Boxing betting: Underdog Billy Joe Saunders attracting plenty of action, but big money on Canelo Alvarez

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A huge crowd is expected at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday to see the super middleweight unification bout between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders.

Alvarez holds the WBA and WBC super middleweight title belts, while Saunders is the WBO super middleweight champion. With the fight fast approaching, BetMGM has Alvarez as a significant favorite to win Saturday night’s main event. The fight was originally scheduled for May 2020, but was delayed a calendar year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alvarez, owner of a lifetime 55-1-2 record with 37 KOs, opened at -590, but has now been bet up to -700. Meanwhile, the odds for the undefeated Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) shifted from +400 to +450. The odds for a draw opened at +2500 but sit at +2200.

More bets on Saunders, more money on Alvarez

Thus far, the underdog has attracted more of the individual bets, but the majority of the money is on Alvarez at BetMGM.

As of Thursday afternoon, 46.4% of the tickets are on Saunders with 30.6% on Alvarez and 23% on a draw. The money breaks down differently with 44.8% on Alvarez, 35.1% on Saunders and 20% on a draw.

Aside from the three-way fight result, the method of victory and individual round bets are the most-bet props at BetMGM. Alvarez by KO, TKO, technical decision or DQ has attracted 53.4% of the method of victory bets and 45.2% of the money. Slightly more money (48.1%), but fewer bets (24.2%) came in on Alvarez winning by points.

The most popular individual round bets are Alvarez in Round 1 (11.5% of the tickets, 21.1% of the money) and Alvarez in Round 3 (12.1% of the tickets, 9.1% of the money).

Another popular bet is Alvarez winning via a unanimous decision. A whopping 91% of the money, plus 44.4% of the tickets, is on that outcome.

Canelo Alvarez of Mexico, left, turns away as Billy Joe Saunders of Great Britain, right, offer to shake hands with promoter Eddie Hearn looking on during a pre-fight news conference, Thursday, May 6, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Alvarez and Saunders fight on Saturday, May 8, 2021, for the unified super middleweight world championship. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Canelo Alvarez of Mexico, left, turns away as Billy Joe Saunders of Great Britain, right, offer to shake hands with promoter Eddie Hearn looking on during a pre-fight news conference. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Alvarez, 30, won his most-recent fight in February as Avni Yildirim opted not to come back out for the fourth round. Before that, Alvarez defeated Callum Smith in a unanimous decision in December to win the WBA and WBC super middleweight titles. He first moved up to super middleweight (168 pounds) in December 2018 when he TKO’d Rocky Fielding.

Saunders, 31, won the WBO middleweight title back in December 2015 and made three title defenses before losing his belt after testing positive for a banned substance. He later moved up to 168 pounds and knocked off Shefat Isufi in May 2019 to win the vacant WBO championship. Saunders defended his title against Marcelo Esteban Coceres in November 2019 and Martin Murray in December 2020.

More from Yahoo Sports:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting