Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing are at the Manchester Arena today (Saturday, December 10, 2016) with a huge card topped by two world title fights. The fight everyone is talking about is IBF Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (17-0) versus Eric Molina (25-3). Right now, Joshua is a massive -5000 favorite over Molina, who is returning at +2500. Joshua and promoter Hearn pushed for a match with former heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko, but the big Ukranian will not be available until March or April of next year. With Klitschko off the table it left Hearn short notice to get an opponent for Joshua. Enter Molina, the IBF’s Inter-continental champion base don his April of 2016 win in Poland over Tomasz Adamek. Two other heavyweight fights grace the card. The first sees undefeated Luis Ortiz (26-0) return on a month’s notice to face David Allen (9-1-1). Ortiz is a titanic -10000 favorite over Allen, who is returning at +3500. Ortiz ranked among the most feared heavyweights on the planet until he fought Malik Scott in Monaco on November 12th and laid an egg. Ortiz recently left Golden Boy Promotions to sign with Hearn and Matchroom and to date the pair have worked well together. The fight for Ortiz with Scott came on Hearn’s first promotion outside of England and more was expected of Ortiz. Here Ortiz gets a shot at redemption on short notice. The other fight everyone is talking about is the British heavyweight title fight between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. Whyte, the current titleholder, is a -355 favorite, while Chisora is returning at +295. Things were tense in the build-up to this fight as both men are big talkers but Chisora took it to a new level at the pre-fight press conference where he threw a table at Whyte. Hearn may be scrambling to keep the fight from being cancelled because of Chisora’s behavior, but the bottom line is this was the most interesting fight on the heavyweight slate to begin with. A second world title fight sees the WBA 115 pound title being defended on the road by champion Luis Concepcion (35-4) as he faces the challenge of undefeated Khalid Yafai. Yafai enters the fight a -240 favorite, with Concepcion kicking back at +200. Concepcion is going to be undersized but his level of experience as a pro is at a much higher level than Yafai, who has run his professional record to a perfect 20-0 against largely hand picked competition. If he gets past Concepcion as expected he will deserve kudos for taking a major step up in level of competition. Odds for 8 of the fight card’s 10 fights are at the sport books already. Below are the rest of the lines at the books. Of not is the return of former WBA 122 pound world titlist Scott Quigg and Ireland’s female boxing sensation Katie Taylor. Light Heavyweight 12 rounds – Frank Buglioni +330 Hosea Burton -450 Super Middleweight 12 – Luke Blackledge +2000 Callum Smith -5000 Featherweight 12 – Jose Cayetano +1200 Scott Quigg -2250 Lightweight 6 rounds – Viviane Obenauf +1750 Katie Taylor -5250
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