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Boxing: Eleider Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev II Betting Odds and Prediction

Alvarez vs Kovalev Betting Odds

For the second time in six months, Eleider “Storm” Alvarez and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev enter the ring to compete for the WBO light heavyweight title. Alvarez kept his undefeated record intact with his seventh-round TKO win over Kovalev in their first meeting to capture the belt and he is a -175 favorite to retain the strap with the former champ, Kovalev, coming back at +145.

Odds Analysis

The odds have taken quite a shift from their first meeting after Alvarez proved himself profitable as he closed at +400 while the champ at the time, Kovalev, entered the ring as a -600 favorite. Now, Krusher is an underdog for the first time since his two bouts with Andre Ward, both of which ended in defeat for the Russian.

Meanwhile, these are the slimmest odds Storm has ever had with his next-closest being when he closed as a -175 favorite vs Lucian Bute, a bout he won via fifth-round knockout. Alvarez is a year younger than Kovalev and very rarely do you see a younger fighter who won the first bout lose the second, so I think the odds are where they should be.

Eleider Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev II

Alvarez (-175) remained perfect with his seventh-round knockout over Kovalev last August to capture his first major title. Storm now carries a 24-0 record with half of his victories coming by way of T/KO. The orthodox fighter has lightning-quick hands but is also very patient, sitting back looking to counter when his opponents engage.

The Colombia native has an excellent ability to judge distances as well, not wasting a lot of energy by bouncing out of danger, but rather he knows where the punch will end and is just a few inches away from it. Although he doesn’t have tremendous punching power, his quickness will stun his foes as they typically don’t see the punch coming.

Kovalev (+145) had three of the four major belts in the light heavyweight division in 2016, but back-to-back losses to Andre Ward forced Krusher to reset. The Russia native claimed the vacant WBO title in his first fight after the Ward rematch after Ward retired and relinquished the strap. Krusher is an active fighter, constantly moving forward with his stiff jab looking to load up his powerful right hand that has ended 28 of his 32 fights.

The 35-year-old carries his hands a little low, almost daring his opponents to engage with him as he believes that his power will carry him to victory in a big exchange. Additionally, sometimes he will leave his punches out too long, which leaves him vulnerable to counter hooks.

How will this fight play out?

Kovalev was leading on all the judges’ scorecards through the first six rounds, however, Alvarez was very competitive in some of those rounds, simply because he was quicker to the punch and was a little more accurate. Tough rounds to score as Krusher would march forward throwing flurries of punches, while Storm would counter with clean shots to the body. The Russia native did have the Colombia native hurt in the fourth round after a few clean shots.

However, Alvarez walked through a lot of the punches and he had the game plan of the rope-a-dope to tire Kovalev out, then pounce on him in later rounds, which proved to be a good strategy. The Russia native’s confidence was very high heading into the seventh round as his hands were held very low and he looked like he was cruising to victory, but that led to him eating a massive right hook that knocked him down and he was unable to recover. The Colombia native went on an all-out blitz after the knockdown, knocking Krusher down two more times in the round for the TKO victory.

I think Alvarez is ultimately much faster than Kovalev and that will prove to be a problem always. However, Krusher had his opportunities to land strikes, which had little effect on Storm, and I wouldn’t be surprised by a similar fight this time around, with Alvarez trying to drag the fight into deep waters and pick up the pace.

Prediction: Sergey Kovalev (-175) via knockout

Eleider Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev II Betting Odds
Eleider Alvarez-175
Sergey Kovalev+145

Odds as of February 1 at Bovada