Two of the most questionable chins in the sport of boxing are put on display on Saturday night as eternal dreamer Audley Harrison and self-proclaimed king Amir Khan headline in Sheffield.
Then over in Argentina, Martin Murray will step out in front of 40,000 fans baying for his blood as he takes on national icon and middleweight king Sergio Martinez in Buenos Aires.
Allow me to start with the fights taking place in the Steel City, where inflated ticket prices have already been disgruntling the locals, who were hoping to see Khan return home in a slightly more meaningful encounter that wouldn’t break the bank.
Indeed, with so many viable names out there in the light-welterweight division it’s hard to comprehend why the former gold medallist would have to invite a faded champion over the pond to fight at a bizarre catch weight.
Still, it is an Amir Khan fight and his vulnerabilities make any contest he enters a fascinating one. From what I’ve seen of the two men, Khan should be too fast for Diaz, but the Mexican will come forward and pressure the favourite.
The visiting fighter, who is an 8/1 shot, also showed in his last bout against hot prospect Shaun Porter that he can take a punch from a fully-fledged welterweight and still throw hard, accurate shots in return.
That said, I see Khan, the heavy 3/50 favourite, running out a points victor at 71/20, but don’t be surprised if he has to overcome some mini-crises in the middle rounds brought on by his over willingness to impress the crowd.
A stoppage win for Diaz in the fifth, sixth or seventh rounds are each available at 66/1.
Moving on to Fraudley, sorry Audley – what more is there to be said about this supposed saviour of the heavyweight division that hasn’t already been said by the man himself?
In the build-up to this particular fight, the 41-year-old has actually been keeping his mouth firmly shut as he perhaps hopes to convince Deontay Wilder not to make him the 28th consecutive KO on the American’s resumé.
I actually like Harrison. He’s quite loveable really and his never-say-die attitude can’t be sniffed at.
Unfortunately, I can’t see the 4/1 outsider summoning the confidence to go out and put Wilder on the back foot early in this one, which will lead to the confident youngster getting on top early and eventually landing his hammer-like right hand to justify his strong 17/100 favouritism.
Despite what Audley said happened in ancient sparring sessions, where he claims to have given Wilder all he can handle, history suggests that when big shots begin to whistle past his ears he’ll freeze and end up being KO’d early somewhere near the third (5/1) or fourth round (7/1).
Having said that, Wilder is almost totally untested in the pro ranks and Audley can punch, so why not take a cheeky punt on an early KO in the same rounds at 33/1 and 35/1 respectively?
Either way, I just don’t see how this fight can go the full ten rounds.
But for all the interest surrounding Khan and Harrison, the biggest fight of the night involving a British fighter is the one happening in what will be a packed out football stadium in Argentina.
To say that Murray (24/5) is up against it would be an understatement. He has fought away from home before against the then world champion Felix Sturm and came away with a creditable draw, with some observers suggesting he deserved the victory.
However, that fight was in Germany, where you can usually hear a pin drop during a round, such is the lack of atmosphere in the stadiums there.
Buenos Aires will be an altogether different beast, as will the warrior put in front of Murray.
Towards the end of his career, Sturm has become an immobile, stiff and predictable fighter who’s easy to hit, whereas Martinez (4/25) is the polar opposite, relying on his speed and upper body movement to make his opponents look pedestrian.
Having said that, Julio Chavez Jnr did catch up to El Maravilla in the last round of their fight and nearly KO’d the middleweight king, but he’s a super-middleweight who boils down to 160 pounds and although Murray is a big unit, I doubt he’ll carry his power as deep into a fight as the Mexican does.
In my opinion, Murray will put on a stubborn show but he won’t be able to deal with Martinez’s speed and movement and will slip to a unanimous points loss at 31/20.
So to sum up: Khan will have you sweating at times but should pull through, Harrison will get another taste of canvas before proclaiming that he’ll still become world champion and Murray will escape Argentina alive, but only after a comprehensive schooling.
Not a weekend for the underdog!