Star Boxing

February 21, 2015

Golovkin vs Murray: Betting odds and fight analysis

Tom Craze breaks down the Golovkin-Murray odds, which are heavily in Golovkin's favor as expected.

Writing a betting column that focuses predominantly on Gennady Golovkin isn't altogether the easiest of tasks, and here's why.

Since, and including, his HBO debut against Grzegorz Proksa in September 2012, everyone's favourite Kazakh has fought eight times and won eight times. In none of those bouts, neither Golovkin nor his opponent has made as far as the ninth round.

Here's the thing. If you'd started with, for example, a stake of $10, and put it all on a straight Golovkin win, rolling over both your stake and profit to the next fight, and repeated that until the present day, you'd be left sitting on a mighty fortune of approximately... £16.81.

For the patient, more conservative bettors out there, that's a considerable 68{785f1b6326cdeb4275f63506ca40214b5c07db8f245df0cea7927e7aae5a72b6} bank growth. For the rest of us, it's merely a stark underlining of just how far clear Gennady Golovkin (31-0, 28 KOs) is of the chasing pack in the middleweight division. Frankly, even the description of a ‘chasing pack' is overstating it somewhat, given there's not exactly a queue forming to face the de facto king at 160lb.

It's Martin Murray (29-1-1, 12 KOs) who steps up tomorrow night with the seemingly thankless task of attempt to stop the oh-so-cheerful juggernaut, but after Proksa (Golovkin was a -500 favorite), Rosado (-2500), Ishida (-5000), Macklin (-1500), Stevens (-1400), Adama (-5000), Geale (-900), and Rubio (-5000), it's the Brit who, by popular opinion will be the next on the pile of mangled bodies and never-quite-the-same-again careers that Golovkin has chewed his way through at betting odds too prohibitive to ever contemplate backing.

With the stingiest of layers, Golovkin is a -3300 (or 1/33) shot this weekend. At best, you'll find him as a -1200 favorite, and in general he's an industry-wide -1600 or thereabouts. There aren't too many that will be backing against him with anything approaching extreme confidence, spare for, say Murray's own manager.

Martin Murray is perhaps the ‘nearly man' of British boxing at the moment, and there's few better examples of an active boxer whose reputation has been bolstered more by defeat (and a draw) than by the contests he's actually won. Unfancied by most when on the road against both Sergio Martinez (Murray was the +550 dog) and Felix Sturm (as the +500 shot), it was from these fights - a defeat and a draw respectively - that the St Helens man really forged his reputation and put himself forward as a viable contender to Golovkin somewhere down the line.

More concerning for those willing on the shock this weekend is the scarcity of quality that Murray actually has in his win column. In truth, while the Sturm and Martinez performances were highly creditable, they were, ultimately winless. Those aside, Murray's record is worryingly thin, and the claim from Rodney Berman, Golden Gloves promoter, that Murray is "a two-time uncrowned world champion" is surely the best case of "if only my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle" we've heard so far this year.

Controversy aside, let's look at who Murray HAS actually beaten since Martinez and the Buenos Aires hoo-hah.

First, there was an inexplicable eight-round rematch with the 40-year-old Sergey Khomitsky. To give you some idea of Khomitsky's present level, he's a +250 underdog to beat prospect Adam Etches in March.

Murray took to Twitter to announce his next opponent ("for those asking, it's not on TV, but [that's] no wonder with who I'm fighting"), the superbly-confusingly-nicknamed Ishmael Tetteh - ‘the Black Roy Jones Jr' - who'd fought only once outside Africa in a 42-fight career (and lost when he did). Prior to facing Murray last April, the teak-tough Tetteh hadn't strung together two wins in succession since the halcyon days of 2012, when he racked up four straight against a debutant, a guy with a 0-3 record and two guys with 0-5 records.

Next up was Max Bursak (a +380 underdog), who, mercifully, was more qualified, but could well still count a decision over Bryan Vera in 2009 as his best win. Most recently, it was Domenico Spada (the +800 outsider) who was the anointed stay-busy, a man whose five opponents pre-Murray had a combined 95 (NINETY-FIVE) defeats.

While some - if not all - of this was, of course, a clear case of risk-averse matchmaking with the big Golovkin fight in mind, this hardly screams great preparation by the Merseysider's camp, considering the sheer scale of his challenge come Saturday night.

Murray likely won't be intimidated and, surely, doesn't strike any observer as the type likely to hide away from a task, but the ‘he's as hard as they come' rhetoric sounds particularly fatigued in this instance. Stevens, Macklin, Geale, and Rubio were all considered, at worst, scrappy and durable, but from what we've seen so far, just being tough going into a contest with Gennady Golovkin simply isn't going to be enough to get it done.

