Perfect boxing draw must see Matthews take Prizefighter title
Derry Matthews has already displayed his credentials in Prizefighter once before when a beaten finalist in 2010 and he is hard to oppose as favourite for the latest lightweight renewal at 2/1.
This Prizefighter threatens to be one of the best ever, with three names synonymous with the top of the British lightweight tree step into the ring in Liverpool with some of the brightest young stars in the division.
The big names have been kept apart in the opening round of the draw, with Matthews certainly seemingly having the easiest path to the final.
He opens against the outsider for overall victory Jamie Spence in the first fight of the night, while chief rivals Anthony Crolla and Gary Sykes are both in the lower section of the draw.
Being in the opening bout gives Matthews the edge in terms of maximum rest ahead of the semi finals and then he will also have the longest break before the final over the winner of the second semi final.
Meanwhile, if Crolla and Sykes both win their first-round fights, they will meet in the semi finals.
This was the problem for Matthews last time, as he had a humdinger of a second semi final with Choi Tseveenpurev, leaving the tank empty when facing Gary Buckland in the final.
The boot should be on the other foot this time, enabling Matthews to walk off with the £32,000 winner’s cheque.
Crolla is next in the betting at 5/2 and has a bigger incentive aside from money to do well, with revenge on his mind for previous defeats to both Sykes and Matthews.
If Matthews is a little weary from three committed fights already this year, Crolla appears to be the most likely to take advantage.
Of those at bigger prices, Tommy Coyle may be worthy of a small investment at 13/2.
He may be the youngest in the line-up, but Coyle is still unbeaten and looks one of the harder punchers.
All odds and markets correct as of publication