Boxing continues to be the best sport for safe-money wagers. Nowhere else do participants pad their records in hopes of eventually getting a high-profile fight with a big payday.
On March 12 Don King and Bob Arum will put WBA Light Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto in against past-his-prime Ricardo Mayorga.
The bookmakers have reflected how one-sided this matchup is by making Cotto a 5Dimes -1000 favorite. Put another way, that's a 1/10 favorite, meaning you need to bet $100 just to earn $10 in profit. Odds on Mayorga will pay as much +650 at if he can pull off the upset. Said another way, bet $10 and win $65.
In order to make that happen Mayorga will need to lay it all out there in the early stages of the fight, and will likely end up burning himself out if Cotto can elude the early pressure.
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As expensive as Cotto may be, it will be worth the risk to lay a little extra out there for the easy pay off. Mayorga will have a slim puncher’s chance and will need to do his damage in the early rounds of the fight - otherwise he’s going to get picked apart by the boxing skills of the champion. We just don’t see Mayorga walking out of the MGM Grand with a belt around his waist.
It looks like there’s lots of safe boxing money this month, and another fight that stands out is the vacant WBC Light Heavyweight title fight between the undefeated Saul Alvarez and Matthew Hatton on March 5. Hatton will be a big 5Dimes underdog at +775, but it’s the -1200 line on Alvarez that looks like the best choice. Go with the favorite as well in this one.
Yuri Foreman vs. Pawel Wolak is an interesting matchup with relatively close odds. This could go either way, and the SBG Global -220 favored Foreman will have a battle on his hands. Wolak will pay +180 at if he can pull off the upset, which just isn’t big enough for us to back the underdog in this one.
Sergio Martinez vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk is the fight this month that could end up being the big upset payday. Dzinziruk is undefeated and has the WBO Light Middleweight belt, yet the bookmakers have made him a 5Dimes +365 underdog.
Martinez will be looking to add the vacant WBC Diamond Middleweight title to his resume, but at 36 years old it’s only a matter of time before it’s all too much for him. Look for the Ukrainian to steal the hype and pay off in a big way.