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Boxing Betting Odds: Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders

One by one, the sports fell like tomato cans. The coronavirus epidemic is proving to be more serious than we all hoped, forcing just about every major (and minor) sports organization to down their tools. Combat sports have been affected, too, but not to the same degree as others. Boxing betting odds are still on the board at Bovada Sportsbook, and there are some big-ticket fights coming up, including the May 2 super middleweight title unification bout between WBA Regular champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) and WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14 KO).

That’s assuming they put pen to paper, of course – and that the fight takes place as scheduled. Reports at press time say the contract between the two has yet to be signed, although Canelo’s head trainer Eddy Reynoso told reporters about a month ago that Saunders would be the opponent for Cinco de Mayo weekend. The Saunders camp says that’s news to them. Meanwhile, the British Boxing Board of Control suspended Saunders’ license on Monday after he posted a highly inappropriate video to social media over the weekend.

Then there’s that pandemic you may have heard about. Canelo and Saunders were supposed to touch gloves at T-Mobile Arena near Las Vegas – that’s out of the question now. Officially, this fight has been postponed, although the May 2 date is still floating around out there; perhaps the Canelo camp will hit the pause button, abandon talks with Saunders and move on to Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KO), the WBA Super champion. Otherwise, the Canelo Alvarez odds at press time have him heavily favored at –700 to beat Saunders (+450), and it’s difficult to see any other outcome should the two meet in the squared circle.


Boxing Betting Odds: Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce

One fight that has definitely been postponed: The scheduled April 11 heavyweight bout in London between Dubois (14-0, 13 KO) and Joyce (10-0, nine KO), with Dubois putting his British belt on the line, and the vacant European title up for grabs. That bout has been moved to July 11, still at the O2 Arena in London; Dubois is a –500 favorite over Joyce (+350), the former Commonwealth champion and silver medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Again, the Daniel Dubois odds are pretty chalky, but this matchup looks reasonably close on paper – and the O2 Arena was going to be jam-paced with rabid fight fans. That should remain the case if the July 11 date holds, although it could certainly be postponed again. The “good” news is there won’t be any Olympics in Tokyo this summer, so that opens up some potential dates on the boxing calendar.


Other Available Boxing Odds

Speaking of British boxing, Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KO) was going to defend his WBC interim heavyweight title on May 2 in Manchester, with Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KO) supplying the opposition. That fight has been moved to July 4; in the meantime, Whyte is the –400 favorite over Povetkin (+300) on the boxing betting lines. There won’t be many more title shots for the 40-year-old Povetkin, whose only career losses came in challenges against Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. He’d better make the most of this one.

Joshua (23-1, 21 KO) has a title fight of his own coming up on June 20 at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Having successfully reclaimed his collection of heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr. in December, Joshua will defend against Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KO), the IBF’s mandatory challenger, in a matchup that was originally supposed to take place in 2017 before Pulev pulled out with a shoulder injury. It might be hard to generate the same excitement for this bout with Pulev now a sizable underdog at +700.

Other scheduled matches on the horizon include the second title fight on the July 4 Whyte-Povetkin card, with Katie Taylor (15-0, six KO) defending her four female lightweight titles against Amanda Serrano (38-1-1, 28 KO), the WBO and WBC interim champ – and a former title-holder in seven different weight classes. Serrano is certainly a capable fighter and a dangerous underdog at +160, but she’s also been training for a pivot to professional wrestling, so that might take away some of her focus from the sweet science.

There are dozens more fights on the spring/summer schedule, so to learn more about how to bet on boxing, and for the latest fight odds, keep it locked in with Bovada Sportsbook as we ride out the storm.

*Odds as of April 6th, 2020.

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How to Bet on Boxing

It’s a good thing if you know all about the matchups and boxers, but it’s impossible to know how to bet on a boxing match if you don’t understand the betting half of the equation. Here’s a quick look at the different boxing odds you’ll find when you browse the lines at Bovada Sportsbook.

Boxing Moneyline Odds

This is the gold standard for boxing betting. Each of the two fighters will have a moneyline attached to their name; bet on which one will win, and if you’re right, you’ll be paid out once the fight is over and the result is made official. As an example, here’s the famous “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015:

  • Manny Pacquiao  +170
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr.  -210

Mayweather was the favorite in this welterweight bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as indicated by the negative sign using the American odds format. A winning bet on Mayweather would have paid out $100 for every $210 wagered – or $10 for every $21, or any other multiple. Pacquiao, the underdog, would have paid out $170 for every $100 wagered had he won; in the end, Mayweather remained undefeated after a fairly convincing unanimous decision. Note that all bets on a fighter to win will be refunded if the result is a draw or a no contest.

Boxing Total Odds

Totals are used in boxing much like other sports. In this case, you’re asked whether a fight will go Over or Under a given number of rounds. Each half-round lasts 90 seconds; for the Over to cash in on a total of, say, 8.5 rounds, the fight must reach the 91st second of Round 9. Here’s a hypothetical example (totals weren’t available at the close) for the April 29, 2017 heavyweight bout between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua:

  • Wladimir Klitschko  0 8.5 (-115)
  • Anthony Joshua  U 8.5 (-115)

The names of the fighters are irrelevant; what matters is that the line for the Over is quoted on the top, and the Under on the bottom. The total here is 8.5 rounds, and the numbers in parentheses refer to the payouts charged for each bet, which for this fight is –115 on both sides. That means you’re betting $115 to win $100. Joshua won by TKO in the 11th round, so the Over was the right call this time.

Boxing Method of Victory Odds

Boxing lends itself to a wide variety of proposition bets (or “prop bets” for short), where you wager on something other than the outcome of the match itself. The most popular prop bet in boxing is usually the Method of Victory, where you bet on how the match will end: decision, KO/TKO/DQ, or draw.

Boxing Fight Length Odds

Another popular boxing prop asks you to bet on exactly how many rounds the fight will last. Odds will be posted for one round, two rounds, and so on, all the way up to however many rounds are scheduled (usually 10 or 12). Fight Length odds for either boxer winning (e.g. Golovkin in the 12th) might also be posted if it’s a big enough event and the demand is there. Rules for what constitutes a full round or a half-round are the same as they are for totals.

Boxing Betting Tips

While betting on most team sports can be approached analytically using advanced statistics, individual sports like boxing are as much art as science. The superior boxer usually wins in this sport – luck isn’t much of a factor inside the squared circle. When two equally matched fighters face each other, the “clash of styles” often determines the winner; a patient, defensive fighter with stamina should have the advantage over an aggressive but less mobile opponent.

To learn more about how to bet on boxing, check out the FAQ and Help guides at Bovada Sportsbook, and make sure to refresh your browser for the latest updated odds and analysis on all the big fights on the boxing calendar.

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