Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Potevkin
At odds of around the 1/8 mark it looks a foregone conclusion that Anthony Joshua will win against the Russian Alexander Povetkin……but is that the case?
At the weigh in Joshua weighed in at 10 lb above his opponent and with his advantage in weight, height and reach he can be expected to get the job done. But the stats tell a slightly different story, Joshua is pontoon (21 from 21) with 20 of those fights ending in a knockout, but Povetkin is no mug and has only been beaten once in thirty four fights and that came against Klitschko in 2013.
At 6′ 2″ the Russian would be deemed small from a modern day boxing perspective and with his lack of reach then it all looks to be stacked against the Russian, but Joshua will be all too aware of the danger his opponent provides.
Povetkin has also dispatched many of his rivals with a knockout blow and this has the makings of a classic slugging match.
If we look at it from a purely technical boxing perspective then Povetkin has the ability to get in amongst Joshuas gauard with his bob-and-weave style and can lauch an array of shots including launches flying left hooks and big overhand rights from low positions. Possessing good speed, he can also bang with the best of them and 24 of his wins have come inside the distance. There are definitely warning signs there, something the Joshua camp will be well aware of.
Like Joshua, he’s also an Olympic gold medallist and with a near perfect record (34 – 1) he is not to be underestimated at all.
On paper, Povetkin is the toughest opponent Joshua will have faced and he will want this badly, there is no doubt he has a very fair shot of upsetting the home hero.
But we must take into account the Russian’s age and at 39 he is not going to be geting any stronger physically. The other thing to bear in mind is that he has been found guilty of using banned substances and nobody knows if that helped in his winning streak.
All in all, this is very unlikely to go the distance, but saying that their is not a lot of value in backing Joshua at 4/11 in that market.
Potevkin is likely to put up a fair bit of resistance and although it might not go the twelve rounds, we can see it going past half way.
So where do the betting opportunities lie in this one?
The 3/1 available for this to go the full 12 rounds makes little appeal as Povetkin knows he isn’t going to win a boxing match here and needs to turn this into a fight. A Joshua win by stoppage is much more likely, but priced accordingly, at 4/11.
Povetkin can use all of his experience to take it into the second half of the fight but at some point he’s expected to wilt under the heavy hands of the younger man, and the 7/5 available for the fight to be won in rounds 7-12 is well worth looking at.
Potevkin will have to go for his man early and this means he needs to knock Joshua out and at 18/1 that is worth taking. If we look at the same bet on Joshua then you can get 7/2 and this looks a solid play as it gives you the upside if Potevkin can pull off the shock and you still have a solid bet at 5/4 if Joshua wins by a knockout.
Both of those prices are available with Bet365
Whatever the result it promises to be a ding dong battle and one that will live long in the memory for die hard boxing fans.