Golovkin is, inevitably, a lopsided favorite to win inside the distance and there's no better than -600 available that Murray avoids being stopped, with a hefty 22/1 (+2200) on offer for the challenger to pull off what would be the undoubted upset of the year by knocking out the sport's most fearsome KO artist. It's +550 that we go to the judges, with a Golovkin points nod priced at +600, and a Murray decision at a best-priced +2500.

Follow Tom Craze on Twitter @Box_Bet

February 21, 2015

Mayweather-Pacquiao: All Access and 24/7 Details TBD

February 21, 2015

Mayweather-Pacquiao: All Access and 24/7 Details TBD

February 21, 2015

Pacquiao vs Mayweather: Three belts and a historic fifth crown on the line

Manny Pacquiao has a chance to become the only man in history to become lineal champion in five different weight classes should he best Floyd Mayweather in May.

It's happening. The biggest fight in boxing is finally coming about. Five years past its best-by date, perhaps--but Mayweather vs Pacquiao is still undeniably the most spectacular event that the sport of boxing can possibly put together.

We live, for the most part, in a post-championship era. These days, there are so many Silver, Super, International, and other meaningless world titles that the fighters themselves matter so much more than the belts they parade into the ring on fight night. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are the furthest thing from an exception to this rule: the belts they hold pale in comparison to the sheer weight of their names, which sit at the center of the boxing world like two binary suns, every other fighter from 140 to 154 swirling around them just waiting for their chance to lose to the best.

And yet, there are belts on the line, and they do matter.

Firstly, Mayweather-Pacquiao is a title fight in the traditional sense. Since the fight will take place at 147 pounds, the two men's welterweight titles will be on the line. Pacquiao will wager his WBO belt against Mayweather's WBC and WBA (Super) titles. So that's one thing.

The weight is 147 pounds. All 3 welterweight titles are on the line.

— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) February 20, 2015

But there's another title at stake, one far more meaningful, the likes of which the sport has never seen before.

In boxing there are belts, and there are crowns. Belts are a dime a dozen, meaningless straps churned out by meaningless sanctioning bodies in order to collect a portion of each paper champion's purse. To date, there are 111 of these belts spread across 17 weight classes. It's ridiculous.

But a crown is something different. Boxing's crowns are figurative rather than literal, and yet their weight is much more than ten pounds of leather and brass ever could be. The crowns belong to the lineal champs, those men who proved themselves the absolute best in their divisions, either by beating the last man to hold that claim, or by succeeding in a bout between the division's consensus numbers one and two. The wearers of the crowns--there are eight currently in the sport--are the closest things boxing has left to true champions, though there are those who scoff at the idea of such a thing.

And in this fight--The Fight--Manny Pacquiao has a chance to become the first man in history to win the crowns of five divisions.

Pacquiao and Mayweather have already made themselves part of history by becoming the first men to hold the crowns of four divisions. The deed isn't quite as impressive as it would've been, such as when Henry Armstrong won three crowns in the span of 10 months between 1937 and 1938. Back then there were only eight weight classes; Armstrong seized the featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight belts, becoming at one time the world champion from 126 all the way to 147 pounds. Still, despite our recent preponderance of weight divisions, a five-division king would still be something, and Manny Pacquiao has the chance to become that man.

Pacquiao has already proven himself, at one time, to be the very best flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight in the world. Mayweather, on the other hand, holds his crowns in the junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight divisions.

This means that, for Mayweather, he has only his legacy on the line. Pacquiao, on the other hand, has a chance to make boxing history. If he wins, he will become the first man in the history of the sport to wear the crowns of five weight classes, a feat which may never be surpassed.

Does this make the fight worth watching? Not really. Mayweather-Pacquiao is the biggest fight in boxing for reasons other than titles, lineal or otherwise. Still, it is worthwhile to place this modern era of boxing in the context of the sport's history; celebrating the lineal champions--boxing's true champions--does that, and Manny Pacquiao could rewrite history for good this May.

February 21, 2015

ShoBox results: Sammy Vasquez dominates, Craig Baker scores upset

Sammy Vasquez, Craig Baker, and Claudio Marrero were the winners on tonight's edition of ShoBox. Sammy Vasquez stayed undefeated with a fairly dominant win tonight in Pittsburgh, beating Emmanuel Lartey in the main event of ShoBox: The New G...
February 21, 2015

Canelo-Kirkland Moves To 5/9 To Minute Maid Park

February 21, 2015

Canelo-Kirkland Moves To 5/9 To Minute Maid Park

February 21, 2015

Giovani Santillan, Shelestyuk Grab Wins in Ontario

February 21, 2015

Giovani Santillan, Shelestyuk Grab Wins in Ontario

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