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Pavlik vs. Hopkins Super Middleweight Betting Preview/Pick

Boxing Betting Odds – Hopkins Seeks Rebirth against Pavlik

BetUS Sportsbook boxing bettors who like to wager on fisticuffs recognize that long-time former middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins is someone who just won’t go away. On Saturday night he’ll try to carve out another place in history as he takes on undefeated middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in a non-title fight at 170 pounds that is scheduled for 12 rounds at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

BetUS boxing betting odds:
Super Middleweights (actually 170-pounds)
October 18
— Atlantic City

KELLY PAVLIK -350
BERNARD HOPKINS +250

OVER 11.5 ROUNDS -240
UNDER 11.5 ROUNDS +190

FIGHT OUTCOMES

Pavlik by KO, TKO or Disqualification +200
Pavlik by Decision or Technical Decision -110
Hopkins by KO, TKO or Disqualification +900
Hopkins by Decision or Technical Decision +500
Draw or Technical Draw +2000

For betting purposes, let’s size up the contestants:

PAVLIK (34-0, 30 KO’s), the -350 favorite in the BetUS boxing betting odds, win 89 of 98 amateur bouts, and won national junior titles in both the Golden Gloves and Police Athletic League. He turned pro in June of 200, and hasn’t lost yet. He won the NABF middleweight title in October of 2005 with a ninth-round TKO of Fulgencio Zuniga. Pavlik was considered an impressive prospect by many people, and really rose into the consciousness of most boxing fans when he scored a spectacular seventh-round stoppage of Edison Miranda to get a middleweight title shot. In September of last year, he got up from the canvas to stop Jermain Taylor in seven rounds to score a TKO win, and was behind on all three scorecards at the time. He had a rematch with Taylor, and chalked up a relatively easy 12-round decision win. In Pavlik’s last fight he stopped Gary Lockett in three rounds, in a fight where his WBC and WBO titles were on the line, Pavlik is a stand-up fighter with a nice jab who also has a dangerous right hand.

HOPKINS (48-5-1, 32 KO’s), the +250 underdog at BetUS, has had a long and distinguished career that will eventually land him in the Hall of Fame, He actually lost his pro debut, fighting as a light heavyweight, but stayed undefeated for the next four and a half years. He won the USBA middleweight title with a 21-second TKO of Wayne Powell, and that eventually led to an IBF title fight against Roy Jones, which he lost by unanimous decision (a four-point margin on all three cards). Hopkins had another IBF shot against Segundo Mercado in December of ’94 and sustained a draw as he was floored twice in the fight, then stopped Mercado in seven rounds in the rematch. That began a long reign as a middleweight champion that continued through victories over the likes of Antwun Echols, Keith Holmes, Felix Trinidad and William Joppy. Hopkins scored his most high-profile win over Oscar De La Hoya in September 2004 when he knocked Oscar out with a body shot in the ninth round. Hopkins lost his middleweight title to Jermain Taylor in July 2005 and lost the rematch five months later, but at age 40, he came back strong to beat Antonio Tarver for the IBO light heavyweight title, then easily defeated Winky Wright after that. In his last fight, Hopkins knocked undefeated super middleweight champ Joe Calzaghe down in the first round, but dropped a disappointing split decision. He still has value, however, and his experience is always something to be reckoned with.

Hopkins will have to use his awkwardness to his advantage here. He appeared to have some trouble with Calzaghe’s sheer activity in the ring. Can Pavlik be busy enough to frustrate Hopkins? Or does he have the kind of punch that will stop the 43-year-old former champion in his tracks and give him pause?

They’re all good questions.

There is no question that Pavlik is somewhat vulnerable, as there hasn’t been anyone as experienced as this to test him. Hopkins’ game plan has to be to keep Pavlik off-balance, having to improvise as much as possible. If you remember Hopkins against Trinidad, he took a rather mechanical fighter and made him uneasy right from the start. Pavlik probably has more of the ability to improvise than Trinidad, but he is still pretty much a straight-ahead guy.

To execute his preferred strategy, however, Hopkins will have to have something left in the tank. Does he? After getting off to a good start against Joe Calzaghe, who he floored moments into the fight, Hopkins did very little to press and advantage. Is he just here for the payday? At this point, you know that Hopkins is hooked up as a “partner” with Oscar De La Hoya’s company (Golden Boy Promotions) and therefore is getting a lot of opportunities to make some money now (as has Shane Mosley has) by virtue of this association.

One thing that can’t be lost is that Hopkins has had some fights at this weight, and that counts for something, even if Pavlik’s frame is such that he fits naturally into the super middleweight division. I’m confident that Hopkins can take Pavlik’s punch. And I don’t think Hopkins is even going into this thing looking for a knockout, although he could test Pavlik’s chin. Pavlik is unquestionably the guy who is fresher, with a little more “fight” left in him. And Hopkins did have problems with the dimensions of Taylor. But Pavlik is more aggressive and will give Hopkins more of an opportunity to counter. And at +500 (the price at BetUS Sportsbook for Hopkins to pull off a decision win), his caginess gives us a chance to have some value here.

Our PLAY: HOPKINS BY DECISION (+500) **

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