On Saturday, August 31st, Matchroom Boxing presents a championship fight card live from The O2 in London, England. The night’s main event is a lightweight title fight as Vasiliy Lomachenko defends his WBO and WBA world titles against Luke Campbell. Additionally, the vacant WBC lightweight championship belt will also be on the line. The winner of this contest will hold three of the four major titles within the division.
The co-main event is a heavyweight bout between Hughie Fury and Alexander Povetkin. Also on the card are two more title bouts as Charlie Edwards puts his WBC flyweight belt on the line against Julio Cesar Martinez and Joe Cordina defends his British and Commonwealth lightweight titles against Gavin Gwynne.
In total, there are seven fights scheduled for the event. The undercard will begin at 1 PM ET and stream live on ESPN+. Boxing betting sites have released their betting odds for the card. Let’s step inside the ring to examine these betting odds, identify any value, and KO our picks.
Cordina comes into this contest as a massive betting favorite. However, he isn’t the largest favorite of the night. Nevertheless, online betting sites view the champ as a huge favorite over the undefeated Gavin Gwynne. The challenger will be stepping up in competition for this bout, which means that he’s still unproven and not worthy of a flier. Cordina offers no betting value at all.
|Boxer||Joe Cordina||Gavin Gwynne|
Gavin Gwynne has won all 11 of his professional fights including his last bout two months ago. However, that bout was marred with illegal strikes including Gwynne kicking at his opponent who fell to the mat. Gwynne won that fight on points. He only has one knockout victory for his career and that is concerning heading into a bout with Cordina who has a 78% knockout rate. However, Gwynne doesn’t lack for confidence in this fight against a former teammate. In fact, Gwynne told Boxing Scene he believes he will be too much for Cordina this Saturday:
“Joe is a former Olympian and Team GB star so he’s going to be the favourite going into this fight but me and Joe have sparred rounds in the Welsh squad, and I think over twelve rounds I’ll have too much for him. Especially at Lightweight, I’m going to be the much bigger guy in there. Joe is a very skillful boxer and he looks like he’s picked up a bit of power as well in his last couple of fights, but I’m confident of getting the win on August 31. Whoever wins the fight will pick up the titles and have the bragging rights in Wales so there’s plenty on the line here.”
Cordina has had three title fights over the last 17 months. During that span, he’s picked up a few belts and successfully defended another. However, Cordina views these belts as stepping stones to becoming a world champion. So far, Cordina appears to have all of the tools to becoming a world champ. He just needs to continue to refine those skills and move up in the ranks. Currently, Cordina is the 11th ranked lightweight with the IBF. A few more wins and he will be in the Top 5.
This fight will come down to Cordina’s physicality versus Gwynne’s point-style of fighting. Let’s not forget that Cordina was also a former Olympian in 2016 and has a solid amateur resume.
With both men hailing from Wales, there’s bragging rights on the line as well as the championship belts. I don’t discount Gwynne’s professional success, but I do question his resume of fighters. Gwynne has fought one opponent who had a winning record at the time and that was Mills last October. He’s taken on opponents who were a combined 12-217-6 at the time of their fights. No, that’s not a mistake. Those were the actual combined records. I can’t possibly take a fighter who beat a man that was 5-118-4 at the time of their fight.
For me, this is all about Cordina notching another mark in the win column and moving within the Top 10 in the IBF ranks. The only question is whether or not Cordina gets the victory inside the distance.
Buatsi is the largest betting favorite and Ford is the largest underdog on the night. Neither man offers any betting value whatsoever. Ford is not worth the risk despite the potential payout. There’s not only a huge disparity in betting odds, but also in talent level.
|Boxer||Joshua Buatsi||Ryan Ford|
The 37-year old Ford won his last fight when he defeated Serge Michel for the WBC international silver light heavyweight title. It was an upset win for Ford and he’s hoping to do it again this weekend. Prior to his win over Michel in April, Ford had lost four of his previous five fights including a three-fight losing streak. Another noteworthy attribute with Ford is that he’s never been stopped inside the distance. All four of his career losses have come via decisions.
Buatsi has climbed up the ladder in all four major sanctioning bodies: 14th in WBO, fourth in IBF, 15th in WBC, and fourth in WBA. He has won six straight fights via TKO/KO and has stopped all, but two of his 11 opponents inside the distance. Despite his opponent’s lack of credentials, Buatsi respects Ford and is going to try to become the first fighter to stop him:
“I’m fighting a tough, durable opponent on August 31 in the form of Ryan Ford. He’s never been stopped in his 20 professional fights and he’s got some good experience against some top names. He’s an ex MMA fighter, so he’ll know how to handle himself. If I can become the first fighter to stop him, then I’ll be very happy. As always, it’s about getting the win at all costs. I’m there to get the job done and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
In reality, this fight is really just a contest for Buatsi to keep busy, pad the stats, and wait for a bigger payday. He’s ranked in the Top 5 for the WBO and WBA, which means he should be getting bigger fights on a bigger stage sooner than later.
