Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde Odds, Pick & Prediction: Boxing Betting Preview (Saturday, January 28)
Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images. Pictured: Boxer Artur Beterbiev
- Expect a knockout when Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde meet on Saturday afternoon on ESPN+.
- Unified champ Beterbiev has a 100% knockout rate and faces a fellow finisher in Yarde.
- Below, Bryan Fonseca shares his favorite bet, as well as a handful of sprinkles, for the fight in London.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde Odds
If there’s one thing I’ll assure you, it’s this: This fight will end in a knockout. It just has to.
Unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) is the only champion in boxing with a 100% knockout rate. His opponent on Saturday afternoon’s card (ESPN+, 2:30 p.m. ET), Anthony Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs), has boxed to just two decisions in his 25-fight career.
The first was in June 2015. The last, a controversial split decision loss to Lyndon Arthur in December 2020, he avenged with a knockout victory one year later. (Split decisions are never not controversial now that I think about it…)
Beterbiev, 38, has been a phenom since long before his pro debut in June 2013, following a reported 295-5 amateur record, including multiple world and European-level gold medals. The naturalized Canadian citizen most recently added the WBO to his collection of titles, which already included the IBF and WBC, by knocking out New York native Joe Smith at the Madison Square Garden Theater in just two rounds last June.
Beterbiev initially won the IBF and WBC titles in 2017 and 2019, respectively. For the London native Yarde, it’s his first world title shot since losing via TKO to Sergey Kovalev in August 2019 – his only decisive defeat.
This fight will serve as ESPN and Top Rank’s first significant event of 2023, and one that’s guaranteed to see at least one fighter put on his ass.
And, for what it’s worth, the only other world light heavyweight title (WBA) is held by Dmitry Bivol, who famously upset Canelo Alvarez last May. So, in theory, a potential unification is on the horizon for the undisputed championship at 175 pounds.
To say a competitor has a puncher’s chance could often be out of courtesy. And, in other cases, it’s straight-up BS.
In Yarde’s case, he absolutely has a chance, even against one of the world’s most terrifying athletes across combat sports. Beterbiev has a perfect knockout rate, but that said, building such a resume doesn’t come without taking aggressive risks, and he himself has been dropped on multiple occasions during his career. The first came from a straight right hand against Jeff Page Jr. during Round 1 of a December 2014 contest.
Beterbiev was 6-0 heading into the fight, got up from the canvas without issues, and finished Yarde in Round 2, winning three regional titles with long-ass names that are irrelevant to this conversation. Page was 15-0 with 10 knockouts heading into the fight.
The second Beterbiev knockdown was against Callum Johnson four years later, when Beterbiev was badly dropped with a poignant left hook, but got up to score the fourth-round knockout.
Even against Marcus Browne more recently, Beterbiev has shown a tendency to get hit – not because he’s careless, but because his style involves taking calculated risks and being content to trade his power with yours. Which has always worked in his favor. Much like Felix Trinidad, he can get touched, but he’s almost more deadly when in danger – perhaps elevated further when dropped.
Because Yarde has two losses, and the only stoppage between the two – and a less-impressive overall resume – he’s the heavy underdog heading into this bout. Moreover, his narrow defeat to the aforementioned Arthur was to a fighter, while undefeated, who is several notches below Beterbiev, and even the 2019 version of Kovalev who stopped Yarde.
Still, because Beterbiev is prone to exchanges and won’t necessarily counter-punch Yarde to death using patience and defense in a Shakur Stevenson-type fashion, the challenger needs to be given a serious look.
Perhaps I’m just still influenced by Liam Smith’s shocking fourth-round knockout win over Chris Eubank Jr. last week, which no one saw coming in an early upset-of-the-year contender. But I’d wish the odds were a tad closer for this, though I understand why they aren’t.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde Pick
Allllllllll of that said: Let’s not get stupid. Beterbiev by knockout is the obvious choice. However, that’s hovering in the -370 to -450 range in most books. DraftKings generously has the bet at -370, which could help fortify your chosen parlay this weekend. But as a straight-up bet, putting down $20 and walking out with an extra $5.40 (less in other books) isn’t ideal, so group round betting, here we come!
On DraftKings, you could actually bet the exact winning method, and in doing so, you could get Beterbiev by TKO at -135, or by KO at +200. Three of Beterbiev’s last four finishes were by TKO. Over his career, he has 10 TKOs, 7 KOs, and one stoppage due to retirement. I don’t see exact-method options elsewhere, at least in my state.
But after much deliberation, my official pick is Beterbiev to win in rounds 5-8, which you could find at +170 on FanDuel, or +165 on PointsBet. At the end of the day, these guys will be right in front of each other, and while anything could happen in 10-ounce gloves, bet on the better man, and that’s Beterbiev. (He has bet and better in his name!)
Additionally, there are many tantalizing props worth giving a sniff, and perhaps even a small sprinkle. I’ll list five:
- Total knockdowns Over 1.5 (-115 on DraftKings)
- Beterbiev to win and Over 1.5 total knockdowns (+105 on DraftKings)
- Beterbiev to be knocked down and win by KO/TKO (+750 on FanDuel)
- Yarde by KO or TKO (+850 on FanDuel)
- Both fighters to be knocked down and Beterbiev to win (+900 on FanDuel)
Ultimately, expect a courageous collision for as long as it lasts, and hopefully, you make it a profitable one.
Enjoy the fight, and don’t go broke!
The Pick: Artur Beterbiev To Win in Rounds 5-8 (+170)
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