One of the more interesting aspects of the HBO boxing pay-per-view main event between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez has been the gambling odds. What was once seen as a fight where Martinez would be a massive favorite was actually viewed as a near even-money fight once it was actually made.
The Wynn sportsbook had opened the fight with Chavez a +150 underdog to Martinez as a -170 favorite.
The current odds are slightly wider than that, which makes sense given that those opening odds were viewed by many as shockingly close. Right now at Bovada it's Chavez +170, Martinez -210.
I do think Chavez has a fair shot to win the fight. He's big, he hits hard, from what we've seen, his chin is solid and his last performance against Andy Lee was an eye-opener. But we've also seen him have continued trouble making weight, we've seen him put in some really bad performances against medicore competition and we've never seen him in the ring with anyone nearly as good as pound-for-pound list mainstay Martinez.
There are also odds on the length of the fight with over 9.5 rounds at -260 and under at +180.
Picks: I'm big on Martinez here. Later today my official fight pick will be out and I'm picking Chavez based on gut feelings and all of that, but you don't gamble with your gut, you gamble with the available information. And the available information is that Martinez is the better boxer. Anyone who disputes that Martinez is the better talent and doesn't have more consistency in his performances against better opposition is out of their mind.
To put money on Chavez is to put money on a guy who doesn't always bring consistency against guys who are low C-level fighters, and Martinez is as much of an A-level fighter as there is in the sport right now.
I'm also a fan of the over here. Again, use the available information. Chavez's chin appears quite solid, and, even though we know Martinez can knock people out (see the second Paul Williams fight), I don't really think he's going to spend much of the early part of the fight really setting his feet and letting his hands go against a bull like Chavez.
I don't think Chavez's style is really one that catches and stops Martinez early. If he's fighting smart, he'll be working the body pretty hard in the early rounds. I don't see a stoppage coming in this fight and, if there is one, I think it's a corner stoppage or ref stoppage in rounds 10-12.