Boxing Odds, Pick & Prediction: Best Bets for Frank Martin vs. Artem Harutyunyan, Alycia Baumgardner vs. Christina Linardatou (Saturday, July 15)
Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images. Pictured: Boxer Alycia Baumgardner
We have multiple cards worth watching this weekend for our boxing best bets, though these two matchups won't obtain anything close to the fanfare the sport will earn before the end of the month.
What do you care, though? You're here to try to make a little money betting on boxing, aren't you?
As it remains, we have two of the sports' true rising stars – Frank Martin and Alycia Baumgardner – in action on Saturday night on Showtime and DAZN.
Undisputed super featherweight champion Baumgardner is looking for revenge, and up-and-coming undefeated lightweight Martin stars in his first main event as an A-side fighter.
Frank Martin vs. Artem Harutyunyan Odds and Analysis
Frank Martin (17-0, 12 KOs) is a wide favorite over Artem Harutyunyan (12-0, 7 KOs) in tonight's Showtime main event for two reasons.
One, he's an excellent fighter knocking on the door of a championship bout, not incredibly foreign to Jaron 'Boots' Ennis – whose fight we (correctly) handicapped next week.
Two, Harutyunyan is unknown, and this is how boxing betting goes.
Martin, who trains with Errol Spence Jr., is one of these dudes whom your nerd boxing fan friend gets extremely excited about, and you yourself have probably been waiting to give a damn.
If you haven't, start Saturday.
Martin is technically sound, and he dominated fellow undefeated Michel Ali Rivera in a high-profile bout Showtime promoted between two undefeated up-and-comers this past December. Martin won a clear unanimous decision, scoring one knockdown and winning mainly with the most fundamental punches in boxing – the one (jab) two (straight) combination.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 18, 2022
Martin boxes beautifully. He's a southpaw who understands range. He picks his shots expertly, is accurate, doesn't ignore the body, moves in and out of the pocket with ease, could win by countering or pressure, and has enough power to finish his opponents.
He was hit more than you'd like against Jackson Marinez last July, but he adjusted against Rivera in December, was hardly hit cleanly, and placed more of an emphasis on counter-punching and sharpening his defense.
Harutyunyan doesn't have as much skill, but he also doesn't have an egregious size and length disadvantage. Additionally, he does have some crack on his punches. He seems to love his right uppercut and left hook, sometimes as a lead combination. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to the southpaw Martin.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 14, 2023
Martin will win this fight – the hangup is how.
I like him at +145 to win by KO/TKO between Rounds 7-12 and at +195 by decision – both via FanDuel. I'm picking the Round 7-12 KO/TKO officially.
Martin beat Rivera by decision because he respected his power and didn't try to overwhelm him as he did against Marinez, Romero Duno (whom he stopped in four rounds two Januarys ago) and others. Harutyunyan can punch, but I don't think he'll earn Martin's respect.
Plus, Martin isn't a fast starter from a power-punching standpoint. I think he dissects Harutyunyan over the course of the bout and stops him late.
If Harutyunyan earns Martin's respect with his power early, betting the decision live may be worth it if it's +200 or longer.
Alycia Baumgardner vs. Christina Linardatou Odds and Analysis
Is this the first time in combat sports history that a loser of the first bout enters the rematch as a -1200 favorite? I'd guess no – wonder what Roy Jones Jr. was in the second Montell Griffin fight – but it's certainly rare.
Alycia Baumgardner's (14-1, 7 KOs) only loss was a split-decision defeat to Christina Linardatou (14-2, 6 KOs) just two weeks short of exactly five years ago from their rematch this weekend on DAZN.
The first fight itself was debatable. Two judges scored it 77-75 for Linardatou, one with the same score for Baumgardner. Baumgardner was 6-0 and a rising prospect who had already won the WBC international super featherweight title, which a then 9-1 Linardatou walked away with that evening.
Linardatou's constant head movement and pressure are what earned her the decision, but that was against a lesser, rawer version of Baumgardner, who has improved significantly since.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) July 14, 2023
As in the first fight, the edge physically goes to Baumgardner, who has a two-inch height and reach advantage, which Linardatou was able to circumvent with her brawling offense that disallowed Baumgardner to get comfortable for much of the fight.
She had her moments – enough to arguably earn the victory for some – while timing Linardatou with right uppercuts as the shorter foe attempted to dip her head and come over the top with a right hand.
I think what happens here is similar in the geometry of the fight, but plays out differently – like Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito I vs. II, but for very different reasons.
Baumgardner's a better counter-puncher than before, and at 29 (as opposed to 24), is more seasoned following wins over Terri Harper, Mikaela Mayer and Elhem Mekhaled – three of the top fighters in the division.
Alycia Baumgardner's become one of the bigger stars in boxing.
Can she continue her rise by avenging her lone career loss to Christina Linardatou this weekend?
— The Mandatory with Bryan & Shantelle (@TheMandatoryTKO) July 14, 2023
Linardatou, 35, was able to take rounds off of Katie Taylor, but she lost a unanimous decision by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 in November 2019.
I think Baumgardner is overvalued here at -1100 at some sportsbooks (-1200 on FanDuel), but she should win this fight barring just a lackluster performance.
The problem here is that the likely outcome is Baumgardner on points, which is -280 on FanDuel. But it's a solid and reliable parlay leg, especially with Baumgardner fighting in her Detroit home.
If you're taking it straight up, you'll probably hit, but the payout won't be worth it as a standalone bet.
Linardatou has never been stopped, but I would sprinkle a very small amount on Baumgardner by KO/TKO (+430 on FanDuel), and here's why: Baumgardner will likely be on the receiving end of Linardatou's pressure again, and she is more sophisticated as a counter-puncher in 2023 vs. where she was in 2018.
Linardatou is 35, and she will likely attempt to go for broke late, leaving herself susceptible to counters.
If Baumgardner wins by KO/TKO – that's how. But remember: only a sprinkle, and take the decision as a parlay leg.
Enjoy the fights and don't go broke!
The Picks: Alycia Baumgardner via decision (-280, straight play or parlay leg) | Baumgardner via KO (+430, small play)