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COTTO, MARTINEZ: fascinating fight. Photo: CHRIS FARINA, Top Rank
Martinez -185; Cotto +155
Over 10.5 -160; under 10.5 +140

Having won titles at light-welter, welter and light-middleweight, Miguel Cotto attempts to become the first Puerto Rican four-weight world champion when he moves up to the middleweight division to challenge Sergio Martinez for the WBC title at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
 
Martinez is bigger, but Cotto has some things in his favour, not least that New York City’s huge Puerto Rican population means that he effectively has hometown advantage.
 

FROCH, GROVES: No love lost between British rivals.
Froch -125; Groves +100
Over 11.5 -+120; under 11.5 -140

There are times when a fight ends in such an unsatisfactory fashion that a rematch gets made by public demand. This is the situation with the return fight between Carl Froch and George Groves, which takes place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, with Sky Sports televising on PPV in the U.K. while HBO will be showing the fight for viewers in the U.S.
 
Froch, who will be defending his WBA “super world” and IBF 168lbs titles, felt he had proved superiority with last November’s ninth-round win — but few agreed.

MAYWEATHER; MAIDANA: Another masterclass looks likely. / Photo: TOM CASINO for Showtime
Mayweather -1250; Maidana +500
Over 10.5 -200; under 10.5 +160

When there is an upset in boxing there are usually clues — even if well-hidden ones — as to what might happen. A betting favourite might be looking past his opponent, or he might be under-prepared, or over-confident, or struggling to make weight, or perhaps beset by distractions outside the ring. He may be showing signs of slippage. Unfortunately for underdog Marcos Maidana, none of the above applies to Floyd Mayweather, who defends his WBC welterweight title, undefeated record and superstar status against the Argentinean slugger at the MGM Grand tonight; Maidana will be risking his WBA “super world” title and seeking to pull off a life-changing victory.
 
Try as we might, we cannot find any hint as to how Maidana can pull off a monumental surprise.

BURNS, CRAWFORD: Emotion-charged atmosphere could be factor.
Burns +150; Crawford -180
Over 10.5 -185; under 10.5 +155

After two struggling performances in a row, Ricky Burns knows he will need to be at his absolute best when he defends his WBO lightweight title against mandatory challenger Terence Crawford in Glasgow on Saturday (TV on Sky Sports in the UK., AWE in the U.S.).
 
This fight is, potentially, about as tough and as tricky as it gets. Burns will have a roaring Scottish crowd behind him at the Scottish National Exhibition Centre, and he’s the more experienced and perhaps the physically stronger fighter; Crawford is unbeaten, fast, clever and a sharp puncher, and, at 26, he’s the younger man by four years.
 

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CRAWFORD KO night had old-time feel. / Photo: Sumio Yamada

There was an almost yesteryear feel to Terence Crawford’s thrilling knockout win over Yuriorkis Gamboa on Saturday night. We had an American boxer who can really fight overcoming early difficulties to overwhelm a skilled and dangerous opponent in front of a roaring hometown crowd.
 
The Omaha setting and approximately 12,000 crowd reminded us that a city not normally known as a boxing centre will turn out to support one of its own. It reminded me of the big, enthusiastic crowds we saw when Virgil Hill boxed in Bismarck, ND; Pernell Whitaker in Norfolk, VA or Joe Mesi in Buffalo.