Gennady (GGG) Golovkin might have looked mortal his last time in the ring four months ago, but respect for the undefeated middleweight champion dictates that he is a betting favorite against Saul (Canelo) Alvarez for their championship fight on Saturday.
Golovkin is listed as the -155 betting favorite to win with Alvarez coming back at +125 for their bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Golovkin was listed at -350 when books first began giving odds on spec two years ago and was at -165 when both sides agreed to the fight this spring.
There is the theory that Golden Boy Promotions would not have put the fight together if they didn’t think that Alvarez was capable of beating Golovkin, who had his first-ever 12-round fight in May when he took the unanimous decision against Daniel Jacobs.
Alvarez, a 27-year-old Mexican who excels at defusing attacks and counter-punching, is 49-1-1 with 34 knockouts. His only career defeat, against Floyd Mayweather in September 2013, was also the last time he was an underdog.
If Alvarez is to win, it would be on the strength of using his quick hands to throw combinations and out-point Golovkin, who may have to meet a higher bar to satisfy observers. In method-of-victory prop betting, Alvarez is offering +215 for a win by decision.
Backers of Golovkin, who has offered value above -1000 in four of his last 17 fights, can fall back on the 35-year-old Kazakh’s total package of power, precision and dainty footwork, which has enabled him to go 37-0 with 33 knockouts. He’s also never been knocked down as a pro or amateur.
If the high-for-him price on Golovkin still isn’t sweet enough, he is paying +165 for a win through knockout, technical knockout or disqualification. The Jacobs fight did show Golovkin – who could have been holding back – could handle 12 full rounds. Golovkin pays +280 for a win by decision.
The big payoff for boxing bettors is calling the winner and round. It likely will take a good handful of rounds for Golovkin to wear down Alvarez’s defences. The prices on him in Round 1 through 4 are teasingly high, but remain at +2500 in Round 7, +2200 in Round 8 and +2000 in Round 9
That will be right around the time it becomes apparent whether the bulk Alvarez has added for the fight has affected his stamina.