With the recent Manny Pacquiao fight, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. still looking for his next opponent, there is a tendency to think there is a void in boxing. But that isn’t the case, as the first weekend of December is packed with solid matchups. Let’s take a look. Tomorrow night (December 7, 2013) Felix Sturm (+100) is in a practical pick ’em fight with Darren Barker (-120). Barker has strung together three wins since he lost to Argentinian superstar Sergio Martinez, but he is facing a tougher battle than the odds show. Sturm has lost on his home territory before, but the truth is fighting in Germany, he will win the decision. It is an unfortunate fact of life, but if you don’t think so, go ahead and bet Barker, who is a very good fighter. Brooklyn will host several matches of note at the Barclay’s Center. Hometown boys Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah do battle in a match for bragging rights. Right now, Judah sits as a slight favorite at (-160) with the comeback on Maliganaggi, who returns (+140). With Judah on the B-side of his career, and Malignaggi a skill boxer who does not hit hard, this one is a good bet to go the distance. Maliganggi will steal rounds if Judah gives him the chance, but Judah fighting in his hometown seems to have found some of his old swagger and arrogance, and will likely see his hand raised at the end. The co-main event in Brooklyn features Erislandy Lara taking on Austin Trout in what is almost a straight pic ’em fight. Trout is in need of a victory, as he has a mixed record in the big time. His win over Miguel Cotto was a potential career changer, but losing another big fight to Saul Alvarez has him at a crossroads. Lara is one of a group of talented Cubans with major amateur credentails, so his 18-1-2 record is not the whole story with him. Atlantic City will host the showdown between Joseph Agbeko and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigondeaux is a massive (-1900) favorite over Agbeko, who returns (+1200). Agbeko may be worth a dog bet just in case, as he is a high skill boxer who would never be this big an underdog under normal circumstances. But Rigondeaux will out match him with his otherworldly precision and skill. His defeat of Nonito Donaire sent a meesage that this multi-time amateur world champion’s game sent the message that Rigondeaux is for real. In fact, Rigondeaux may be the most skilled fighter in the world right now, so betting Agbeko appeals to the gamblers out there, who like having a little at risk. Though laying the juice out on Rifgondeaux seems insane, he is so precise many will be doing just that.
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