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Ward vs Kovalev odds: Boxer gets the nod in even match-ups

Lee Cleveland Updated
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In boxing, how often do we see two unbeaten, top 5 pound-for-pound champions who are believed to be in their primes get the opportunity to face one another?

That's what we're getting with Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev next month.

There have been some quality light heavyweight match-ups since the division's inception, but few have had the potential to capture the imagination of the public like Ward vs Kovalev.

This fight is one of the best match-ups over the last ten years and the biggest, most significant fight of 2016, and will certainly make its mark in the annals of light heavyweight history.

Ward vs Kovalev odds

Since this bout was confirmed, Ward, the challenger, has been a near-unanimous slight favorite. Barring any shocking developments, expect Andre to enter the ring as a tight favorite.

“I really believe this could end up being a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate," Jay Rood, Vice President of Race & Sports for MGM Resorts International, recently told FightNews.com.

"Usually fighters in good form don’t meet up. Because of that, this fight opened close, has remained so and, most likely, will close so."

"It’s not very often that a fight in Las Vegas that’s this significant is this close in terms of odds. Ward opened at -145 and he now is at -150. I don’t believe it will change much from here.”

Hence, a $150 bet on Ward would yield a $100 net.

Why is Ward the favorite?

Answer: Experts tend to think the safer money is with the perceived natural boxer or technician.

“The public is perceiving this fight, right or wrong, as ‘Boxer vs. Puncher,'” added Rood. “Usually the boxer draws the ‘sharp’ action. Most of the ‘sharp’ money will be on the boxer,” Rood added.

True to form, should Ward vs Kovalev go the distance, many believe the natural boxer, Ward, would have the advantage. After all, boxing is a hit-and-don't-get-hit endeavor, and judges tend to favor ring artistry over brute force; Relatively-speaking of course.

Sugar Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler (1987) is a fine example of a close fight between two top fighters with contrasting styles. A case could probably be made for either fighter winning. But not surprisingly, Leonard, the fighter with the smoother, more technical style, convinced 2 of the 3 judges he'd done enough to win.

In a match-up between a technical boxer and brutish brawler, the former, whether the favorite or underdog, will usually get a small bump in the odds.

... But is Andre Ward the consummate boxer?

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