Johnny Wilds ESPN Boxing Insider Special to NYFights
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1) vs Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan (36-3-1), WBA and WBC middleweight championship fight.
Date: Saturday May 5th.
Location: “The War Grounds” StubHub Center, Carson CA.
TV: HBO Championship Boxing 11PM EST/5PM PST
*Odds courtesy of Westgate, Las Vegas
Here's a look at where the money is going from Vegas bookmakers, along with opinions from boxing experts, trainers and my prediction for the fight.
At The Westgate, Las Vegas, Jeff Sherman, Race and Sportsbook Manager, opened Golovkin-2500 and Martirosyan +1100. He also posted a round prop of 8.5 over +160 Under -190. “We don't really have heavy action, just continual decent size parlay support from the general public with Golovkin driving the current price to Golovkin -4000 +1400 and the round prop 8.5 over +175 Under -210, as sharps are supporting the under,” said Sherman.
At William Hill US, Senior Trader Adam Pullen opened the fight with Golovkin -2000 and Martirosyan+1000. Pullen posted the total at 8.5 over +160 and under -180. “We are now at -4000/+1500. We only have written three straight bets total on the fight! One on VM and two on GGG with one being a very large six figure wager on GGG. The lack of tickets might be to the lack of knowledge that the fight exists as it was a recently added fight,” said Pullen. With the Kentucky Derby this weekend and a bigger crowd in Vegas should lead to more volume being bet on the fight in the opinion of Pullen.
Colin Morrison (boxing sharp): “It's going to be tough for Martirosyan at StubHub on Saturday. GGG will be in the mood to put in an impressive showing and perhaps take out some of the frustration he must be feeling after all that's happened in the buildup to this Cinco De Mayo date. Vanes will go for broke but be stopped in round four after absorbing a punishing beating from Golovkin.”
Evan Young (boxing sharp): “It does appear that Golovkin has looked more human than robot as of late but he still performed at a high level against Danny Jacobs (W12) and Canelo Alvarez (Controversial Draw). Martirosyan-only losses were to highly regarded, eventual world champions. He is clearly a competent fighter. However, I think he's in over his head with GGG. He's never fought anyone with the strength and fire power of GGG. Golovkin will bring his piston-like jab and heavy pressure to force technician Martirosyan into uncomfortable positions. Martirosyan has never been stopped so it will be a good result for GGG when he scores a stoppage win on Cinco de Mayo. I'm going with Golovkin by 9th round stoppage.”
Abraham Gonzalez (boxing sharp): “Looking at the 7 day weigh-in and GGG being only 2 lbs away from 160 (which is less at this point than the Canelo fight), I think GGG will be in tremendous shape and will look to get a few rounds in before bringing the “Big Drama Show” around the 5th round. GGG via TKO in the 5th.”
Stephen “Breadman” Edwards (boxing trainer): “Vanes lands some snappy right hands early but GGG's calmness and power takes over after round 5. Good fight but GGG wins.”
Marcos Figueroa (boxing sharp): “After fighting 2 elite level 160lb'ers in '17 GGG gets a perceived tuneup thanks to some ˜beef” (we think). This fight will give us a good gauge as to whether Father Time is knocking on his door. Will GGG struggle or will he dominate? I say GGG dominates in route to a mid (6-9) round TKO.”
Amanda Kelley (Boxing painter/sharp): “You would not know it from the jokes and memes on the internet, but Saturday's fight is about respect. Golovkin respects Vanes for taking a dangerous fight at short notice. Promoters, matchmakers, trainers, and diehard fans respect a fighter who stays fit, toils in the gym, and gives us their all on fight night. I respect Vanes for giving us the fleeting opportunity to witness a dramatic, 5th round KO from the glorious GGG.”
John “Iceman” Scully (boxing trainer): “I really respect Vanes as a professional fighter but this is a huge hurdle on such short notice. Mentally and physically. I can't see a focused Triple G letting this go the distance. Vanes will fight hard bus I just can't see him under the circumstances lasting the distance.”
Luke Chapman (boxing sharp): “Struggling to find any great value with this one. Before Golovkin took on the likes of Jacobs and Canelo it used to be a case of which round he'd knock his opponent out in. Unsure of Vanes' punch resistance at 160 coming off a long lay off but I'll look to the Group Round Betting markets and have something small on Golovkin Rounds 5-8 +140.”
Joshua Stabile (boxing sharp): “GGG is a middleweight. Vanes is a junior middleweight. GGG is motivated to tie Hopkins for most middleweight title defenses in boxing history. I expect GGG to get the KO here. If he doesn't get the KO or this is a close fight where he looks rusty, we can start the ‘over the hill' speculation. I can't envision a way for Vanes to win this fight. At -3000/+1100, I believe the odds are too long to consider betting a side. If the under 8.5 rounds comes down to -150ish, I will take a small position.”
Side By Side:
Golovkin: The thirty-six year old mega star will be attempting to tie Bernard Hopkins' record for 20 title defenses at middleweight. GGG is coming off a highly disputed draw last September versus Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. This was supposed to be the rematch but Canelo tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol. He was left without a dancing partner when the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Canelo for six months. A few names were being tossed around but Martirosyan was finally given approval and on boxing's biggest weekend, Cinco De Mayo. While we don't have the mega rematch most boxing fans wanted…we still have one of boxing's top pound-for-pound fighters in the world with “GGG” in the squared circle. He has an amazing 88% KO average in his career but there has been clamoring that he might be slipping as his last two opponents have seen the final bell with Daniel Jacobs (UD12) in March of '17 and Canelo (D12) last September. “GGG” is a certain hall of fame first-ballot inductee and will go down as one of the greatest middleweights of all time! Will we see the vaunted search and destroy “GGG” or will be see another fighter take him the distance?
Martirosyan: Vanes represented the United States 2004 Olympic team as a welterweight and on the same team as Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell. He has challenged twice for the light middleweight crown in 2013 and 2016. Although he lost both times to Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara, he fought very valiantly in both fights losing close decisions. Vanes is a skilled fighter and resilient as they come. He is the last opponent to make it to the final bell with Jermell Charlo in March of 2015, by yet another close decision loss. Vanes is a very good fighter and is looking to make the most of this opportunity and win a major title!
Who will win? The panel isn't wavering and is picking GGG to win by a 9-0 margin. I don't disagree and will make it a clean sweep. I don't buy into the Father Time or slipping analogy and think GGG takes out some serious frustration from the Canelo fallout on the game but overmatched Martirosyan. I see GGG wearing Vanes down and securing a nice bedtime story before the 10th round.
Pick: You won't make money long term by laying huge favorite prices like we have here with GGG. Take a look at KO props and under 8.5 rounds for better value.