Prizefighter Hide favourite to stay on course for title

Herbie Hide is odds-on to hit the British television screens with a bang tonight and win the latest edition of the hugely successful Prizefighter series.

Herbie Hide is odds-on to hit the British television screens with a bang tonight and win the latest edition of the hugely successful Prizefighter series.

Hide is hoping success at the York Hall in Bethnal Green will be the perfect preparation for another shot at a world title.

And the 38-year-old Dancing Destroyer already has the bookies on his side.

Sky Bet are offering odds of 8/11 favourite to take the cruiserweight title and the �32,000 prize.

Hide takes on Welshman Wayne Brooks in his opening fight and is 1/10 to progress to the semi-finals, as well as 1/3 to reach the final.

Scott Springgay, Sky Bet's boxing compiler, said: "Herbie is the shortest priced favourite we've had for any of the Prizefighter series, but as we've seen in the past the favourites can come unstuck.

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"We haven't seen much money for Hide, but punters have been getting stuck into (Jon-Lewis) Dickinson, which has led us to cut his price to 11/2 from 13/2."

Former WBO heavyweight champion Hide would become the second Norwich boxer to win Prizefighter, after Commonwealth champion Sam Sexton took the heavyweight version in September, 2008. Hide said he regards Prizefighter as a warm-up for a world title fight.

"I'm number two in the rankings for the WBC title and my promoters in Germany have put me back (in contention)," he said.

"But now Giacobbe Fragomeni is fighting Krzysztof Wlodarczyk for the vacant WBC title and the winner should fight me, but that could be in another three or four months.

"Everything you do in life is a risk and in boxing there have been fighters who are number one and take a warm-up fight and get beaten.

"But I believe I'm the best cruiserweight in the world. At this stage of my career I can't be concerned about losing.

"I believe I'm the best so I will just go out there and do what I have to do."

Hide moved from heavyweight to cruiserweight in 2006, moving his base from Norwich to Germany. Since then Hide has won his last

13 fights.

Prizefighter features a number of inexperienced prospects and Batley's Zahid Kahut, winner of four of his five professional fights, believes Hide should not have entered.

"Everyone is talking about Herbie Hide being the huge favourite and, with a record like his, how can he not be?" said Kahut.

"But I think he is making a big mistake entering this tournament as he already had a title shot around the corner.

"With his suspect chin and the unknown quantities that are in this tournament, I think he's really putting it all on the line.

"If he wins then good luck to him as he would've taken a risk and it would've paid off. But I really believe he's not going to win and someone will knock him out."

Other contenders include former Commonwealth champion Darren Corbett, Mark Krence - who fought for the British heavyweight belt. John Anthony (Doncaster), Wayne Brooks (Cardiff) and Leon Williams (London) complete the line-up.

Sky Bet odds on outright winner are: Hide 8/11, Krence 5/1, Dickinson 11/2, Corbett 8/1, Williams 9/1, Anthony 22/1, Kahut 25/1, Brooks 50/1.