Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin Heavyweight Title Prediction – Undercard Picks
Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) vs. Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 23 KOs)
When: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: Wembley Arena, London, England
TV: DAZN Streaming
Weight Class: World Heavyweight Title
Bet the Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin fight and get the best value at 5Dimes
Betting Odds: Anthony Joshua -1333, Alexander Povetkin +875
Anthony Joshua defends his World Heavyweight Title belts against former titleholder Alexander Povetkin on September 22 at Wembley. It’s not the fight we were all hoping for against Wilder, but Povetkin is no pushover—a once-beaten fighter with a vast track-record who would seem to represent some nice upset-potential. Joshua is certainly being positioned to win, fighting at home in a difficult fight, but one that is viewed as merely a step on his path toward bigger things. That’s how he’s a better than 13-to-1 favorite.
That seems to be the fundamental problem about betting into the current heavyweight landscape. At the top are two fighters vying for supremacy in Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua. They are certainly in their own classification in terms of having arguments to the claim of being the number-one guy. Then, there’s the rest of the pack. Within that pack lies the once-beaten Povetkin, a man who like Joshua, earned a gold medal in the Olympics. His only loss in a long career was a points-defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, the dominant big man for a decade. That’s the same Klitschko, by the way, who later was able to push Joshua to the brink in their 2017 fight. Povetkin may have failed to become the top dog in the division, but he has scored a lot of big wins, held a world title belt, and made an impact in his successful career.
With Joshua, we are more-certain with what we have. Where does Povetkin fall on the spectrum at this point? An eight-fight winning streak suggests he is still a threat. Some issues with drug tests, which are too murky to even examine, stalled his progress, but his list of victims reads like a whos-who of recent second-tier big men. He just hasn’t scored that signature win as of late. He looks beatable. At 38, he’s pudgy, catatonic, and without any flash at all. He’s just a superbly-schooled and “together” heavyweight with the power to send people flying.
Undoubtedly, Joshua looks to be the real deal. At one point, one could say he lucked out a bit with the Olympics being in London and that he was a robotic frontrunner just walloping overmatched opponents about the head. Then on his way to the top, he was hurt by current top contender Dillian Whyte, before rallying to stop his rival. The Klitschko fight saw him have to rise from the mat, summon strength, stamina, and courage, and stop the ex-champ in the 11th round of a war. And to a lesser degree, he showed some resourcefulness in a late-KO win over Carlos Takam and a decision win over a conservative Joseph Parker in his last fight in March.
Looking at the Numbers
My issue is that the betting odds suggest that Wilder and Joshua are miles ahead of their contemporaries. I don’t see that as the case, with both being flawed enough to warrant more caution in cases where they’re receiving odds as if they’re Mike Tyson in his prime. They’re not. It’s just that you don’t want to continue throwing money at a losing proposition because, say, a guy is a 15-1 underdog when he should really be a 9-1 underdog. We’re facing a similar scenario in this fight. Will Joshua win? Yeah, probably. But these numbers are ridiculous.
Joshua looks like he is carved from stone. Guys go sideways when hit and are clearly very leery of exposing themselves to Joshua’s venom once they get a taste. That’s why some of Joshua’s recent fights have been a bit low on overall entertainment-value, as opponents usually get whatever Rocky Balboa sentiment they may have knocked out of them pretty quick. And he has shown he can last the distance and thrive in a fight where there is adversity to overcome. He has beaten a high level of fighter, and there is only so much you can say.
While it hasn’t been exposed, the champion has been reached, most notably by Whyte and Klitschko. The fact is that he is very available, a big man who got into boxing late. AJ doesn’t move well with his upper-body. He’s not that slick and offers a very viable target. This has been illustrated, and to Joshua’s credit, he braved those stormy waters and emerged victoriously.
Take Povetkin the Under
Anthony Joshua at -1333 in this spot could end up paying off. Favorites at that quote prevail left and right—that’s the point. But laying that number is unconscionable. The question becomes, is +875 enough to lay on Povetkin. To some degree, the answer is yes. Simply put, the “real” odds would seem to be a bit lower. What I like better, is a -165 price on under 8.5 rounds. In other words, this fight lasting 1:30 into the ninth seems unlikely. I’ll put a taste on Povetkin, with a side-bet on the “under.”
My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Alexander Povetkin at +875 and “under” 8.5 at +165. I think if Povetkin were not up for the job, it would be determined before halfway through the ninth round. Conversely, if he’s going to score the upset, a KO before then would also seem a feasible route.
Luke Campbell, 18-2 (15 KOs), (-360) Vs. Yvan Mendy, 40-4-1 (19 KOs), (+270)
In lightweight action on the Joshua-Povetkin undercard, Luke Campbell battles Yvan Mendy in a scheduled 12-rounder. This is a rematch from nearly three years ago when the unbeaten Olympic gold medal winner Campbell was a shock decision loser to the unheralded Mendy. He is 7-1 since that fight, his only loss a split-decision loss to an outstanding lightweight champion in Jorge Linares. Mendy hasn’t really capitalized on that win, remaining a rather-anonymous force in the sport, despite remaining unbeaten since that win.
I could see Campbell getting better since that fight, where he may or may not have been dealing with weight-making issues. At 30, his push needs to begin now, and for that to happen, he needs to beat guys like Mendy. And the first time around, it wasn’t even as close as the cards indicated, with it being a split decision. It’s not easy to beat the home favorite. But Mendy won with some room to spare from a naked-eye appraisal. Mendy, 33, has some diamond-in-the-rough appeal. He can really fight, despite not having much power. At +270, I would think he’s worth a tickle.
My Prediction to Win the Fight I’m betting on Yvan Mendy at +270.
Lawrence Okolie, 9-0 (7 KOs), (-300) Vs. Matty Askin, 23-3-1 (15 KOs), (+230)
British Cruiserweight Champion Matty Askin defends his belt against up-and-coming Lawrence Okolie on the undercard. Askin is on a nice roll with no losses in his last seven fights, including some wins over good fighters. But in Okolie, he is taking on an unbeaten power-puncher who many fancy to win this matchup as demonstrated by the betting odds. Each man could be on the cusp of the world-class, making this a crossroads fights in many respects.
First of all, these are giant cruiserweights, with Askin 6’4” and Okolie an inch taller. Okolie has really been splattering opponents. Askin has fought a higher level of opponent, with mixed success, having lost to some pretty good 200-pounders. Askin, four years older at 29, is no easy pickings, a dogged and skilled fighter with a little attitude to go with it. I just see the higher-ceiling fighter here being Okolie.
My Prediction to Win the Fight I’m taking Lawrence Okolie at -300.