On Saturday, June 15th, Top Rank Boxing presents an event live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring the undefeated heavyweight Tyson Fury taking on the unbeaten Tom Schwarz. Fury’s lineal heavyweight title is on the line in this main event fight that will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 10 PM ET.
The co-main event will be a light heavyweight battle between Sullivan Barrera and Jesse Hart. The winner of this fight will certainly move toward the front of the line for one of the world titles. The other notable bout on this card is the undefeated super featherweight Mikaela Mayer taking on Lizbeth Crespo.
Boxing betting sites have released odds for this highly anticipated heavyweight fight. Let’s take a look at these odds, identify any potential value, and KO our picks.
As of mid-week, Mayer is the biggest betting favorite of the fights with listed boxing odds. Mikaela is undefeated and one of the rising names in all of women’s boxing. It’s been nearly three years since she was last an underdog. Mayer’s fight in February saw her as a -10000 betting favorite. So, at least, oddsmakers are viewing Crespo as a more credible opponent.
As for Crespo, I’m unable to find previous betting odds for her. Nevertheless, she’s going to be out-gunned in this matchup and not worthy of a flier. Mayer also is avoidable as she doesn’t provide any betting value.
|Mikaela Mayer||Lizbeth Crespo|
Mayer is one of the sport’s biggest names and she told ESPN that she views herself as a trailblazer willing to take women’s boxing to new levels:
“I feel like every time I step in that ring that I’m representing women’s boxing as a whole, because there’s only a handful of women who have that stage, that platform, and I’m one of them. I have to show the world that we’re here to stay. We’re skillful, we’re talented, we can sell fights.”
To her point, Mayer is skillful and talented. However, I wouldn’t crown her the face of women’s boxing as of yet. For me, that title goes to Katie Taylor or Delfine Persoon. Nevertheless, Mayer is very talented and will fight for the eighth time in the last 15 months. That’s an incredible rate.
Whether it’s via KO/TKO or going the distance and dominating the fight, Mayer has proven that she can beat anyone that’s put in her way. I see that streak continuing this weekend when she takes on Crespo.
Lisbeth Crespo also fought in February and defeated a sub-500 opponent via UD. She hasn’t had a TKO/KO victory in nearly four years, and I don’t see that happening this weekend. 16 months ago, Crespo fought Han for the IBF featherweight title. Unfortunately, she lost that via UD. Other than that fight, her record is filled with women who had losing records. In fact, only seven of her 17 opponents had a winning record.
I don’t see any reason to think that Crespo can win this fight. Outside of Mayer’s first two professional fights, the next eight have been against women with winning records. She’s also been involved in numerous regional title fights. Her amateur and pro experience give her a big advantage over Crespo.
Despite losing four times in her career, Crespo has never been stopped. And although Mayer is clearly on a higher level, I don’t see Lizbeth being stopped in this fight. I’m taking Mayer to win via UD.
If it weren’t for Gilberto Ramirez, Jesse Hart would be undefeated and a world champion. He also would’ve been a betting favorite in all of his recent fights. With that said, Hart returns to the ring as a betting favorite over Barrera. Albeit, he’s just a slight favorite in his light heavyweight debut. For Barerra, he comes in as the underdog despite being a betting favorite in the majority of his recent fights over the last three years. I believe Barrera has some value especially if you think he will win. Hart doesn’t offer as much value as I would like to see in this fight. If his odds were to decrease some then he could be a better value play.
|Sullivan Barrera||Jesse Hart|
Sullivan Barrera is eight years older than his opponent and is also giving up 4.5 inches in reach and an inch in height. Barerra won his last fight in November via UD over a decent foe in Sean Monaghan. It was a nice bounce back win after losing to Dmitry Bivol about 15 months ago. Barrera lost via TKO in the 12th round to Bivol in a world title fight for the WBA light heavyweight belt. The loss snapped a four-fight win streak. Prior to that, his only loss was in March 2016, when was defeated via UD to Andre Ward.
Barrera comes into this contest with 14 KOs in 22 wins, but it’s been two years since he scored a KO/TKO victory. Sullivan had the following comments about his upcoming fight:
“I am excited to face Jesse Hart, a great fighter who has also been in there with world champions. This is a must-win fight. Simple as that. Camp has been great for me, and I am looking forward to June 15.”