Although Ford upset his last foe, I don’t see it happening here. Buatsi has the technical skills, power, and fellow countrymen rooting him on. I believe he’s going to get the first stoppage victory over Ford who is 11 years his elder.
In this title fight, we have decent betting odds for those of you looking to place boxing bets. Edwards is the favorite and rightfully so. He’s not only the champion, but he has also had more success in his pro career to date. His odds are decent enough to make some money if you believe he will win. Martinez offers value and is worthy of a flier considering he’s the mandatory challenger and has won 14 straight fights.
|Boxer||Charlie Edwards||Julio Cesar Martinez|
Martinez comes in on a 14-fight win streak ever since he lost his first professional bout four years ago. He’s already had two fights in 2019 including a solid win over the previously undefeated Andrew Selby. Julio scored a fifth-round TKO over Selby, which was impressive considering Selby was considered the favorite by some pundits. That victory earned Martinez the right to face Edwards for the WBC flyweight title.
Now, that he’s getting a world title shot, Martinez told Boxing Scene he believes he will win the fight because he’s hungry for a victory:
“A strong and hungry boxer, and that`s why he is a champion. But we are hungry for victory. It will be a tough fight but we feel totally capable of winning and even getting a knockout. I think he will use his legs a lot, hit and box. The strategy is defined and I am now ready. We have seen that he does not have a lot of power in his punch. He is tall, he is eight or ten centimeters taller than me, but that doesn`t matter. During my career as an amateur and a professional, I have faced much taller opponents and I have won. It`s not a tall order for me!”
The height advantage that Martinez is referring to is roughly three to four inches. Sounds a lot less than eight to 10 centimeters. However, Edwards will also have a reach advantage as well. After adding in his boxing skills and overall toughness, it becomes easier to see why Edwards is the favorite.
Edwards defeated Rosales nine months ago for the vacant WBC flyweight title. He then successfully defended it against Angel Moreno in March. Both of those wins came via unanimous decision. Edwards hasn’t shown the power that Martinez has, but he does have six KO/TKO wins for a 38% knockout rate. He’s also shown great stamina and endurance, which Edwards feels will help carry him to victory this weekend:
“Fitness and rounds are my strongest attributes and I’m ready and looking forward to dragging him deep and for the roles switching, I will bully the bully. I am the WBC World Champion and nobody is beating me. On Saturday, I am going to retain my World title with a punch-perfect performance.”
This is the most underrated fight on the card and it could end up stealing the entire show. Both men have solid wins on their resumes and both boast of top level skills inside the ring. Martinez’s power against Edwards’ stamina and technique makes for a compelling bout. I believe Martinez is worthy of a flier, but I am siding with Edwards in this contest. He will have the crowd support, and I like his style of fighting. I think Martinez will play into Charlie’s strengths.
This heavyweight clash offers the closest boxing betting odds on the night. With that said, both men offer betting value. Povetkin is the favorite, as he’s the more proven commodity in this division. Over his last four fights, Povetkin was the favorite three times. His only time as the underdog in the last two years was against Anthony Joshua 11 months ago. Hughie Fury was a favorite in his last two fights, but an underdog against Pulev 10 months ago.
|Boxer||Alexander Povetkin||Hughie Fury|
Hughie Fury is the younger fighter by 15 years and looking to make a name for himself. Not to mention, he will be fighting in his home country. Fury is on a two-fight win streak after losing to Pulev 10 months ago. He’s gone 3-2 in his last five fights, which are the only two losses of his career. Both have come against divisional contenders. Now, Fury will face a veteran of the ring who’s still considered a contender especially with the WBC where he’s ranked seventh and the WBA where he’s ranked 10th.
Fury has the height and reach advantages along with speed and athleticism. Additionally, he does have power, but will most likely find the most success by making this an ugly fight. According to Boxing Scene, Fury believes that a win over Povetkin will put him back into the title picture and it will earn him the respect that he wants:
“A win against Povetkin puts me right back into the mix and this is where I belong. It puts me on the platform where I can fight anyone I want and it gives me respect and that’s what I want. I want to be in command and to fight the best. I’m not the sort of fighter who wants to keep fighting journeymen. I want to fight the best and prove I belong at the top.”
With Povetkin, what you see is what you get. His style hasn’t changed in years and he’s still just as tough as ever. In 36 professional fights, Povetkin has only lost twice. Those losses came to a prime Wladimir Klitschko and former world champ Anthony Joshua, which took place 11 months ago. Of those two losses, Povetkin suffered just one stoppage.
In between those two losses, Povetkin won eight straight fights and captured some regional titles along the way. Despite his age, he’s still considered a threat in the division by some. As for this fight, Povetkin took it immediately once his promoter offered the matchup. Alexander felt it was a good fight for him and one that he could win. However, he does give Fury some credit and believes this will be an exciting fight:
“If it goes successfully, we will discuss next steps. It will be an interesting and exciting fight because Fury is a young and powerful boxer. But one thing I can tell you, I will continue fighting until my eyes are burning or until I have such a wish to retire.”
