Hutchinson vs Houben Predictions: Willy vs the world as Hutchinson defends ranking belt

 | March 21 | 

3 mins read

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Willy Hutchinson will put his WBC international light heavyweight title on the line on Friday March 22 against Martin Houben. Britain’s boxing mecca, York Hall in Bethnal Green, hosts the 175-pound scrap with TNT Sports 1 televising. Here are my Hutchinson vs Houben predictions ahead of an exciting title encounter.

Hutchinson vs Houben Tips

  • Hutchinson by knockout @ 1/8
  • Will the fight go the distance - No @ 1/12
  • Hutchinson in round five @ 7/1

Hutchinson is ranked 12th in the WBC world rankings, largely by virtue of holding the title at stake here. Houben will be conscious that he can improve his standing on the world stage with a victory. The German fights outside his home nation for the third time in his professional career and, in Hutchinson, meets his toughest opponent so far.

The visitor has gone 17-2 at a rather ordinary level. Most worrying is the nature of those losses. One-fight novice Nasser Bueknya defeated him by majority decision back in 2019. Bukenya is now 8-4, suggesting Houben wasn’t just unlucky to come up against a nascent world beater. The German’s other loss came via knockout against 6-9 struggler Iago Kiziria. His conqueror has won one and lost three since, indicating it was not the start of a career revival.

A career revival is exactly what Hutchinson needed after a chastening fifth-round TKO defeat to Lennox Clarke in 2021. That match-up for the British title came down at super middleweight, a division Hutchinson had fought in just once previously. He is a much more comfortable light heavyweight, borne out by his three wins on the trot since and the capturing of this WBC ranking belt. He has stopped all three of his foes following the Clarke reverse. Most recently, he beat veteran Ezequiel Maderna, who has been in with the likes of Artur Beterbiev and Fedor Chudinov.

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That experience at a higher level will stand Hutchinson in good stead here. Unbeaten at light heavyweight and coming off his best win, momentum is certainly in his corner. While the Scot isn’t technically in front of a home crowd, York Hall hosted his last two fights so he knows the terrain. The crowd will be heavily behind him against an opponent unaccustomed to travelling.

Hutchinson’s power could be a factor here, having taken out 12 of his 16 victims inside the distance. Houben is vulnerable and, while he will be keen to dismiss the Kiziria knockout as a freak, it must be taken into account when picking a winner here.

It will come as no surprise that Hutchinson gets my nod in this one. If pressed for an exact prediction, and after all that is what they pay me for, I fancy the Scot in round five at 7/1 . Houben just isn’t cut out for this task and I feel like ‘Braveheart’ will overcome him with little trouble when all is said and done.

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

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