Two undefeated boxers meet on Saturday but the Betfair markets are in little doubt about the outcome with Terence Crawford a strong favourite to take the win. Frank Monkhouse examines the odds for value...
"The question on Saturday is not if Crawford can win, but how."
Lovers of a punt on the noble art have a live interest this weekend, as the Sky Sports team bring us Terence Crawford vs Julius Indongo for an alphabet of world super lightweight titles on Saturday evening.
Betfair traders have the undefeated Crawford as a convincing favourite to extend his winning run at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, but there's plenty of value around for those willing to work for it. We have done the heavy lifting for you...
Crawford, nicknamed Bud, arrives with a pristine record, showing 31 wins from as many starts, 22 of those coming inside-the-distance. The fighting pride of Nebraska is making his second outing of the year, having already cut down Felix Diaz in front of a bumper audience at Madison Square Garden three months ago.
Having beaten John Molina Jr in eight, the 29-year-old was flawless in bashing Diaz for WBC and WBO crowns. Billed as his most difficult bout to date, Terence made it look easy, rubber stamping his claims as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet at present. Not only is he undefeated, he appears to be getting better with every bout, and few of his opponents to date have got near beating him.
So, the question on Saturday is not if Crawford can win, but how. Fight fans have enjoyed every round of his rise to fame, but they want to see him tested, hurt or in trouble to analyse how he handles himself. Judging by recent outings, they'll be waiting a long time. Is Indongo the man to ask the right questions? The market doesn't think so.
Betfair's odds compilers are long-time admirers of Crawford and are keen to keep him onside here, 1/16 about win number 32 currently available. You'll get [1.1] on the exchange, so there's not a flood of players desperate to oppose.
Crawford beat Thomas Dulorme in six rounds at the University of Texas in the spring of 2015. That set off a purple patch, currently standing at five stoppage wins from six fights. Six from seven offers punters something to get their teeth into at 8/13, while a points cheer is sure to attract bits of attention at 2/1. We're fans of the value in that.
You'd be forgiven for thinking the jolly was in with a punchbag - a mere opponent ready to lie down at the first sign of trouble, but that's not the case. Namibian Julius Indongo, 34-years-old, holds an unmarked card of his own, 22 wins from 22 contests, 11 by KO/TKO.
That makes this one just a bit more interesting, doesn't it? The 5ft10 orthodox boxer from Windhoek was made famous with that awkward win over Ricky Burns in Scotland back in April. Going in as a massive underdog, he turned the tables on Scotland's first three-weight world champ, claiming a wide, and deserved, points verdict.
Can he make a habit of upsetting the odds? Those who sat through the Burns fight know Ricky went in on a high, but was out-classed on the night. Despite proving his worth in Glasgow, Indongo is as chunky as [9.5] on the exchange to go 23-0.
A knockout win would shock everyone, most of all traders, who give the underdog at a market best price 11/1 for the KO/TKO. He has plenty of bite though, and it's worth remembering Blue Machine took out previously undefeated Russian Eduard Troyanovsky in a round for the IBF and IBO titles in Moscow. That trademark confident grin will be difficult to wipe from his face.
Crawford to win on points @ 2/1