Fight night flutters
Sky Bet's Jamie Casey previews 'The One', and its undercard, ahead of a huge weekend.
By Jamie Casey - Follow me: @skyjamiecasey. Last Updated: 14/09/13 1:43pm
The One: Mayweather and Alvarez will go toe-to-toe in the early hours of Sunday morning
Floyd Mayweather and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez are expected to break pay-per-view records in the most eagerly awaited fight of the decade this weekend and online bookmaker Sky Bet are braced for an influx of bets on the bout.
Dubbed 'The One', both fighters are undefeated with Mayweather the favourite having dominated the welterweight division for some time, though there's a growing belief that this match-up may represent a passing of the torch.
Despite only being 23, Alvarez holds a record of 43-0-1 to Mayweather's 44-0, with the young Mexican boasting 30 knockouts to the American's 26. The draw on his pro record came against compatriot Jorge Juarez when aged just 15.
'Canelo' is disciplined, powerful and mentally very strong, so this promises to be Mayweather's biggest test since his 2007 bout with Oscar De La Hoya, the only man to have ever come close to beating 'Money' having narrowly lost out on a split decision.
Indeed, it was that bout which set the current pay-per-view record and with De La Hoya now promoting Alvarez, 'The One' has added spice as a fresh fighter from a new generation attempts to achieve what no other before him has managed.
Alvarez is no stranger to the unknown, though, having dropped highly-rated Austin Trout for the first time in his career in his last display, a fight in which he sacrificed his defence in order to throw more power punches.
Such a game-plan would surely play into the hands of the elusive Mayweather, but it did show the Mexican's ability to adapt to a ring situation. If he is to remain unbeaten he must target the body of Mayweather and make the 36-year-old feel the age difference, but all the while leading off his jab.
Alvarez is strong with his uppercut on the inside but he'll want to avoid getting drawn in too close to his opponent as he has been known to cut from head clashes, and you can be sure Mayweather will take full advantage of any such misfortune.
But it's that powerful left hook to the body that is likely to cause more bother for Mayweather than any other - a punch Alvarez dropped Josesito Lopez with twice inside three rounds a year ago to the date of this fight.
From a betting perspective, sitting on the fence may pay dividends, with either fighter to win on points a short but sensible punt, though there's plenty of value in either to win in the latter stages, with rounds 7-12 individually priced at 16/1 to be the round the fight is won in.
Interestingly, Alvarez is a shorter price to hit the canvas at 3/1 compared to Mayweather's odds of 4/1, while the American can be backed at 10/1 to be decked yet go on to win the fight. However, neither fighter to be knocked down is an odds-on chance (1/2).
Safest bet: Either fighter to win on points (4/11)
Best outside bet: Mayweather to win in rounds 10-12 (10/1)
Most popular bet with Sky Bet's customers: Alvarez to win (5/2)
Most popular bet in individual round betting: Mayweather Round 10 (33/1)
Biggest long shot: Alvarez to win inside opening minute (100/1)
Matthysse v Garcia
As if the main event of the night wasn't enough, the undercard at the MGM Arena pits together light-welterweight superstars Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia.
Knockout specialist Matthysse is the favourite but Garcia, who counts Zab Judah, Erik Morales and Amir Khan among his victims, is unbeaten with a record of 26 wins, 16 by way of knockout.
However, 30-year-old Matthysse has an extra 10 fights under his belt and double the amount of knockouts to go with that, though he has two disputable defeats to his name having lost on points to Judah and Devon Alexander in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
This has been the best year of the Argentine's career, though, knocking out Mike Dallas in the first round in January before reaffirming his credentials with a brutal destruction of Lamont Peterson inside three in May.
Lucas Matthysse: Power puncher
He must be astute, though, and if he's clever enough he'll not hold back from using his power early on, as the longer this fight drags on the better for Garcia, who will fancy his chances of winning on points if he can avoid getting caught flush by one of Matthysse's mean hooks early on.
That said, Garcia's ring movement is arguably one of his weaker traits, meaning Mattysse should have no problem hunting him down in the early rounds should he decide to advance. That makes the favourite to win inside rounds 1-3 very inviting at 9/2.
Indeed, 37 of the 54 fights involving these two that have been scheduled for six rounds or more have lasted under six, and that could well come in again at 2/1.
That bet produces a greater return than backing Mattysse inside the first half of the fight at 15/8 while it also brings greater security in the event Garcia causes an upset.
Incidentally, either fighter to win in rounds 1-6 is 11/8, further strengthening the case to go under six rounds at a greater 2/1.
Safest bet: Under six rounds (2/1)
Best outside bet: Garcia to win on points (5/1)
Most popular bet with Sky Bet's customers: Garcia to win (15/8)
Most popular bet in individual round betting: Garcia to win in Round 7 (50/1)
Biggest long shot: Garcia to win inside opening minute (80/1)
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