Espinoza vs Sanchez Predictions: From underdog to favourite for Espinoza

 | Friday 21st June 2024, 15:42pm

Friday 21st June 2024, 15:42pm

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WBO featherweight champion Rafael Espinoza makes the first defence of his crown on Friday, June 21 against Sergio Chirino Sanchez. The world title attraction takes place at the Fontainebleau in Las Vegas with Sky Sports Action screening the card. 

Here are my predictions ahead of what should be an all-out war.

Espinoza vs Sanchez Tips

  • Espinoza by stoppage @ 8/13
  • Fight to go the distance - No @ 4/7

Rafael Espinoza was not supposed to be here. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has openly admitted that the Mexican was enlisted to give then-champion Robeisy Ramirez a tough test back in December. When Espinoza hit the deck in the fifth round, it looked like that test had been passed.

But Espinoza arose and battled on, knocking Ramirez down in the final round and emerging with a majority decision. It was a shock to say the least, given the deposed champion’s history as a two-time Olympic gold medalist who hadn’t lost since his pro debut in 2019. But Espinoza duck in and sprung the upset, taking home the WBO featherweight strap.

Arum unsurprisingly wants to run it back between his new champion and Ramirez. The latter re-gloves next weekend for a 10-rounder with Brandon Leon Benitez. But first, it falls upon Espinoza to keep his end of the bargain and emerge victorious here.

Standing in his way is a fellow Mexican and a former sparring rival. It has been reported that the training sessions between Sergio Chirino Sanchez and his Saturday opponent were spicy to say the least. Pre-fight hype or genuine enmity? We’re about to find out.

Whatever the promotional bluster says, these two match up well stylistically. While I prefer to shy away from cliches, it is fair to say the intrinsic national style in Mexico is one in which fighters scarcely take a backwards step. Anyone who saw Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera whale on each other for three fights back in the day can attest to that.

The bombs will fly in this one too, I imagine. It will be interesting to see how Espinoza adjusts to being the favourite and reigning champion. It is Sanchez with the underdog mission this time and some fighters are ill at ease with the elevated status of a champion. 

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Espinoza vs Sanchez Fight Odds

Espinoza is out front as the favourite with a heavy 1/8 in his favour, which gives him an implied 88.9% chance of victory. Underdog Sanchez sits at 5/1 or 16.7% probability. The draw is available at 16/1 with a percentage probability of 5.9%.

Espinoza vs Sanchez Full Card

Rafael Espinoza vs Sergio Chirino Sanchez 

Andres Cortes vs Abraham Nova 

Troy Isley vs Javier Martinez 

Floyd Diaz vs Francisco Pedroza Portillo 

Demler Zamora vs Jose Antonio Meza 

Steven Navarro vs Juan Pablo Meza 

Albert Gonzalez vs Conrado S. Martinez 

Emiliano Vargas vs Jose Zaragoza

Espinoza vs Sanchez Prediction

I feel like our new champion has this well in hand. Sanchez is untested over 12 rounds and while Mauricio Lara went on to become a world champion, a second-round loss to him back in 2018 is a concern. I am going for Espinoza to retain his title via stoppage at odds of 8/13.

You can find all our latest boxing betting tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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