Championship boxing comes to us from the unfamiliar surroundings of the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday 30th November. We see warring Australians Jeff Horn v Anthony Mundine face-off. WBA Oceania and WBO Oriental middleweight titles are on the line. However, more importantly, this is a bout where that’ll give the winner a pass back to the big time.
Both men have fought for major honours in the past; now, both will rate their chances of securing a seat back at the head table to contest the big money nights again. To achieve that they must do it at the expense of the other. This makes this a bout of particular interest to followers of the noble art.
There’s also plenty for lovers of a bet to get excited about; bookmakers are gifting us the chance to add a bit more interest with a value wager. There are lots of markets available, including fight winner; total number of rounds; method of victory and even correct round betting.
The latter always brings the biggest and best prices and that’s because it’s a bigger ask than the others. To land a winner you must correctly predict which fighter will secure the victory and also which one of the 12 rounds you think they’ll do it in. For example, if you’re expecting a quick night, you could back Horn to win in round one at 35/1, or Mundine in round 10 at 70/1.
Horn Upset Pacquiao
30-year-old Jeff Horn had the world at his feet not too long ago. The Brisbane born welterweight shocked the sport when beating former pound-for-pound great, and all-round boxing living legend, Manny Pacquiao at this venue back in July 2017. He wasn’t given a chance by anyone heading into the contest; however, against all the odds, the 5ft 9inch orthodox boxer performed to scoop a dramatic points win.
As well as victory over Pac Man, Horn also won the WBO world title that night. Furthermore, he made a first successful defence of his strap when beating Englishman Gary Corcoran last December; he stopped the Londoner in the 11th round due to a cut sustained in the eighth. That gash was worsening all the time and referee Benjy Esteves did the right thing in pulling the fight, Corcoran’s corner agreeing it was the best course of action for their man’s long-term health.
That inside the distance win saw The Hornet step up a level or two and he was next booked to fight Terence Crawford at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. With Bud widely regarded as the best fighter in professional boxing at the minute, the venue being the home of the sport’s biggest fights and a respected world title on the line, it was the stuff of dreams of Horn, but the bout quickly turned into a nightmare.
The Hornet Eager to Bounce Back
Terence Crawford extended his record to 33-0-0 with a win over Horn, stopping his opponent in the ninth round; this ended his time at the top of the division. That result came as no real surprise to boxing fans. However, many were impressed to see the beaten man stay in the contest until the latter stages, despite being tipped to be blown away in the opening few rounds by many in the know. It was defeat, of course; however, Jeff left the ring with his fair share of credit and he’ll be hoping to come back stronger for the experience.
Will he get back to winning ways at the first opportunity and move his CV to 19-1-1? Bookmakers think so and those looking for a financial interest in this fight will find traders have marked The Hornet up as favourite. They are confident in their selection too and there’s currently no more than William Hill’s 1/5 available. Yes, that’s about as tight as you’d want it, but it’s a good bit better than the competition have him, some firms as short as 1/7. That’s telling punters in no uncertain terms, we don’t want to take Horn on, look elsewhere for your bet.
Playing the method of victory market offers a chance at a bigger return and Horn to win on points is 11/10 favourite. That’s a tad surprising as each of his last two bouts have failed to hear the final bell, as well as five of his last six. That’ll nudge a few towards the alternative and Horn by KO/TKO is our bet at 13/10. A bigger price, and one backed by the form. It makes perfect sense to us.
Mundine the More Experienced Man
With a professional record of 48-8-0, Sydney native Anthony Mundine is, by far, the more experienced man of the two; he’ll be eager to use that to his advantage. The 43-year-old made his debut way back in 2000 when scoring a fourth round TKO win over Gerrard Zohs in Sydney and has since been involved in some memorable contests.
The Man fought Sven Ottke for an IBF world title in 2001, Antwun Echols for the WBA in 2003, Mikkel Kessler, Daniel Geale, Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Danny Green, to name but a few. He has lost three of his last five as the 5ft 11inch orthodox’s career slows to a halt; however, he did end on the winning side of the draw last time when beating Tommy Browne (36-6-2) at The Star in Sydney in January, scoring a second round TKO.
With his recent form showing two defeats in three, and three in five, it’s no surprise to find Mundine has been priced as outsider for the win with a chunky 4/1 available at Bet365. That price is the general idea in the betting ring at present and looks to be about accurate, the draw written off at 25/1.
The Man Brings a 50% KO Average
As well as enjoying the lion’s share of experience in this bout, Anthony Mundine will also be eager to call on the punch power that has helped him to 28 knockout wins in the past, including that early night vs Browne is his most recent start. A 50% KO average should never be taken lightly; however, traders haven’t afforded it too much respect and make an eye-catching 6/1 available to those fancying a play on the KO/TKO upset.
A points win is judged less likely by those who hold the purse strings, 10/1 the prize there. Both attractive offers, but not nearly good enough to merit our hard-earned cash and we don’t suggest you invest in them either. Instead, get your money on Horn to bag the desired result.
He’s the younger, fresher man; he has had recent experience of boxing at the top level, is a former world champion, beat Manny Pacquiao and has a long-term future in the sport. He’s also been far more active than the man in the opposite corner and that will lead to him scoring another inside the distance win.
Mundine’s experience should be respected; however, he has contested less than two rounds since February 2017 and that will come back to haunt him. Those seeking out a bit of a better price than the 13/10 can try their luck on Horn to win in rounds 3-4 at 17/2 or 5-6 at 15/2.