Saturday, 22 December 2018 08:12

Charlo vs Korobov odds don't tell the whole story

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Tonight, Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21-0 knockouts) faces Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 knockouts).

At-stake will be the Interim WBC Middleweight Title as well as a possible superfight opportunity in 2019 with powerbrokers Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin.

Korobov, of course, is a late substitute for Willie Monroe, Jr who tested positive for PEDs. And quite naturally, many aren't giving him a chance to win. After all, who could prepare for a fighter like Charlo in just a few days?

Charlo vs Korobov odds
According to Oddschecker, rough odds for this fight have Charlo as a 1-16 favorite while his Russian opponent is a 45-4 underdog. Hence, a successful $100 wager on Charlo would yield just $6.25 while the same winning bet on Korobov would generate a profit of $1,125.

Odds for a draw are 33 to 1.

Charlo has faced and defeated better opposition, has been more active the last several years and has looked better in the ring. Moreover, Matt will turn 36 in 3 weeks while Jermall is just 28.There's no question who the favorite should be, but are we missing something?

Korobov was a decorated amateur with excellent skills who has lost only once. And in that 2014 bout against Andy Lee, Korobov was giving his opponent a boxing lesson and was ahead on all cards before he was badly hurt by a Hail Mary left hook in the 6th Round and subsequently stopped later in that stanza.

But, even in his sole loss he looked dynamic until he was caught.

He's in shape
With a fight lined up on Saturday's undercard against another opponent, Korobov is fit and ready to fight; He's not fresh off the sofa like some late replacements.

Earlier this week, Korobov told FightSaga:

“There wasn’t much happening,” said the native of Russia who now calls Florida home. “I left my promoter (Top Rank), but I did get an offer to fight Gilberto Ramirez. He didn’t want to fight me. That’s in the past now and I stayed in shape the whole time because I was at the gym on most days of the week.”

Charlo vs Korobov
Saturday 22, December 2018
Interim WBC Middleweight Title
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Broadcast: FOX (USA)

Like the fighter Korobov is replacing, Monroe, the former is a southpaw. Since Charlo had trained to face a southpaw, it made sense for Charlo & Co to find another lefty. However, even for smooth orthodox fighters like Charlo, fighting polished southpaws can be tricky and offer more obstacles than facing a right-handed opponent.

As a southpaw, is the technique-oriented Korobov's brand of "lefty" more dangerous to Charlo than Monroe's southpaw style?

Lack of targeted preparation 
Obviously, Korobov and Charlo will have had just a week to prepare for each other's style and strengths and weaknesses. And in this case, it could favor Korobov because he's that "X" factor and seemingly doesn't have a lot to lose because he took the fight on such short notice and isn't expected to be a deep threat.

Moreover, there might be subtle nuances in Korobov's style Team Charlo couldn't address in the time given.

Element of surprise
Let's not forget that an unknown Manny Pacquiao, also a southpaw, was a late replacement for surging IBF Super Bantamweight Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001. Pacquiao would surprise his foe and the boxing world, dominating from start to finish prior KOing his foe in Round 6.

Late replacements can offer surprises, and Korobov is a well-schooled southpaw with a strong pedigree who is in shape and was dominant in his only loss prior to getting tagged.

He also reeled off three consecutive wins versus lesser opposition last year and last fought in March, winning a UD over Jonathan Batista (then 16-12).

No, he hasn't been nearly as impressive as Charlo but is polished enough to give him problems and might be a fighter who raises his game when matched with elite opposition.

A skilled, hungry southpaw sporting a near perfect record and with nothing to lose takes a fight on the big stage with just a few day’s notice... If there's a bout that could offer an element of surprise, it's Charlo vs Korobov.

Charlo deserves to be a big favorite but the odds aren't a true reflection of Korobov's chance for an upset.






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