As always in an effort to maintain full transparency I want to start out by briefly recapping the results from my previous article.

Here was the final ticket:

Ted Cheeseman to win – $20 (would win $26)

Dillian Whyte to win parlayed with Chris Kongo to Win – $10 (would win $8.06)

Whyte/Povetkin over 7 ½ rounds – $5 (would win $4)

Dillian Whyte to win by decision – $5 (would win $16.65)

Jamel Herring to win – $10 (would win $11)

Cheeseman-Metcalf was some fight, wasn’t it? And a nice little underdog win for us.

Chris Kongo put on a disappointing overall effort. I still like him and think this can be a good learning experience for him. On our end, since he dropped a decision the parlay with him and Whyte did not cash.

Something looked off about Povetkin. Whyte took full advantage and scored an emphatic fourth round TKO victory. So obviously the over did not hit nor did the Whyte by decision prop.

Finally Jamel Herring scored quite the impressive stoppage win against Carl Frampton.

Jamel Herring beat Carl Frampton on April 3, 2021 in Dubai.

The line actually moved fight week toward Herring making him a small favorite in most books when he stepped into the ring but I got my action the prior week when he was still a very slight underdog.

For the second consecutive week there was a total investment of $50 (our bankroll stood at $1023.55 to start the week). And despite losing three out of five wagers we ended up taking back $67. So a profit of $17 for this period. This brings the bankroll to $1040.55.

Now to this week’s plays. As usual odds are courtesy of SugarHouse Casino unless otherwise noted.

Jaron Ennis vs. Sergey Lipinets, 04/10/2021

Undefeated welterweight Jaron Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs; pictured atop the story) takes a sizable step up in class when he takes on former 140 pound champion Sergey Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) in a Showtime televised main event this Saturday from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. This bout is scheduled for 12 rounds.

As of this writing Ennis is a very sizable favorite sitting at -1115.

Lipinets can be had for the underdog price tag of +625. The over/under, which right now I can only find available at William Hill, is 7 ½ rounds sitting at -120 on each side.

Quick Analysis

Like fellow young studs Ryan Garcia and Vergil Ortiz did earlier this year, Ennis is going from the wading pool to the deep waters in this fight with Lipinets. Make no doubt about it, this is a legitimate test for Ennis but if he is as good as many think he is (myself included) he should pass with flying colors.

Lipinets is a tough veteran and solid overall fighter. But he can’t come close to matching the speed or athleticism of Ennis.

Is Boots Ennis a future star? Superstar? What's your take on the fighter as of now?

In addition Ennis carries the clear power edge and is the naturally bigger man. Ennis has essentially fought his entire career at welterweight whereas Lipinets has just in recent years ventured north to welterweight from the 140 pound division.

What I do think Lipinets can do is give Ennis rounds. Though he carries power, my gut says Ennis may not be as big a puncher as the record indicates. In his fight against Bakhtiyar Eyubov, Ennis unloaded clean power shot after clean shot on Eyubov. Though he scored knockdowns early Ennis couldn’t put him away despite being able to land at will. The fight was eventually called in the fourth round with Eyubov still standing. My point being Ennis may be heavy handed and powerful but just may not carry elite power.

Lipinets has proven to be durable throughout his career and if he can survive an early onslaught form Ennis (meaning not getting caught cold) I think this fight goes rounds. I like the over 7 ½ rounds.

Eimantas Stanionis vs. Thomas Dulorme, 04/10/2021

On the televised portion of the Ennis-Lipinets undercard, another undefeated welterweight, Eimantas Stanionis (12-0, 9 KO’s) takes on former world title challenger Thomas Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KO’s) in a scheduled 12 round fight. 

As of this writing Stanionis is a pretty decent sized favorite coming in at -910 whereas Dulorme can be had for the underdog price tag of +550.

Quick Analysis

Let me say right off the bat that I like Stanionis. He actually reminds me of Lipinets when Lipinets was coming up the ladder. Stanionis is solid and well-schooled with heavy handed power. Though he is not overly athletic he is very smart inside the ring and knows how to use his feet to set up angles to land his combinations. And defensively I’d rate him average to above average.

What I don’t like here is the price. There is no way I am paying -910 for Stanionis. He is taking a step here against Dulorme, who despite some recent setbacks still has plenty in the tank.

So am I willing to take a flyer on Dulorme? I actually think I am. His losses in recent years have been to Terence Crawford, Yordenis Ugas and Jamal James. All three are athletic and with more of a boxer puncher type of style. Stanionis is going to come forward aggressively and that may suit Dulorme just fine.

And who did Dulorme have some success against in recent years? It was Jessie Vargas, who while he is also a natural boxer puncher is not nearly athletic as the other three aforementioned opponents for Dulorme. Vargas was more of a stationary target and fought aggressive in spots which allowed Dulorme to have his share of moments and enough so to secure a twelve round draw.

The big question on Dulorme is and always has been his chin. If his chin can hold up I think he is going to land enough clean shots on the aggressive Stanionis, who is not as good as Vargas (at least not yet) to catch the eyes of the judges. So yeah, I see enough here to take a shot on the underdog Dulorme at around 5 to 1 odds but just won’t be going crazy.

Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov, 04/10/2021

ESPN will televise a critical fight in the light heavyweight division on Saturday from the Osage Casino in Tulsa, OK between  Joe Smith Jr. (26-3, 21 KO’s) and Maxim Vlasov (45-3, 26 KO’s). They will be fighting for the vacant WBO light heavyweight crown.

As of this writing Smith is currently listed as a -375 favorite. Vlasov can be had for the underdog price of +285. The over/under is listed at 9.5 rounds at -115 on each side.

Quick Analysis

I like Joe Smith a lot. As a person, as a fighter and as an ambassador of the sport. He is someone I personally have been rooting for to do well and am so happy to see him have so much success in the past year.

But when handicapping fights we must put our personal bias aside and analyze what we see. And what I see is prime spot to smash the underdog play in Vlasov here.

This resurgence in Smith’s career has come on the backs of two upset wins against Jesse Hart and Eleider Alvarez. Hart was coming up in weight from 168 and let’s be honest didn’t necessarily set the world on fire in that division. Smith took the fight to the smaller Hart and exposed his array of defensive liabilities. Good work by Smith but could Hart have also been there for the taking?

I covered Alvarez when he knocked out Michael Seals at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY. This was the fight before Alvarez faced Smith. Alvarez was not very active in that fight and didn’t look sharp. He was looking for one punch and well did find it in round seven. But I didn’t like what I saw from Alvarez. He looked to be going downhill fast and Smith took full advantage of that when he faced Alvarez several months later. 

I love the comeback story for Smith and he took full advantage of the opportunities presented to him but I am not buying into him suddenly being as good as many, including the odds makers now, are making him out to be.

Vlasov is a very slick fighter with good defensive skills and is not easy to hit. He will use movement here and fighters that use such movement have given Smith major issues in the past. Vlasov is also a very sharp puncher who can take advantage of defensively challenged fighters. And let’s be honest Smith has never been known for his ability to slip punches.

Smith of course will dangerous until the final bell sounds. But I like Vlasov to give him a boxing lesson here. My pick is Vlasov by unanimous decision.

Conor Benn vs. Samuel Vargas, 04/10/2021

Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) will take on veteran Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) in a ten round scheduled welterweight contest on Saturday from the Copper Box Arena in the United Kingdom. This show will be broadcast by DAZN in the US.

As of this writing, Benn is listed as a substantial -1450 favorite whereas Vargas can be had for the underdog price tag of +750.

Quick Analysis

I am going to keep this short and sweet. I have never been a believer in Benn. For many years I have thought he’d get exposed and he of course almost was by the unheralded Cedrick Peynaud in 2017. 

Vargas is a true gate keeper and generally only falls short to the best of best. Just look at some of the names on his resume. Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Vergil Ortiz Jr. In 2019 Vargas gave a tough tussle to Luis Collazo in dropping a hard fought split decision. Many thought Vargas did enough to win that fight. 

Benn still comes straight forward with no head movement and still consistently squares up to his opponents. Yes, he has gotten better since that fight with Peynaud in 2017 but how much better, is the question? It’s not like we have seen him in with a high caliber of competition. Personally I just don’t see it and think a tough experienced veteran with a solid skill set of his own can expose Benn. And I think Vargas will do just that on Saturday.

Shannon Courtenay vs. Ebanie Bridges, 04/10/2021

Also on the DAZN show on Saturday Shannon Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) will take on Ebanie Bridges (5-0, 2 KOs; see below) for the vacant WBA female bantamweight championship.

As of this writing, Courtenay is listed as the -770 favorite whereas Bridges can be had for the underdog price tag of +550.

Quick Analysis

Again, I am going to keep this short. This is a competitive fight on paper and to my eyes also per the film. The odds are out of whack in my opinion. Keep in mind in female boxing we have two minute rounds. This in my estimation is one reason why we see so many fights go to a decision. It also causes for rounds to be very close and hard to judge since there isn’t as much time for fighters to separate themselves in a round. 

So we have a fairly evenly matched fight with shorter rounds in which I suspect we see very little separating the two in a fight likely to go the distance. I have a hard and fast rule in these situations. Put a small play on the underdog and also on the draw line which is currently +1200.

Final Card

Maybe I have lost my mind, but I like a lot of underdog picks this week. And as such now will also be a good time to remind everyone to please adhere to strict bankroll management.

Ennis/Lipinets Over 7 ½ rounds – $22 (would win $18.33)

Thomas Dulorme Win – $5 (would win $27.50)

Maxim Vlasov Win $10 – (would win $28.50)

Samuel Vargas Win $5 – (would win $37.50)

Ebanie Bridges Win $5 – (would win $27.50)

Courtenay/Bridges Draw $5 – (would win $60.00)

Good luck to everyone.