Let’s look at at our top Dmitry Bivol v Joe Smith Jr betting tips. Big time boxing comes from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona on Saturday as Dmitry Bivol and Joe Smith Jr battle it out for the WBA light heavyweight world title over 12 rounds. Armchair fans in the UK can follow the action live on Sky Sports but it will be a late one with the first bell expected around 4.00am GMT.
Those staying up for the contest are guaranteed a thrilling encounter and bookmakers have put in the work needed to allow you a financial interest on the outcome. Flick through the markets and have your say on the fight winner or play one of the many exciting specials, such as the method of victory market, winning round or fight to last the distance. There’s something to suit every type of punter and a price that’ll cater for every budget.
The outcome of this bout has kept fight fans thinking during the build-up, but bookmakers have had no trouble making their minds up, pricing Bivol as red-hot favourite. In boxing, more than any other sport, however, the expectations of traders counts for little as it’s a game that can change in the blink of an eye. Boxing history is littered with big price upsets, will we see another here? Our team of experts run the rule over the top of the bill contest.
Dmitry Bivol was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1990 but now fights out of his St Petersburg base after relocating for the good of his career. The 6ft orthodox goes into this bout with a professional career showing 15 wins from as many fights, 11 of those victories coming inside the distance, resulting in a fearsome 73% KO average. The 28-year-old debuted with a sixth round TKO win over Jorge Olivera in Moscow and instantly caught the bug, halting each of his first six starts.
He is known as a puncher in the division with the world at his feet but has been forced to use his boxing skills of late, dragged over the distance in each of his last two starts, beating both Isaac Chilemba and Jean Pascal on points. Both wins were awarded to him by a wide margin and he will shape as a better fighter for the experience, proving both his stamina to get the result if he can’t land the big punches, as well as his tactical awareness to see bouts out from a winning position. The higher he goes in the rankings the more opponents are going to take him into the latter rounds.
Points Win Makes Sense
That form has caught the attention of traders at major bookmakers and the money men have rushed out to support win number 16 for the Russian based fighter. Punters who agree and are looking to support Bivol in the fight winner market will need to think again as he’s currently no better than 1/20 to land the desired result. That’s a strong view and one that says to backers they will get nothing cheap in this one and will have to work for their share of the value. There’s nothing in that fight winner market we can work with, even in stacked accumulators, so we’re forced into the specials.
Bivol’s punch power is no secret but he has won each of his last two on the scorecards and a hat-trick looks worth our attention. As already mentioned, the days of Bivol blowing away lesser opponents are over and he has fought his way into a position where he’ll face only the best and brightest opponents who are, of course, more difficult to break down. The jolly learned a lot from both Chilemba and Pascal and it’ll show when he returns to action on Saturday. That makes the points win a more attractive betting opportunity than another KO/TKO. Those respecting the challenge of Joe Smith Jr and wanting to give themselves a bit of a safety net can bet on the fight to go the distance. That means you’ll be paid out as a winner regardless of who get the decision, as long as we hear the final bell.
Joe Smith Jr will duck between the ropes on fight night as a rank outsider in the betting, but he’ll be confident in his ability to turn the tables on his fancied opponent and will know he is here purely on merit, having earned his seat at the top table. The 29-year-old from Long Island, New York brings a professional record consisting of 24 wins against two defeats, one of those losses coming inside the distance. Of the two negatives on his card, the first came at the hands of Eddie Caminero (6-3-0) very early in his career and looked little more than a slip-up when he was still finding his feet in the pro ranks. The second came more recently when going down to Sullivan Barrera in the summer of 2017, outpointed over 10.
Smith started well that night, knocking Barrera to the canvas in the first round with a well-timed shot but he allowed his opponent back into it and was eventually beaten on the scorecards – 97-92, 96-93, 97-92 which is wide margins when remembering Smith bagged a 10-8 round in there. That fight was for the WBC International title and critics fear the worst for the American as he takes a major step up in class from losing at that level. Will he be able to handle it, and will he show supporters he has learned the lessons from that Barrera defeat? Some think so, but the majority expect Smith to come up short again and suffer a loss that will set him back a good bit.
Back to Winning Ways
Joe did return to winning ways last time out and in good style too, beating opponent Melvin Russell in the first round of a bout scheduled for 10. The perfect way to build confidence in the camp again and ideal preparation for this clash. The only slight downside to the result is Smith has fought less than one round since July 2017 and that inactivity can be looked at in two ways, either he’ll be rusty and off the pace or he’ll be fully rested, fresh and ready to box the performance of his career to make a serious statement.
Nothing is expected of the American here and with that comes the benefit of being able to enjoy boxing with zero pressure placed upon him. Traders may not rate his chances too highly, but he is a gladiator with aspirations of his own and will know a win here would catapult him towards the biggest and best opponents in the weight category, not to mention some major pay cheques. It’s nothing more than a pipe dream, according to traders, who are confident enough to offer the upset at a chunky 10/1 with bet365. That price is sure to attract a few bets at interest stakes, especially from value hunters who understand the importance of taking a punt on overpriced selections as often as possible.
This is a big ask for Smith to beat Bivol and, unfortunately for the American, we don’t expect him to come out of the night clutching the bet. He’s experienced enough to avoid the early onslaught, so we expect this one to progress into the latter rounds.