there’s a so-called psychological advantage, Galahad has it because he knows he can hurt Dickens and take him out. Dickens, though, might feel that he was beating Galahad for eight, nine rounds and that if he’s just that bit smarter, maybe if he’s got a bit more gas in the tank, then he can get the win this time.

Galahad is 31, Dickens is 30. I think this is Galahad’s time. He let the fight slip away from him against Warrington and I believe he will be determined not to let this happen again. I think we’ll see Galahad putting mental and physical pressure on Dickens, switching between the southpaw and orthodox stances and relying on timing and accuracy to negate Dickens’ speed and movement. I think Galahad’s edge in firepower will make the difference in the fight..

Looking at the propositions, the general market for the over/under is 10.5 rounds with the “over” favoured at 8/15 (-187).

The market sees the fight going the distance, with an offering of 8/13 (-162) for the bout to go the scheduled 12 rounds, while “Distance — No” is available at 6/5 (+120). Galahad by KO TKO DQ is priced at 17/10 (+170) while Galahad to win by decision or technical decision is available at 8/13 (-162). Dickens to win by decision is an enticing 4/1 (+400).

What did the weigh-in tell us? Galahad looked shredded although perhaps just a little sunken-eyed from weight cutting, which isn’t unusual when a boxer is tight at the weight. (Galahad had to strip naked behind a sheet to get under 126lbs). Dickens looked comfortable at a quarter-pound under the featherweight limit. 

Logically the fight goes 12 rounds but I can’t get away from the idea that Galahad can force a stoppage. It’s a bit of a long shot, but at 17/10 it could be worth considering if nothing in particular jumps out at you.

Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.