Saturday’s slate of fights is ready to kick off, and there’s plenty out there — title fights, prospects taking tests, and, well, a lot of fights expected to be mismatches, which is usual.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The big fight of the weekend is, obviously, the light heavyweight matchup between Canelo Alvarez and WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev. It’s an interesting matchup with Alvarez moving up in weight and giving up some natural size, but also being the younger man in his prime, while Kovalev is getting older and certainly faded at least a bit, though still credible.
Canelo is the solid favorite here, with lines between -357 and -455. These are the closest lines in his last few fights — he was a bigger favorite against Daniel Jacobs and a much bigger favorite against Rocky Fielding.
Kovalev is listed between +275 and +345. The Russian veteran closed as the underdog for his February rematch with Eleider Alvarez, but he had opened as the favorite there despite the 2018 loss to Alvarez. He pulled off the rematch win against the closing odds.
The undercard is...well, it’s what it is:
- Ryan Garcia (-650 to -1000) vs Romero Duno (+431 to +530)
- Seniesa Estrada (-500 to -753) vs Marlen Esparza (+333 to +530)
- Blair Cobbs vs Carlos Ortiz isn’t listed because it’s not worth listing
More Canelo vs Kovalev:
Top Rank’s ESPN card is flying pretty well under the radar, for obvious reasons. Miguel Berchelt is defending the WBC super featherweight title in the main event, and he’s the huge favorite over Jason Sosa, a solid contender and former secondary titleholder, but Berchelt is the top dog at this weight right now.
Berchelt is favored between -2014 and -3333, with Sosa between +900 and +1725.
The scheduled co-feature between IBF super flyweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas and Jonathan Rodriguez was canceled late in the week, as Rodriguez had a visa issue. That means that Javier Molina vs Hiroki Okada has been bumped to the co-feature slot.
Neither Molina nor Okada are exactly elite-tier fighters, but it’s a competitively matched fight, and the odds reflect that. Molina is between -115 and -139, with Okada between -105 and +103.
Former undisputed lightweight titleholder Katie Taylor is moving up to chase a title at 140 pounds against Christina Linardatou, who has the WBO belt.
Taylor unified 135 with a very debatable win over Delfine Persoon. Linardatou also fought Persoon, losing a wide decision back in 2016. Her title win came in March, beating Kandi Wyatt for the vacant belt in Greece, and she defended in June against Deanha Hobbs, also in Athens.
Taylor’s the big favorite here, between -1719 and -3800, with Linardatou between +900 and +1645 to retain.
The other big fight of the show is the one that will go on last, with Anthony Crolla saying goodbye at home in Manchester. Crolla is facing Frank Urquiaga, who on paper is a safe farewell opponent.
Crolla is between -1800 and -2000, so the bookies agree that Urquiaga, listed between +750 and +1362, isn’t a real threat.
Also on the show:
- Felix Cash (-303 to -355) vs Jack Cullen (+225 to +284)
- Terri Harper (-2000 to -2500) vs Viviane Obenauf (+800 to +1492)
- Martin Bakole (-3333 to -10000) vs Rodney Hernandez (+900 to +3062)