Saturday Night Special: Diaz Set to Stun Crawford in Our Boxing Picks

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:03 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 17, 2017 2:03 PM UTC

Terence Crawford has been installed as a prohibitive favorite Saturday as he defends his WBO/WBC junior welterweight titles, which opens up an opportunity to make it rain with his underrated opponent Felix Diaz.

                                                Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs)           Tale of The Tape    Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs)

5'5"                                                 Height                  5'8"

67"                                                 Reach                    70"

Southpaw                                               Stance                  Orthodox

33                                                   Age                        29


Diaz Set To Slay His Giant

Terence Crawford owns several advantages over his opponent Feliz Diaz on Saturday night in New York, which is why the boxing odds are prohibitive. As of this writing, Crawford is anywhere from a -1700 to a -3300 favorite depending on where you shop. The reigning WBC and WBO junior welterweight king holds a three-inch height and reach advantage over Diaz and is four years his junior. Crawford’s record is unblemished and he has the ability to shift from orthodox to southpaw when the situation dictates. He also has more power than the challenger and some have made style comparisons to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in terms of his rapid-fire delivery and the alacrity with which he darts in to score and then seamlessly exits out of harm’s way.

However, this is a competition not a coronation, even though many would disagree. The reason Diaz has an opportunity to upset Crawford lies mainly with Crawford himself. The champion routinely eases his way into battle, preferring to feel his opponent out over the course of the first several rounds before making mischief. He is also not even remotely in Mayweather’s class when it comes to defense as Crawford relies on his superior speed and strength to overwhelm his opponents as the fight enters the middle rounds. Diaz needs to be expert in his counter-punching skills, exploiting the openings that Crawford customarily exposes when throwing his overhand left, and shrink the ring in order to get inside and do damage -- particularly in the early rounds before Crawford's motor gets racing.

Easier said than done, of course, but Diaz is no tomato can and his skills have been overlooked as everyone is focusing squarely on Crawford. The former Olympic gold medalist TKO’d his last opponent, Lewis Morales, in the sixth round and scored a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Sammy Vasquez in the fight before that. Diaz is a beautiful brawler, and the value on this underdog is simply too good to refuse. Take a chance and include Felix Diaz in your boxing picks this Saturday night.

Free Boxing Pick: Felix Diaz +1275Best Line Offered: Skybook

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