Julio Cesar Chavez Jr won his belt in June, and now defends it for the first time in Houston. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Tonight's HBO-televised WBC middleweight title fight pits undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (43-0-1, 30 KO) against Providence's Peter Manfredo Jr (37-6, 20 KO) in a main event that has some cringing and more shrugging their shoulders. Below are the betting odds from five major sportsbooks.
Chavez, 25, is more than a healthy favorite over the 30-year-old Manfredo, which may owe more to the idea that many hold: Unless Manfredo, who isn't really a big puncher, can knock out Chavez, the favored son will get the win.
Manfredo is going to come to win, and make no mistake about that. While he's far from a star or elite-level fighter, he's a tough pug who believes this may be his last chance at glory. He's had a couple of shots in the past, but didn't cash in, getting questionably stopped in three by the far more talented Joe Calzaghe, and trucked in three by a raging Sakio Bika. One thing to remember: Chavez weighed 185 pounds on the HBO scales in June against Sebastian Zbik, meaning he put on a massive 25 pounds rehydrating from the previous day's weigh-in. Manfredo isn't a big middleweight to begin with, and could find himself with a significant size disadvantage come time to fight.