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Fighters That Will Make You Rich in 2017

Fighters That Will Make You Rich in 2017

By Scott Levinson, Boxing Handicapper,

Well, maybe we're overstating the case when we say "rich," but there are some fighters that will offer exemplary betting value in upcoming fights—by betting against them! These fighters will be big favorites against future opponents. And like a lot of big favorites, they will often win. With some patience, however, taking some well-timed stands against the following fighters could pay dividends. It's a practice that will cost us some losing bets, but with the odds these fighters are getting, we won't have to be right more than here and there. Here are some top fighters where how good they actually are might be overstated by the odds they generally receive.

Deontay Wilder: I really feel a big payday is right around the corner betting against Wilder, 37-0 (36 KOs). Nothing against Wilder as a fighter, as he could beat any big man on the planet simply on the basis of his prodigious power. By the same token, there are major blind spots in his overall game, the result of a late-start in the sport and a pro trajectory where he didn't have to explore the full spectrum of traits needed to be longtime king. He has labored with guys like Eric Molina, Artur Szpilka, and Johann Dahaupas, three fringe contenders. Making it hard is the quality of opposition Wilder generally faces, which isn't all his fault, though he seems protected despite holding the WBC belt. But once he upgrades who he is facing, it might be time to look for a spot to go against him.

Manny Pacquiao: In a way, Pacquiao has looked better in his last two fights than he has looked in a number of years. After scoring wide wins over Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas, which sandwiched the briefest of "retirements," Pacquiao, 59-6-2 (38 KOs), is in the midst of a nice career-renaissance. But if boxing has taught us anything, the end for legends like Pac Man usually come unexpectedly. He is likely to take a cagey approach in his opponent-selection, which could result in some huge numbers on the Filipino legend. After nearly 20 years at a world-class level, it wouldn't be too earth-shattering if the wheels came off when you'd least expect it and against someone where you won't see it coming.

Terence Crawford: Going against Crawford, 30-0 (21 KOs), has so far proven to be futile, but that has a lot to do with who he has fought—smaller guys, older fighters, or opponents where he had a pronounced built-in stylistic edge. His team seems adept at steering clear of opponents who offer the combination of speed, style, and size to really trouble Crawford. And that's not to say he isn't immensely-talented or that he hasn't beaten some tough contenders and titleholders. All his opponents have been right in his wheelhouse stylistically—straight up and down-type opponents without the nuance of the true elite. Or the more dynamic fighters he has fought like Yuriorkis Gamboa were too small or perhaps past their best. What might seem like an imperceptible jump in class in 2017 could prove to be more troublesome than some think. Granted, one shouldn't bet against Crawford for the sake of it, but let's see how he does against a multi-dimensional fighter in his prime who has some exceptional traits of his own.


Adonis Stevenson: The linear light heavyweight champion has become a virtual afterthought in the 175-pound division. With inactivity and age (39), Stevenson may have grown stale. He looked good in beating Thomas Williams in July, but that was his only fight since September 2015. He always had an exploitable chin and though he is one of the more offensively-gifted fighters in the sport, his career direction seems aimless. Stevenson has waited for a big fight that never really came along. He has nothing lined up, but when he returns, it might be against an uncelebrated opponent at long odds. Taking any contender at this point with some pop could pay off, as Stevenson's days may be numbered.

Adrien Broner: With Broner, those who bet against him will usually get good value. Broner's flashy and over-the-top image can sometimes mask his lack of overall merit in the minds of the general betting public. While certainly good, clear losses to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana have shown him to be well-below the level of elite. And with a lifestyle gone rampant at times, legal issues, inactivity, and an increasing tendency to fatten up between fights, it might start catching up with "About Billions." An opponent that you might not be inclined to fancy against Broner, 32-2 (24 KOs) could stand a better chance than it first appears. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet on boxing from the comfort of your own home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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