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Deontay Wilder vs Alexander Povetkin odds: Underdog may surprise

Lee Cleveland Updated
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WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KO) will fly to Russia to face Olympic gold medal winner and former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22KO), the former's mandatory challenger, in May.

Many don't like Wilder's chances because he's been uncustomarily roughed up a few times by lesser opponents in each of his three most recent bouts. In fact, some are saying Wilder has been "exposed," despite his near-flawless record of 36-0 with 35 knockouts.

"[Alexander] Povetkin will kill him," said Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs) after being taken out on a stretcher and regaining consciousness from a counter right hand by Wilder in January.

Key words: ... "After being taken out on a stretcher and regaining consciousness."

But in defense of Povetkin advocates, the 36 year Olympic Gold medal winner is one of the most accomplished amateur heavyweights ever. After winning the gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics, he finished his amateur career with a record of 125–7, with all losses avenged.

Due to his strong amateur pedigree, as well as his early pro accomplishments, Povetkin has been touted by some experts for years as a future force in the division. His resume includes a knockout victory over former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd and unanimous decision victories over one-time heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers and former U.S. Olympians Jason Estrada and Larry Donald.

The Chekhov, Russian born heavyweight is 6'2" with decent power in both hands and underrated hand-speed. He has a great sense of awareness in the ring, closes the distance well, applies intelligent pressure and is a fine combination puncher.

For those reasons, some believe Wilder will leave the WBC title in Russia. 

Povetkin is clearly better than any opponent Wilder has faced.

And while oddsmakers acknowledge Povetkin's accomplishments, they aren't so convinced he'll win. As of March 18, most have pinned Wilder as the slight favorite, despite the fact Alex will be fighting at home. bet365 and SkyBet have Wilder as the 4/5 and 10/11 favorite, respectively.

Hence, a $100 bet (at 4/5) on Deontay would yield $180 (or a $80 net).

However, the line might change as this bout is still 6 to 10 weeks away.

Odds explained
Although Wilder has looked human in his last three bouts, he's knocked out each foe, sending his most recent opponent out on a stretcher. Hence, he didn't win controversial decisions. Each victory was decisive.

He's also still undefeated.

The odds seem about right.


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