Despite promising blockbuster fights, September could be viewed as a damp squib by many boxing fans, with few surprises and one-sided contests.
Joy Joyce was dealt a devastating second defeat on the bounce to Zhilei Zhang and must now retreat into the background to find a way back. Big Bang Zhang, however, will train his eye on some big paydays - and while a potential fight against Tyson Fury looks unlikely in the immediate future after rumours that the Briton has agreed terms with Oleksandr Usyk, he could eye up a bout with Daniel Dubois. Dubois lost in controversial style to Usyk in August, and a clash between the two could make sense for both.
Meanwhile, it was business as usual for Canelo Alvarez - the Mexican sensation hammered Jermell Charlo, knocking him down in the seventh round to a unanimous points decision. After the fight, he triumphantly told the press: "I'm the best. Who's better? Nobody can beat this Canelo," and it's challenging to argue on this showing. Will he cave to Terence Crawford's continual calling out? Is David Benavidez, the boxing aficionado's pick, a likely next opponent? Whoever it is, they must fight like never before to defeat this 33-year-old machine!
What are the top three fights looking like in October? We spoke to our very own MightyTips ambassador, Jevgenijs Aleksejevs, to get his view on the dominant fight of the year. Plus, we provide free sports betting tips on two other eye-catching fights.
Venue: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Fury record: 33-0-1 (24 knockouts)
Ngannou record (UFC): 17-3-0 (12 knockouts)
Odds: Fury (1.14 fav) Ngannou (8.5)
There is controversy surrounding the very fact that this fight is going ahead. Many observers and boxing purists, including ex-champions like Carl Froch and former Fury foe Deontay Wilder, consider this contest a needless sideshow. They would prefer to see the heavyweight take on Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk.
However, Fury has a point when he says he's "putting it all on the line". Even if there is no belt, his reputation could be destroyed if Ngannou manages to win.
He told Rio Ferdinand in an interview with TNT Sports recently: "He [Ngannou] is a dynamite puncher in both hands. He's recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the hardest puncher ever to punch anything, so there's that risk. And also, the biggest risk of all is fighting an MMA fighter, and I'm the world heavyweight champion. What happens if he beats me?"
Despite his protestations and an air of desperation in building the hype for this fight, it's tough to see how Fury loses this. He's been at the top of the heavyweight division for nearly ten years, and he can dispatch Ngannou. You won’t find great value on backing him though - even the best sportsbook apps are not pushing his price over the 1.14 mark.
The Hurricane's Verdict:
My prediction for this fight is unequivocal - Tyson Fury will win by knockout. In fact, he will eat Francis Ngannou alive (metaphorically speaking).
Francis Ngannou is, without a doubt, a strong fighter, but his experience in long fights under standard boxing rules is quite limited.
Tyson Fury is a very unusual and hard-to-predict boxer, even for the most outstanding opponents. Finally, the third reason I am confident of a Fury's win is that he wouldn't have accepted the challenge without being certain of his victory.
Prediction: Tyson Fury by knockout.
Venue: M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool
Catterall record: 27-1 (13 knockouts)
Linares record: 47-8 (29 knockouts)
Odds: Catterall (1.10 fav) Linares (7.0)
One could forgive Catterall for feeling somewhat bitter about boxing. The Lancastrian was controversially defeated by Scotsman Josh Taylor in a split decision back in February in a call that was met with widespread ridicule by most onlookers. He had knocked down the Tartan Spartan for the first time in his professional career and generally dominated the fight.
On his return to the ring in May, he dominated US fighter Darragh Foley, knocking him down twice in a lopsided fight. The world wanted a rematch to settle old scores, but Catterall and his fans must wait. Instead, he must overcome the senior campaigner and legend of the sport, Jorge Linares.
Despite three defeats on the bounce, there is still life in the old dog. This is a risky fight for Catterrall, but a win could see him cement a rematch with Taylor.
He will do the business.
Prediction: Catterral to win by decision.
Venue: Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
Tszyu record: 23-0 (17 knockouts)
Mendoza record: 22-2 (15 knockouts)
Odds: Tszyu (1.25 fav) Mendoza (5.5)
An intriguing match-up, but the power of Tszyu could prove too much for his American counterpart. The super-welterweight belt is on the line, making it the biggest fight of Tszyu's young career.
While a heavy favourite, Tszyu will not take a dangerous Mendoza lightly. The outsider has won his last three fights, including a surprise knockout win over Sebastian Fundora last time out.
However, Tszyu has fought the better opposition, probably has the better chin, and favouritism with the best online betting sites for boxing is justified.
This one can go to Tszyu.
Prediction: Tzsyu to win by knockout.
Remember, you can back any of our predictions through our recommended betting apps for boxing. Check out Mighty Tips for more information.