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Investing With Boxing Picks, Week 55: A Bettor’s Paradise

We've got a feast of intriguing fights and betting opportunities this weekend on both sides of the pond.

This could be a make or break week for our betting fortunes.  When we started this project we didn’t expect to have much success.  But for more than a year we’ve outperformed our mutual funds investments.  Our recent results have put that streak in jeopardy.  We’ve got a lot of bets to place this week and if we miss them all we could find ourselves in negative territory.  But for now our performance looks like this:

Boxing Betting Annualized Rate of Return (since 9/17/20):  27.67%

Mutual Funds Annualized Rate of Return (since 9/17/20):    24.16%

Boxing Betting Return On Investment (ROI):   9.76%


The first fight we’ll look at this week is on the undercard of Saturday’s DAZN show, Kieron Conway vs JJ Metcalf.  Both fighters are looking to bounce back from losses their last time out.  Conway is a sturdy guy but he doesn’t have much pop and likes to work behind his jab.  Because of his strength he can hold his own on the inside but if he can pick you apart he will.  He’s well conditioned, has a good chin and is not a guy you can bully.  Metcalf has a similar style, though might be just a bit quicker.  He’s probably not as long as Conway so he might have trouble controlling things with his jab.  Conway believes Metcalf will have to try to knock him out to win.  We think Metcalf has another path to victory if he’s able use movement effectively.  He’s probably the bigger puncher, but it doesn’t mean he’s more likely to get a stoppage against a tank like Conway.  The odds seem to heavily weigh the results of each man’s last fight with Metcalf losing by stoppage and Conway scoring a knockdown before losing a split decision.  While we do think the public is behind the most likely victor, the line is a bit wide to us.  We’re placing a one unit bet on Metcalf in a fight that should prove interesting.


$13 on JJ Metcalf at +192


We’re also betting another fight on the same undercard, Ted Cheeseman vs Troy Williamson.  Williamson is the undefeated fighter in this matchup but he’s taking a big step up.  He’ll come forward behind the jab and look to land the right hand but he likes a slow pace and can be outworked.  We’re also not sold on his ability to cut the ring and keep up with an opponent who can effectively use movement.  Two years ago we wouldn’t have put Cheeseman in that category, but we think he has improved his footwork over the last four fights and carried out more disciplined fight plans.  He’s also been in with top domestic and European level fighters in his last four fights.  He’s never been stopped and has shown that he can carry the pace for 12 full rounds.  We expect him to control range and be busier than Williamson, who will need to land a fight changing right hand to have a chance.  We’re surprised at how close this line is.  Maybe we’re selling Williamson short, but we like Cheeseman a lot in this matchup and are going with five units.


$65 on Ted Cheeseman at -172


And we’re betting the main event on the DAZN card, Liam Smith vs Anthony Fowler.  This is a solid domestic scrap between two similar fighters.  Both are technically sound fighters who work behind the jab.  Smith has more experience at the world level by virtue of losses to Canelo Alvarez and Jaime Munguia.  We don’t feel like there is much separating these two, but we think Smith fights with a bit more urgency and has a slight edge with his footwork.  Fowler is probably the bigger puncher but we don’t think it will be a major factor in the fight.  If you like betting on the draw, this is probably a good spot for that play.  But we’re going with Smith in a tight one.


$52 on Liam Smith at -165


We’re also betting the main event of another UK card on Saturday, Queensberry’s show on BT Sport pitting Brad Foster against Jason Cunningham. We might be falling prey to recency bias here with Cunningham coming off a career best win over Gamal Yafai.  He’s not a guy who normally troubles you with his power but Yafai could not stop getting hit with clean left hands.  Cunningham moves well and he’s a long southpaw who uses his jab.  And that’s where we think he has a big advantage as Foster has never faced a southpaw of consequence in his career.  Ordinarily he likes to work behind his own jab but he’ll find that weapon neutralized in this fight.  We also thought Foster had a bit of trouble with Lucien Reid’s movement in their fights.  It’s possible that he can find a home for the straight right hand and have success.  But we’re taking Cunningham and the underdog odds in an intriguing matchup.


$26 on Jason Cunningham at +129


Next up is a heavyweight rematch on the undercard of Saturday’s big PPV event, Robert Helenius vs Adam Kownacki.  Kownacki entered the first fight in March ’20 as a massive -3000 favorite.  Helenius had just been stopped by Gerald Washington who had been annihilated by Kownacki just six months earlier.  The question is whether or not Helenius caught lightning in a bottle against Kownacki or if he’s just a tough stylistic matchup.  We think it’s highly unlikely that Helenius would ever win a decision over Kownacki due to the volume punching Kownacki brings.  Helenius didn’t really do much to keep Kownacki off him either.  He just kept weathering the storm and stayed on his feet until he tagged Kownacki between his shots and got him in serious trouble.  Age and conditioning could be a factor for either man in the rematch and it’s a fight where either man could go at any time.  The last time we had the opportunity to bet on a heavyweight rematch where the victor of the first fight came in as the underdog we bet him (Alexander Povetkin.)  And we lost.  And we’re doing it again.


$13 on Robert Helenius at +194


We’re also betting another heavyweight fight and the chief support of the PPV card,  Frank Sanchez vs Efe Ajagba.  This is a hugely important fight in the careers of both fighters.  They’re on the cusp of heavyweight title contention and the winner will be on the short list to land a shot at glory.  Ajagba works off a good, stiff jab and looks to land his right hand.  Under the tutelage of Kay Koroma he has sacrificed just a bit of offense to give his opponents fewer opportunities to land the big shot.  But we’ve already seen him clipped and dropped by a right hand from Iago Kiladze.  Sanchez is a much more talented fighter than Kiladze.  He’s got good hand speed and moves fairly well.  We think Ajagba will likely win the jabbing contest but the counter right hand from Sanchez could change the fight.  This is an intriguing fight, the likes of which we rarely see on the American scene.  Two undefeated contenders with rival promoters meeting in an important fight with no title on the line.   We’re going with Sanchez to take a few rounds to figure Ajagba out and then control the late rounds and win a decision.


$52 on Frank Sanchez at -184


Finally, we’re betting the much  somewhat anticipated heavyweight trilogy fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.  We’ve seen Fury thoroughly outbox Wilder and survive two knockdowns for a draw (that we felt should have gone to Fury.)  And then we saw Fury walk Wilder down and take him out in a fight that looked easy.  The storylines coming into this one revolve around whether or not Fury is fully focused and whether or not Wilder’s new trainer will have an impact.  We’re betting that Fury is sufficiently focused.  We’re not sure what Malik Scott’s fight plan will be but it should probably revolve around Wilder throwing the right hand with more regularity.  Because it can equalize everything and everyone knows it.  We can’t find a reason to bet against Fury when the second fight was so one sided.


$90 on Tyson Fury at -300




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