Sunday, 02 September 2018 00:00

Joshua vs Povetkin odds should (or will) be tighter

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In less than three weeks, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will face top contender Alexander Povetkin in the former's native UK.

Most bookies and fight fans seem to be treating Joshua vs Povetkin like another routine title defense for the champ when, if fact, it's easily one of the best match-ups of the year.

The consensus No. 3 heavyweight (behind Joshua and Deontay Wilder), Alexander Povetkin, has solid power in both hands and underrated hand-speed. He's also quite durable, has a great sense of awareness in the ring, closes the distance well, applies intelligent pressure, and is a fine combination puncher. 

Povetkin will be no 'walk in the park' for AJ and could be the Brit's toughest challenge yet. And should AJ prevail, he won't get the credit he deserves because Alex's name isn't as big as Tyson Fury's or Wilder's. However, his pedigree and accomplishments are very much on that level.


Joshua vs Povetkin odds
Casual fans of boxing might discount Povetkin's chances but hardcore fans know better.

Bovada slates the champion, Joshua, as a -1600 favorite while the challenger, Povetkin, is a +800 underdog. Hence, a successful $1600 wager on AJ would yield a return of $100 while a $100 bet on Povetkin would generate a sweet $800 return.

Those odds, should they hold, are far off.

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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      

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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 as confident about Wilder's chances. Despite his 36-0, 35 KO record at the time, 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 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.

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Recent Alexander Povetkin odds
David Price -1667
Christian Hammer -2300
Andriy Rudenko -4500
Bermane Stiverne (canceled) -1200
Deontay Wilder (canceled) +136

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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.

Joshua vs Povetkin doesn't carry the buzz of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder but the former should be the bigger fight.  

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Joshua vs Povetkin
Date: September 22, 2018
Location: London, England
Venue: Wembley Stadium

Division: Heavyweight
Titles: IBF/WBA/WBO
Champion: Anthony Joshua

TV/Broadcast:
UK: Sky Box Office Channel 491 (for standard definition) and Channel 492 for high definition.
US:  DAZN ($9.99/mo)

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Joshua vs Povetkin odds: A 50/50 fight?

I see this bout as a 50-50 fight and I'm not alone. Former heavyweight title-holder Shannon Briggs thinks so as well.

"He’s in a tough fight coming up with Povetkin. It’s a 50/50 fight," Briggs recently told ifLTV.

"Trust me, it’s going to be a war, if he can get past Joshua’s jab, if he can get inside and make it a fight. He’s very good at punching off the break, he’s very good at springing forward, this guy Povetkin. Very fast at springing forward."

"When it breaks he can get at you quick. If he can get inside of Joshua it’s going to be a problem."

Briggs, of course, knows a little something about heavyweight boxing having fought the likes of George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Frans Botha and Vitali Klitschko following a long and successful amateur career.

 

 

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