Compared to some recent main events events in boxing — Lomachenko-Crolla and Crawford-Khan, notably — Saturday’s fight between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs might as well be a true pick’em.
Of course, it’s not really a true pick’em. We do have a favorite on the sportsbooks for this DAZN-streamed main event from Las Vegas, and it’s Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KO) is about a -400 to -450 favorite on various books, with Jacobs (35-2, 29 KO) listed between +300 and +385. Alvarez is likely favored in part because he’s done well on the cards in Nevada in the past.
He’s had three major fights in Las Vegas that went to the cards and were plenty debatable, and he’s gone 2-0-1 in those fights, beating Erislandy Lara in 2014 and Gennady Golovkin in 2018, and drawing with Golovkin in 2017. He also got wide scores over Miguel Cotto in Vegas in 2015; less debate about the winner in that one, but a lot of people thought it was certainly closer than the judges scored it.
As for Jacobs, he actually hasn’t fought in Nevada since July 2010, when he was a hot prospect and stopped in the fifth round by Dmitry Pirog.
The undercard is what it is. Notably, Vergil Ortiz Jr is the massive favorite against veteran Mauricio Herrera. Ortiz is listed around -3000 with Herrera north of +1000. It’s a better matchup than that from a boxing standpoint — Ortiz is an untested young gun blowing through the competition, Herrera a crafty vet who’s never been stopped — but the odds are about right. For one thing, judges everywhere have never much liked Herrera’s style.
ESPN is also running a card on Saturday, for some reason, headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between Artur Beterbiev and Radivoje Kalajdzic.
Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KO) s sitting anywhere from -1300 to -3333 at the moment, with Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KO) at +700 to +1200. Kalajdzic is something of a fan favorite because he got a raw deal against Marcus Browne in 2016, but he’s a massive underdog here.
The ESPN co-feature will see Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20 KO) defend his IBF super flyweight title against Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22 KO). Ancajas is favored on the books between -588 and -860, with Funai listed between +400 and +525. That said, Ancajas has had two straight underwhelming sort of performances, beating Jonas Sultan and drawing with Alejandro Santiago.