Barrera is accurate in saying that this is a must-win fight. Both he and Hart are looking for a title shot in the light heavyweight division, and the winner could be in line for one. Barrera is ranked seventh in the WBO, 12th in the IBF, seventh in the WBC, and second in the WBA. However, Bivol is the WBA champ, and he already defeated Barrera.
This will be Jesse Hart’s first fight in the light heavyweight division. ESPN reports that he decided to go up in weight because he wanted to make more money:
“I wanted to move up to light heavyweight, and I want a big name. That’s where the lucrative deals and the money is at, and being generated up there. I see where boxing is going. I give it about two years and it’s going to be the hottest division in boxing. And I believe up there I’m going to make some noise.”
For Hart, he didn’t take an easy fight in his first bout in the light heavyweight division. He’s taking on a former world title contender who’s also looking to get another title shot and make some money. With that said, Hart doesn’t see Barrera being a threat:
“I know Sullivan Barrera is pretty tough and I’m not taking anything from what he did, but I just don’t see him doing anything. He doesn’t pose a threat. The guy’s 37, been in numerous wars, he’s been dropped five times, he had swelling of the brain [against] Dmitry Bivol, I mean that’s where he took the year off. He came back with Seanie Monaghan.”
Hart last fought in December and lost via Majority Decision to Gilberto Ramirez, the undefeated super middleweight champ. Ramirez has actually handed Hart both of his losses in his career. They came 15 months apart. Like Hart, Ramirez has also moved up to light heavyweight after vacating his WBO super middle weight title last week.
If Hart can get past Barrera this weekend, he will have a better chance at a bigger fight the next time he steps foot in the ring. One would have to wonder if Ramirez will be in Hart’s way to claiming one of the light heavyweight titles. Currently, Ramirez is ranked second for both the WBO and WBC belts.
This is going to be a tough fight. Neither fighter is a large favorite in the ring. With that said, Barrera does have a lot mileage on those legs especially within the last few years. The Bivol fight seemed to age him five to ten years. Hart is not only younger, but he appears to be more athletic and faster as well. He has a reach advantage, which I expect him to use to his favor.
I’m not sure Hart will get the stoppage win as he desires, but I do feel that he can win this fight via UD. For this bet, I’m taking the brash Jesse Hart to win his debut in the light heavyweight division.
From the beginning of this week until the publishing of this article, Fury’s betting odds have gone down from -3600 to -2500 with 5Dimes. That’s a huge change in boxing odds considering he’s an undefeated heavyweight champ who used to hold four world titles prior to his health issues outside of the ring. Other than against Wilder, Fury has pretty much been the betting favorite for his last handful of fights. Unfortunately, he doesn’t offer any value even if his odds dropped another 1000.
Tom Schwarz is also an undefeated boxer and ranked second in the WBO, one spot ahead of Fury. He was a massive betting favorite in his last two fights, more than doubling up his opponents. With that said, I don’t see Tom being worthy of a flier. I know we just saw Ruiz pull off a huge upset a few weeks ago, but Schwarz has a much tougher matchup than Andy did.
|Tyson Fury||Tom Schwarz|
On the surface, many fans and some pundits questioned how Schwarz got the coveted spot in a big time fight against heavyweight attraction Tyson Fury. Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum said it was largely due to Schwarz being high in the rankings for various belts. Additionally, he’s undefeated and very popular in Germany. His youth and aggressive fighting style also play into the equation, which is something Schwarz alluded to:
“I’m a young fighter with a big heart and big balls. So why doesn’t Fury pick another one? I am the one for this fight and I am the guy who will beat Tyson Fury on Saturday.”
Schwarz last fought in March and easily defeated Krstacic via KO in the second round. It was his 4th fight in the last 14 months and he has three straight wins via KO/TKO. For his career, Tom has a 67% knockout rate with 16 KO’s in 24 wins.
Schwarz is also a big heavyweight at 6’5”, which is only 3.5 inches shorter than Fury. With the goal of taking on Wilder in early 2020, Top Rank’s Bob Arum didn’t want Fury to fight a significantly smaller guy.
For Tom, he’s always wanted to be a world champion. Although he respects Fury and says he’s a great heavyweight, Schwarz believes he will get his 25th career win this weekend over Tyson.
