Whether you consider Canelo Alvarez to be the face of boxing or just a face of boxing these days, his fights still light up the schedule and draw massive interest across the globe.
This weekend, the Mexican is dragging super-welterweight king Jermell Charlo up two divisions and opens up as a huge 1/4 | -400 FAV against the smaller man.
This isn’t as tight a price as some of Canelo’s previous outings; he was 1/16 | -1600 against John Ryder, 1/5 | -500 in his trilogy fight with Gennadiy Golovkin and 2/11 | -550 in a fight that he would go onto lose against Dmitry Bivol.
Value in Canelo?
It’s not common to claim value in a 1/4 | -400 FAV but that’s probably where we are at in this contest.
Canelo will be the much more comfortable and experienced man in this super-middleweight contest and it’s hard to see the lighter Charlo twin getting picked for this assignment if there was a big threat of him blowing up Canelo’s new deal with PBC.
Charlo is a pretty small underdog at 3/1 | +300 and I’d want a much bigger price if I was going to back the dog here. Listen, Charlo is a fantastic fighter but the cards are stacked against him here, and that’s before we consider his inactivity and fact he has only a draw and a win against Brian Castano since 2020.
Canelo to get the stoppage is really healthy at 13/5 | +260. Charlo’s six-foot frame will give the Mexican plenty of body to chop down; rounds 7-12 for a Canelo win looks even more appetizing at 5/1 | +500.
Canelo isn’t the fighter he was a few years back but his decline has arguably been pumped up by these prices.
How good is Jai Opetaia?
We haven’t seen the IBF cruiserweight world champion in the ring since July last year when he dethroned Mairis Briedis with a jaw that was shattered on both sides.
The Australian southpaw is apparently fully recovered, but it will be something that 7/2 | +350 underdog Jordan Thompson will be testing out on Saturday night.
Opetaia was impressive against Briedis in his coming out fight, but he got hit a lot. Is he a flash-in-the-pan champion or is he a legit star at cruiserweight? Matchroom certainly back him to be the latter, but it’s hard to read him as a 1/5 | -500 FAV in London.
What Jordan Thompson lacks in experience he might make up for in guts and power – something he will need if he is going to upset the odds here.
The Briton is 15/2 | +750 to stop Opetaia as he makes his ring return after 14 months, a period of time that has seen Thompson win and defend the European title at the 200-pound limit.
The randomness of Gassiev vs Wallin
So I totally forgot this fight was happening – luckily, the bookies didn’t.
And without digging too deeply, too early, Gassiev opening up as a 1/3 | -300 FAV seems a little mad.
Gassiev is on a Euro Trip of his own since moving up to heavyweight, fighting in Russia, Serbia, Armenia and now Türkiye – I’d love to tell you how he got in on each round of wins against Mike Balogun, Carlouse Welch and Nuri Seferi but I simply don’t have time (even though they lasted a combined four rounds…)
Wallin has to be worth a look as a 9/4 | +225 dog. The big Swedish southpaw has notched up five seasoned wins since his spirited loss to Tyson Fury and even if he can’t hurt the granite chin of Gassiev, has to fancy his chances of boxing him over the distance.
The location of the fight obviously plays into the hands of Gassiev, but Wallin has shown plenty of maturity as a heavyweight, if not star-power and performances.
Wallin might have to win 8 or 9 rounds to be sure, but on the cards is priced well at 4/1 | +400.