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Golovkin vs Martirosyan odds: Should we believe all the hype?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Late replacement Vanes Martirosyan is a massive underdog against Gennady Golovkin in the May 5th Cinco de Mayo showdown.

Well, "massive" would be an understatement.

Golovkin vs Martirosyan odds

The middleweight champion is a -2500 favorite while the challenger sits at +1000, according to Bovada. Hence, a $2500 wager on Gennady would yield a $100 payout while a $100 bet on Vanes would generate a cool grand in profit.


Martirosyan's odds of winning are essentially slim and none.

Golovkin, of course, was originally slated to face Canelo Alvarez in a rematch following their controversial draw last September but the latter tested positive for Clenbuterol and was later forced to withdraw.

After negotiations with Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan's team collapsed and little-known Sergiy Derevyanchenko, the IBF's top contender, was passed over. Team Golovkin exercised the presumably safe option by picking junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan.

Do the odds make sense?

Those who support the betting lines would insist Vanes has several elements working against him.

1. The obvious - He's facing perhaps the best fighter in the world in Gennady Golovkin

2. Vanes, upon accepting on short notice, hasn't had adequate time to prepare this assignment, by far the toughest of his career.

3. A junior middleweight, Martirosyan will be moving north 6 pounds to face a naturally bigger, stronger opponent.

4.Although Vanes won his first 31 fights (31-0), he's a modest 4-3-1 since, after facing top-caliber  opposition.

5. And lastly, Martirosyan hasn't fought in two years. Can anyone say "ring rust?"

The words Vanes Martirosyan scream "safe opponent." ... But let's step back a bit. A few experts out there would likely consider a wager on Vanes smart given the crazy odds.

1. Vanes has a solid amateur pedigree and represented the US at the 2004 Olympic Games

2. Team Alvarez avoided Vanes like the plague from 2012-2014.

3. He won a unanimous decision over then red-hot Willie Nelson in 2014.

4. Vanes fought to a technical draw with Erislandy Lara, the most avoided fighter in the sport at that time, in 2012. I had Vanes winning at the time of the technical stoppage in Round 9.

5. In his most recent bout, Vanes dropped a unanimous decision verdict to Lara in their rematch. Had Vanes not had a point taken away for a low blow, the score  would have been a very respectable 116-112 (twice) and 115-113.

6. He lost to slick, undefeated world champion Demetrius Andrade via a mere split decision in 2013.

7. And Jermell Charlo beat Martirosyan in 2015 in a bout that could have gone either way.

And while his three losses weren't robberies, Vanes could theoretically be. 38-1 had the first Lara bout and the Andrade and Charlo fights gone his way.

Martirosyan works behind an educated jab, circles both ways, and punches in combination. He does everything he is supposed to in order to win fights. And let's not forget he's never been stopped inside the distance.

So, should we believe the Golovkin vs Martirosyan odds hype?

Answer: Yes and no.

The intangibles, such as his long layoff, the fact he will have not had ample time to prepare for this fight, and his lack of big-fight experience at middleweight don't bode well for Vanes. However, if there's any +1000 underdog worth betting on, it's Vanes Martirosyan in this fight as it's very rare to see fighters of his caliber so heavily dismissed by bettors.

Vanes has performed well against elite opposition and is experienced, well-schooled and durable. Moreover, there's always the surprise factor. Vanes may have picked up some nuances in the gym in the last two years that we – nor Team Golovkin – have never seen.

The odds make sense due to the circumstances, but Vanes isn’t the chopped liver the betting lines would lead one to believe.


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