Magic Man to turn back the clock and scramble Eggington
The best bet of the night at the O2 could be on the undercard, where up-and-coming British welterweight Sam ‘The Savage’ Eggington takes on veteran New Yorker Paulie Malignaggi.
Eggington had a career-best victory last time out, stopping Frankie Gavin in eight rounds, but he may struggle to impose himself on a fighter as experienced and wily as former world champion Malignaggi, who has only ever been beaten by legitimate world-class fighters.
Gavin looked a shadow of his former self when he lost to Eggington and a better yardstick of The Savage’s ability came when he lost to Bradley Skeete on points for the British title a year ago.
Like Skeete, Malignaggi relies on his boxing ability and skill rather than power, and although he was stopped by fighters such as Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton, Eggington has some way to go before he can join that elite group.
Malignaggi is a considerable underdog to win this fight and his price is hard to fathom. Back him to win on the scorecards.
The other main support to Haye v Bellew sees another veteran face a young gun.
Liverpool’s Derry Mathews takes on Londoner Ohara Davies, but this time it may pay to back the rising star.
Mathews talked of retirement after being outclassed by Luke Campbell in his last fight – his second defeat in a row – and while it’s never easy to write off a warrior like Dirty Derry, big-punching Davies could bring the curtain down on his career.
Later on in Brooklyn, two undefeated world champions clash when Danny Garcia takes on Keith Thurman for the WBC and WBA wellterweight titles.
Garcia has a knack of finding a way to win even when he is written off as an underdog, but Thurman is the naturally bigger man and if he catches Garcia he has the power to turn his lights out.
It should be a great fight, but Thurman is the pick to stop him.
P Malignaggi on points
3pts 9-4 Betfair, Paddy Power
O Davies by stoppage
1pt 10-11 Betfair, Paddy Power
K Thurman by stoppage
1pt 5-2 Sky Bet