The Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut features Showtime Boxing this Saturday, April 16th with an eight fight boxing card topped by two world title fights. The IBF World Super Featherweight title is on the line as champion Jose Pedraza (21-0) faces Liverpool’s Stephen Smith (23-1) in a 12 round bout with a close line. Pedraza is favored at -175 as we enter fight week, with Smith coming back at +155. There is no over/under posted for the fight. Pedraza, out of Puerto Rico, is making the second defense of the title he won in June of 2015 with a unanimous decision victoy over Andrey Klimov. Pedraza defended the belt in October against veteran Edner Cherry and he escaped with a Split Decision victory. Pedraza enters the fight with advantges in height and reach of about two inches, and he is four years younger than Smith at 26 years old. The lone loss on Smith’s record comes to Lee Selby back in September of 2011, and Selby has gone on to become IBF World champion. Since that loss Smith has won eleven in a row. Smith is part of a fighting family where two of his brothers hae won world titles and the oldest, Paul has fought on the world level for the past several years. The WBC featherweight title defense for champion Gary Russell Jr (26-1) sses him enter a massive favorite over opponent Patrick Hyland (31-1). Right now, the sport books have listed Russell Jr a huge -7000 favorite, with Hyland paying back +3000. Russell Jr has an extensive amateur background and his only loss as a pro comes to Vasyl Lomachenko in a close fight that one judge saw as a draw. He won the WBC belt in March of last year when he defeated Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8) so it has been a year since we have seen him in action. Hyland is 32 years old, 4 years older than Russell Jr and Hyland will have a considerable height advantage heading into this fight as he is 5’8 and Russell Jr is just over 5’4. Also on the card is former WBC and IBF Light Heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (33-4) as he continues on the comeback trail. Dawson returned in December of 215 after a year layoff. Prior to that he fought the likes of Andre Ward and Adonis Stevenson and endured a 1-3 spell overall. Saturday he fights Cornelius White (23-4) who is similiarly trying to bounce back from losses to prospect Marcus Browne and Sergey Kovalev. Eight fights are planned at the live event and that includes a welterweight women’s bout at 6 rounds between Shelly Vincent (16-0) and Elizabeth Anderson (4-7).
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