Huge upset in the boxing betting action over the weekend as Eleider Alvarez knocked down champion Sergey Kovalev twice in the seventh round before finishing with one last punch to win the WBO light heavyweight belt. Kovalev was in control of the fight through six rounds and leading 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56. Here’s a look at three matches this week in what is a fairly quiet weekend overall in the sport. Be sure to check the latest boxing odds during the week.
Top Boxing Betting Picks of the Week – August 6th
— BJ Flores (@bjfloresboxing) 26 de julio de 2018
Jesus Rojas vs. Joseph Diaz Jr.
Rojas puts his WBA “regular” featherweight title on the line Saturday from Hollywood, Calif., in a fight streamed on Facebook Watch. The 31-year-old Rojas is 26-1-2 with 19 knockouts. He comes off a win over Claudio Merrero for the interim World Boxing Association World Featherweight Title. Rojas blasted Marrero with a seventh-round left hook to knock him out.
In the seventh round, as they were trading blows, Rojas Marrero with a clean left hook. Marrero was on his knees, but he was unable to beat the count, and referee Russell Mora counted him out at 2 minutes, 59 seconds. Rojas won despite complaints that Marrero twice bit his ears. Marrero was making the first defense of the interim 126-pound belt he won April 29, also in Las Vegas, when he scored a spectacular first-round knockout of Carlos Zambrano. Rojas, of Puerto Rico, moved to 13-0-2 in his last 15 fights since dropping an eight-round decision to Jose Angel Beranza in 2008. Rojas previously held a pair of regional WBA titles: the WBA-NABA and WBA Fedecaribe featherweight titles.
Diaz, just 25 and from the USA, is 26-1 with 14 KOs. Diaz Jr. is a southpaw who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. After that, he signed with Golden Boy Promotions and began a promising career that has earned him a spot at the pinnacle of the featherweight division. Diaz Jr.’s first title opportunity was against Gary Russell Jr. in May. Though he did not win, Diaz Jr.’s impressive efforts earned him an immediate title shot but this time against Rojas.
Mariana Juarez vs. Terumi Nuki
This scheduled 10-rounder Saturday has Juarez defending her WBC women’s bantamweight title from Mexico City. Juarez (49-9-4), with her exceptional style and iron determination, has won three world titles in different categories, two of them from World Boxing Council. Nuki (10-3) lost to Juarez in July of last year by unanimous decision.
Nuki was able to connect numerous times in the first round, especially with right hands to the head. It was all Juarez from the second round on, as she effectively countered the slower Nuki, with a straight right and left hands to the head. Nuki continued to press the action, but Juarez battered her with repeated combinations that began to bruise Nuki’s face. During the final two rounds, Juarez switched back and forth between a southpaw and conventional stance. All three judges scored the bout 98-92 in favor of Juarez.
“We have to make an almost perfect fight. Although my opponent does not have many professional fights, she has a long amateur career, and few boxers have that kind of punch. She has knocked down almost all her rivals. We already beat her once but can`t be over confident,” Juarez said.
BJ Flores vs. Trevor Bryan
This matchup of heavyweights in a WBA title eliminator is Saturday from Phoenix. Flores, a former world title challenger, gets to fight in his hometown. He’s ranked No. 6 by the WBA and Bryan is No. 5. Flores is very excited about the fight knowing that the winner will be in prime position for a title shot. Anthony Joshua holds the WBA “super” title and Manuel Charr holds the organization’s “regular” belt.
Flores (34-3-1) has won two fights in a row since losing to former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew while Bryan (19-0) hasn’t fought since December and went 2-0 in 2017.
“This is a tough fight,” Flores said. This is a big guy who Don (King) has a lot of hopes for. This fight was supposed to happen in April and then May and then they said June. Finally, after I broke camp – 3 weeks later, they called me and said August 11. I was tired of waiting around and quickly agreed.”
Expert Boxing Betting Predictions
Back Diaz, Juarez, and Bryan.