British promoter Eddie Hearn has reacted with incredulity at the long odds for Jorge Sebastian Heiland against Irish middleweight Matthew Macklin at the 3Arena in Dublin tonight.
Some bookies have the Argentinian southpaw (24-2-30) out at 15/2 and more, while Macklin is 1/20 on to win for the 32nd time from his 37th fight.
“How he (Heiland) is a 7/1 shot is beyond me. He is the one coming into this fight with form and freshness. This is very close fight,” said Matchroom chief Hearn.
Tonight’s 12-rounder is ostensibly for the WBC International title. However, in reality, a win will move Macklin one step closer to a fourth world title shot – he has lost his three previous tilts.
He said of Heiland: “He probably feels this is his time to move from fringe contender to world contender. He’s a real threat, but me at my best beats him at his best.”
Meanwhile, ex-AIBA World No 1 ranked bantam John Joe Nevin will have his first pro fight in Ireland against England’s Jack Heath on tonight’s undercard.
The undefeated London 2012 silver medallist is confident he’ll improve to three straight wins in his second comeback fight since his legs were broken in a vicious assault near his home in Mullingar last April.
“That’s the plan alright, to win. I’m just delighted to have my first professional fight in Ireland in front of Irish fans,” said the two-time Olympian.
Also on tonight’s card, Cork middleweight Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (17-0-18) insists that the animosity between himself and Dubliner Anthony Fitzgerald (16-0-23) is “real” and is not manufactured to sell tickets.
“I’m just going to deal with him on the night and I’ll leave the talking to him. I’ll do my talking the ring with my fists,” vowed the Loughmahon BC man.
Patrick Hyland and former Irish Elite champions Tommy McCarthy, Declan Geraghty and Ian Tims are also included on tonight’s 13-bout promotion.
Unbeaten Kubrat Pulev believes he’s the man to end Wladimir Klitschko’s reign as world heavyweight champion when they face off in Hamburg tonight.
Pulev is the mandatory challenger of the IBF and is undefeated in 20 fights. Klitschko has ruled the heavyweight division since 2006 and has not lost in 10 years. His WBA belt is also on the line, along with the minor WBO and IBO titles.
The fight was originally scheduled for September 6, but was postponed after Klitschko hurt a bicep in training. Pulev cast doubt on the seriousness of the injury, just one of the many frictions between the two camps.