Joshua vs Povetkin odds to be tighter than AJ vs Parker?Written by Leroy Cleveland
There's a fair chance unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KO) will face top contender Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KO) next.
"The WBA called the mandatory yesterday for AJ to face Povetkin next," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"We have a 30-day window to negotiate -- at this stage it means it's very likely Anthony's next fight will be between Wilder or Povetkin."
Joshua vs Povetkin odds
Casual fans of boxing might discount Povetkin's chances but hardcore fans know better.
Although odds haven't been released yet, expect Joshua to be a moderate favorite if the fight is in the UK. He was roughly a -150 against Wladimir Klitschko last year and -700 in his most recent bout against Joseph Parker.
Should they face off in England, look for Joshua to be about a -450 to -500 favorite at fight time. And if Joshua vs Povetkin happens in the latter's native Russia, expect Anthony to be anywhere between a -300 and -350 favorite.
Rough odds for Joshua's last 7 fights
Joseph Parker -700
Carlos Takam -5000
Wladimir Klitschko -150
Eric Molina -5150
Dominic Breazeale -1600
Charles Martin -450
Dillian Whyte -950
Two years ago, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was slated to face top contender Alexander Povetkin in Russia. That fight, of course, was called off after Alex tested positive for PEDs. But Wilder vs Povetkin was an exciting match-up and oddsmakers were not highly confident about Wilder's chances. Despite his 36-0, 35 KO record, Deontay was only a slim favorite.
bet365 and SkyBet had 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).
But let's not forget that fight was to take place in Russia.
Back to Joshua vs Povetkin...
Betting lines with favor the champion because:
- As the A-side, he's more likely to win a close fight should it happen in the UK and go the distance
- Anthony's perceived edge in athleticism
- Size - AJ will have a height, reach and weight advantage
- The Jab - It won't be easy for Povetkin to find an answer for Joshua's long, sweet left jab he'll use to pile up points, keep the Russian off-rhythm and set-up powershots.
- The Brit's perceived edge in explosiveness
- Youth - At 28, bettors will insist AJ is closer to his prime than the 38-year-old Povetkin
- Losing a step? Povetkin had two fights last year, against Christian Hammer and Andriy Rudenko, where he failed to sizzle in situations some think he should have
- And lastly, Alex hasn't faced many polished technicians over the last seven years. And when he has faced a polished opponent, whether Wladimir Klitschko or Ruslan Chagaev, he's experienced problems.
Recent Alexander Povetkin odds
David Price -1667
Christian Hammer -2300
Andriy Rudenko -4500
Bermane Stiverne (canceled) -1200
Deontay Wilder (canceled) +136
But money will certainly come in for Povetkin because:
- He's an elite fighter who has lost just once as a pro. And in that 2013 bout, fight legend Wladimir Klitschko hugged, mugged, tackled and clinched his way to a wide points verdict. In fact, aside from Wlad, Povetkin has defeated everyone he's face as a pro and amateur. He left the amateur game with a record of 125–7 with all losses avenged.
- Experience - Alex turned pro 8 years prior to Joshua has had 13 more fights. He's been around longer and has seen more in the ring.
- Intangibles - Alex has never been KO'd in the pro ranks, has seldom been hurt and boasts solid power in both hands and underrated hand-speed.
- And lastly, some looking to bet on Povetkin will insist Joshua didn't look very good in his last outing against Joseph Parker, an opponent with (arguably) fewer weapons than the Russian.
Should it happen next, Joshua vs Povetkin wouldn't have the buzz of Joshua vs Wilder, but it would be one heck of showdown as Povetkin is more threatening than Parker and is a legitimate top 3 heavyweight by any account.