For Fury, this is his big return since the Draw against Deontay Wilder in December 2018. I personally thought that Tyson won that fight despite being dropped in Rounds 9 and 12. Nevertheless, Fury is on a mission to fight Wilder again and to collect all of the heavyweight belts.
Fury isn’t overlooking Schwarz especially after Ruiz’s big upset over Joshua. However, Tyson is very confident in his chances at winning. Fury is fighting in Las Vegas for the first time in his career. It marks the third fight in the United States for Fury as he took on Wilder in Los Angeles last year and Steve Cunningham in New York City roughly six years ago.
Although I respect Fury’s in-ring skills and his showmanship, I admire him more for his battle with mental health issues. To overcome his dark places and return to this level of competition is definitely impressive:
“Anyone who’d been out for three years, been on drugs and alcohol and suffered with mental health problems… to come back after six months (of training) and beat the so-called best heavyweight out there, that ain’t been done before. It ain’t humanly possible. But it wasn’t done by a human. I believe it was divine intervention.”
With two behemoths stepping into the ring this weekend, there’s potential for a war. There’s also potential for a dominating performance by Fury.
I believe this is Fury’s fight to lose. He’s the better overall fighter in this contest and he proved that to me in his fight against Wilder. I actually think that a focused, healthy Fury can regain the belts he once held. For that to happen, it starts with a win this weekend.
I believe Schwarz will provide some tough competition at first, but eventually, Fury will wear him down. Tyson has a great deal of big fight experience where his foe does not. I believe that will be an advantage for Fury. Also, Tyson is a boxer and will use his reach advantage to set up his power shots. I’m taking Fury to win via UD as he looks dominant in his Vegas debut.
5Dimes has the fight set at an Over/Under of 9.5 rounds:
The O/U is a tough bet for this fight. And, that’s largely due to Schwarz being an unknown commodity at this level. Four of Fury’s last six fights have gone Over 9.5 rounds, with the last two going the distance. However, Schwarz’s last seven fights have all finished Under 9.5 rounds.
I don’t see Schwarz winning this fight, so I would expect it to come down to how long Tom can last in the ring with Fury. Will he make it the distance or will he get stopped in the latter rounds?
The smart money has been on the Under, but I like the value with Over 9.5 rounds at +130 odds. I believe Fury will take a few rounds to get going and then cruise to a victory. I’m not sure if Schwarz will be too aggressive with Fury as it could end up shortening his night.
BetOnline has numerous prop bets for this fight. Let’s take a look at a few of the ones that have potential for making money:
Fury vs Schwarz Method of Victory
Let’s eliminate the Schwarz options for winning as I don’t see that happening. I also don’t see this fight ending in a Draw. So, it will come down to whether or not Fury gets the stoppage in this fight. I think a Decision victory is definitely likely if Schwarz is as good as some say he is. But I also like Fury scoring the late TKO considering Schwarz has only gone to the 10th round on one occasion and never beyond that.
The value is with the Decision option at +160, but the smart play is on TKO at -225 odds.
Tyson Fury Round Betting
As mentioned above, I don’t see Schwarz winning this fight. So, I’ve eliminated the Round Betting prop bet for Schwarz. I also don’t see this fight ending in a Draw.
Because Schwarz is unknown against opponents of this level, it’s hard to accurately predict how far he will go in this fight. So, the smart money should be on Tyson Fury winning via Points (Decision) as he toys with his opponent for 12 rounds. With that said, I can also see this fight ending in the latter rounds (11 and 12), which have great value.
For me, since I’m taking the O/U bet at Over 9.5 rounds, a nice way to hedge my bets would be to wager on Tyson winning in Rounds 8 or 9 at +900 to +1000. Smart money is on the Decision at +165.
As mentioned in these boxing prop bets, Schwarz isn’t as well known and poses a challenge as to how long we think he could last. An O/U of 9.5 rounds tells me that oddsmakers feel the fight could last longer than some Fury fans would hope. I like Fury and enjoy his fights, but I’m not sure if he will be able to put away Tom early in the contest. I feel the longer the fight goes, the more it favors Fury. Either way, Tyson will win convincingly.
The other main fights have some intrigue. But the close contest in the co-main event between Hart and Barrera is where my non-Fury attention will be. I think it will be a solid battle and I feel that Hart is going to come away looking good. Not much betting value with the moneylines, but some of the Fury vs Schwarz prop bets offer nice returns.
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