I don’t agree with a few popular sentiments for this fight. For starters, I don’t think it will be that exciting. I believe it’s going to be an ugly fight where we don’t see much boxing skills on display, but more mugging and mauling. If that’s what you like, then this will be a great fight. Next, I don’t think Povetkin is still a legit contender as some believe. If anything, he’s a gatekeeper for younger fighters like Fury to make a name for themselves. In reality, this heavyweight division lacks quality depth.
Certainly, Povetkin has the power and the skills to win this fight. However, I’m going with the betting upset and taking Fury to win via decision in front of his fellow countrymen. I believe he will grab, maul, and keep Povetkin from using any range or distance to put together combos or escape pressure. This will go on for the majority of the bout and Fury will win in an ugly fashion.
Lomachenko once again comes in as a huge betting favorite. This is becoming a regular occurrence for the champ. Unfortunately, he doesn’t offer any value because the chances of him losing are very small. Over the last three years, Lomachenko’s odds have only dipped below -500 on one occasion and that was against Guillermo Rigondeaux. Vasiliy won that fight in the sixth round.
Campbell is a talented fighter and the #1 ranked WBC lightweight, but he’s a large underdog in this contest and not worth taking a flier on. This is also the first time that Campbell has been an underdog since his fight against Jorge Linares two years ago. Luke lost that fight via split decision. Lomachenko stopped Linares in their fight.
|Boxer||Vasiliy Lomachenko||Luke Campbell|
Campbell comes into this world title fight having won three straight bouts. Both of his career losses have come via close split decisions. Luke is the bigger fighter in this contest. He’s roughly three inches taller and has a six-inch reach advantage. Campbell will need to rely on that reach advantage in order to have some success in this bout.
Both men are former Olympic gold medalists, which is a rare occurrence and one that adds another layer of excitement. Campbell won the gold at the 2012 Olympics as a bantamweight and Lomachenko won gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics as a featherweight. ESPN reports both men have moved up to the lightweight division where Campbell believes he belongs:
“I’m in a tough division and I want to show I’m the best in it. Currently, I’m facing the best of this era [in Lomachenko], but we will have to see after we have fought if that’s still the same. I’m proud that I’m fighting the pound for pound No. 1—it gives me a chance to rattle the cage and see what I can do. To be the best I have to beat the best, and I’ve always strived to do that.”
Lomachenko is not only the WBA and WBO lightweight champ, but he’s also the pound-for-pound number one fighter in the world according to ESPN and The Ring. Nicknamed “Hi-Tech,” Lomachenko has already fought in 2019 when he crushed Anthony Crolla via fourth-round KO in April.
Vasiliy has speed, power, and a high degree of skills. Some pundits and former boxers believe he’s the best of this era and right up there with a Roy Jones Jr. in his prime. I believe he’s definitely one of the best in the sport today, but I’m going to wait to see how he finishes his career before I place him among the all-time greats.
It might not be as big of a betting upset as Ruiz over Joshua, but it would definitely be a massive upset within the sport. Campbell is a decent fighter, but he’s not even within two talent levels of Lomachenko. We’re talking about the pound-for-pound best against a title contender. In fact, Luke has barely scratched the Top 10 for the WBO and WBA.
I think this is going to be a good test for Lomachenko and he needs them in order to prevent complacency. However, this is going to be a one-sided fight once it’s all said and done. My biggest dilemma is trying to determine if Campbell can survive the entire fight and go the distance. I’ll examine this further in the prop bets below.
The following boxing prop bets are courtesy of BetOnline:
For Campbell, he’s only gone the distance in six of his 22 pro fights. And he has a record of 4-2 in those bouts. Two of his last four fights have seen the scorecards, which bodes well for this prop bet. As for Lomachenko, four of his 14 pro fights have gone the distance. His last fight to see the judges was against Pedraza in December 2018.
When adding up both fighters’ resumes, the numbers point to this fight finishing inside the distance. However, I have a hard time thinking that Campbell is going to get stopped inside the distance in front of his fellow countrymen. He’s never been stopped before and he will have a rabid crowd rooting him on. Lomachenko will definitely win, but I think Campbell takes him the full 12 rounds.
I like the value with the “yes” option at +220 odds. It’s a bit of a risk, but there are enough factors to inspire risking a flier on “yes.”
The favorite is Lomachenko winning via stoppage inside the distance. However, as I stated above, I really like this fight to go all 12 rounds. If Campbell were to win, I also think it would be due to a decision. I don’t see Lomachenko getting knocked out. Campbell by decision has odds of +2000 and could be another wager for the extreme betting risk takers. Take Lomachenko to get the unanimous decision victory.
This fight card has a lot of meat on its bones. I like the all-Welsh title fight and I’m really looking forward to the flyweight title bout. Buatsi and the heavyweight co-main event also provide some intrigue. But let’s not kid ourselves, this card is all about the sport’s P4P best in Lomachenko. I’m curious to see if Campbell can survive all 12 rounds or if Lomachenko scores another TKO/KO win in his brilliant career.
For the most part, this card has little betting value, but there are some opportunities to make money. And it should have plenty of entertainment value for those of you who have ESPN+.
The following lineup is according to Matchroom Boxing’s official site:
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