Check out boxing tips and previews for Wednesday’s massive Melbourne Fight Night, featuring Nikita Tszyu v Benjamin Bommber and Joseph Parker v Django Opelu.
Boxing Tips – Joseph Parker v Django Opelu
- Sterling – 31-3 (21 wins by KO/TKO)
- Opelu – 15-3-2 (11 wins by KO/TKO)
- Parker def Jack Massey – Unanimous decision – January 2023
- Opelu drew with Kris Terzievski – Technical Draw – March 2023
Analysis: The heady days of beating Andy Ruiz for the WBO heavyweight title in 2016 and squaring off against the likes of Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte (losing to both by unanimous decision) in 2018 seem a long time ago.
But the Kiwi remains the ninth-ranked heavyweight in the world and will look to make short work of Django Opelu as he charts a possible – though unlikely – course to another title shot.
Parker suffered the first knockout loss of his career in September, in the 11th round to Joe Joyce. But he regrouped with a unanimous decision over Jack Massey in Manchester in January.
Opelu is a dangerous proposition with 11 knockouts in his 15 pro wins and he’ll go after Parker, looking to defy his $8 underdog price with one big blow. His last bout in March with Kris Tierzievski – which would have been an excellent test of where he’s at – was declared a technical draw after Tierzievski was injured in a fall.
He lost to Lucas Browne in late-2021 but won his last completed bout against Hemi Ahio in October.
But Parker is the far more polished, well-rounded and experienced fighter – and he can still pack a punch.
Tip: Round Betting – Parker to Win in Round 5-6 @ $9.25
Boxing Tips – Nikita Tszyu v Benjamin Bommber
- Tszyu – 5-0-0 (4 wins by KO/TKO)
- Bommber – 5-0-0 (4 wins by KO/TKO)
- Tszyu def Bo Belbin – Rd 4 TKO – March 2023
- Bommber def Ankush Hooda – Majority decision – November 2022
Analysis: Two fighters with identical records – 5-0 with four knockout wins – lock horns in a light-middleweight showdown. But the competitor with the famous name heads in as a resounding $1.08 favourite.
Nikita Tszyu is carving out his impressive reputation since returning to boxing at age 23 and going pro in 2022, winning five fights in the past 14 months. He won a six-round decision over the dogged but outclassed Ben Horn in July, won by corner retirement against Darkon Dryden in October and stopped Bo Belbin TKO in the fourth round in March.
Benjamin is regarded as the toughest test of Tszyu’s career to date. He’s recently back from training at Mayweather Boxing Club and has stamped himself as a future star, despite being pushed hard by Anushka Hooda in November.
It promises to be a furious and entertaining six-round bout – if Tszyu doesn’t end it too early.
Tip: Round Betting – Tszyu to Win in Round 3-4 @ $3.90
Boxing Tips – Jayde Mitchell V Max Reeves
- Mitchell 21-2-0 (10 wins by KO/TKO)
- Reeves 7-0-1 (5 wins by KO/TKO)
- Mitchell def Mark Lucas – Majority decision- October 2022
- Reeves def Mark Smith – Unanimous decision – March 2023
Analysis: The most even match-up of the main card, Max Reeves puts his unbeaten record on the line against the experienced Jayde Mitchell.
Veteran super middleweight Mitchell is still a warm $1.44 favourite, though, and still has designs on being a mover and shaker. He lost a split decision to former world champ Istvan Szili in 2020 and has only fought once since – getting a majority decision over Mark Lucas in October.
A win over the promising Reeves would put his name back at the forefront.
Reeves boasts five knockouts in carving out a 7-0-1 record, setting the record straight from his technical draw against Mark Smith in 2021 by claiming a unanimous decision in the pair’s clash two months ago.
Mitchell’s ring smarts may just be the decisive factor in what shapes as an absorbing bout.
Tip: Method of Victory – Mitchell by Points or Decision @ $2.03
Boxing Tips – Joel Taylor V Ben Horn
- Taylor 9-0-0 (4 wins by KO/TKO)
- Horn 4-6-0 (0 wins by KO/TKO)
- Taylor def Ty Telford – Rd 6 RTD – November 2023
- Horn def Campbell Somerville – Majority decision – November 2022
Analysis: Another head-to-head mismatch, undefeated Joel Taylor will nevertheless have his work cut out against the gutsy Ben Horn despite his $1.05 favourite price.
Horn, the brother of former world champ Jeff, is on a four-fight losing streak – but he went the distance in each bout against Lachlan O’Shea, Ben Kite, Nikita Tszyu and Campbell Somerville.
Taylor is making good judges sit up and take notice by virtue of his 9-0 record, most recently forcing rugged Ty Telford to retired in their November clash. But he’s a technically solid fighter who is more than prepared to box his way to a decision win – which he very well may have to do with Horn proving a difficult opponent to stop early.
Tip: Method of Victory – Taylor by Points or Decision
Boxing Tips – David Nyika V Louis Marsters
- Nyika – 5-0-0 (4 wins by KO/TKO)
- Marsters – 3-4-0 (2 wins by KO/TKO)
- Nyika def Titi Motusaga – Rd 2 KO – October 2022
- Marsters def Kenny Niko – Majority decision – April 2023
Analysis: Rising Kiwi heavyweight David Nyika shouldn’t have much problem moving to a 6-0 record when he lines up against Lui Marsters for the second time in Melbourne.
A two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Nyika picked up the heavyweight bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. He’s wasted little time in making his mark in the pro ranks, stopping four of his five opponents.
One of them was Marsters, earning a Round 2 TKO on the Gold Coast in July. In his only fight since, he knocked Titi Motusaga out in the second round.
Marsters has had another three fights – beating ex-NRL player Richie Fa’aoso and Kenny Niko either side of a loss to Liam Talivaa – but he certainly hasn’t improved enough to get near an upset of Nyika.