This week in combat sports… It’s the biggest boxing match of the year, as Canelo Alvarez squares off with Daniel Jacobs. Each fighter enters Saturday night’s showdown in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a champion, and their titles will be unified by night’s end. Alvarez enters the event as a sizeable favorite with a -460 moneyline. Jacobs, meanwhile, comes in at +355. Our combat sports expert, Rick Rockwell, says that Canelo Alvarez mauls his opponents “like a bear,” while Jacobs is the more athletic fighter. Jacobs will need to keep Alvarez at a distance and utilize his footwork to stand a chance at pulling the upset. He also says that the betting lines are farther apart than they should be given the talent each fighter possesses.
“[Canelo]’s going to try and get in there, and impose his will, keep the fight close, and beat up Jacobs,” Rockwell says. “Jacobs, if he can keep it at a distance, if he can use his athleticism to his advantage, he does have a shot here. You can’t discount him.”
One other match that Rockwell is really interested to see is John Ryder against Bilal Akkawy for the Interim WBA Super Middleweight Championship. Ryder was supposed to face David Lemieux for this bout, but Lemieux was forced to back out, and so Akkawy steps in to challenge Ryder.
The event will air on DAZN from the T-Mobile Arena.
In MMA, UFC is one week away from its next pay-per-view event, while this week’s action airs on ESPN+. UFC Fight Night 151: Iaquinta vs Cowboy is slated for Saturday night in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Neither fighter enters the weekend as a true betting favorite. Al Iaquinta is given the slight edge from the sportsbooks, sitting at -120 as of Thursday evening. His opponent, “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone isn’t too far behind at -110. The contrasting styles of “Ragin’ Al” and “Cowboy” should make for an exciting fight, and the undercard has some promising bouts as well.
Those promising bouts include the co-main event, which features Derek Brunson vs Elias Theodorou. Brunson is the underdog, but Rockwell believes that he could end up picking up the upset. The depth of the UFC Fight Night card is what has Rockwell saying that, aside from watching the Canelo vs Jacobs fight itself, the UFC card is his pick for the top combat sports event to watch and wager on this weekend.
To get Rick’s picks for each main event, as well as full fight breakdowns and his thoughts on the undercards for each show, check out the video at the top of this page.
Drew has been covering sports professionally since 2007, covering sports of all kinds in the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Conference USA. In addition to covering college sports, he also spent two seasons working with the NHL's Florida Panthers as part of their TV broadcast team, as well as reporting and anchoring for AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports affiliates, CBS Sports Network and ESPNU. Drew has also ...
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