Boxing Odds, Pick & Prediction: Best Bets for Jaron Ennis vs. Roiman Villa (Saturday, July 8)

Boxing Odds, Pick & Prediction: Best Bets for Jaron Ennis vs. Roiman Villa (Saturday, July 8) article feature image

Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Welterweight boxer Jaron Ennis

(Editor's note: On Thursday, officials announced the cancellation of the Eimantas Stanionis vs. Vergil Ortiz Jr. fight, which was slated for Saturday on DAZN.)

Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford will soon steal the spotlight for the welterweight division ahead of their megafight on July 29.

The future of the welterweight division, however, is in action this weekend – just not against each other.

On Showtime, Philadelphia native Jaron Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) is bringing can't-miss boxing back to Atlantic City. There, he looks to defend his interim IBF welterweight title, which he won in January on the Gervonta Davis vs. Hector Luis Garcia card, against Romain Villa (26-1, 24 KOs), who won on the same slate.

On DAZN, Texas native Vergil Ortiz Jr. (19-0, 19 KOs) will be in his home state of Texas for his first career title shot, against WBA regular champion Eimantas Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs).

("Regular title?" Yes, Spence Jr. is the "super" Champion, and the WBA – in several weight classes – has a super champion and regular champion. I know, it's excessive.)

Ennis and Ortiz, 26 and 25, respectively, are seen as two of the brightest rising stars in the sport, each knocking on the door of a big fight – maybe against each other?

Promotionally, it might not be the easiest to execute, but we can dream.

And for now, we can try to make money betting on their respective title bouts on this Saturday, July 8.

Jaron Ennis vs. Roiman Villa Odds and Analysis

Jaron Ennis Odds
Roiman Villa Odds
Goes to Decision?
Yes (+430) / No (-700)
Atlantic Ballroom in Atlantic City, New Jersey
9:30 p.m. ET (midnight ET for main event)
Odds as of Saturday and via FanDuel

"Boots" Ennis is an incredible talent who won the vacant IBF interim title on Jan. 7 against little-known opponent Karen Chukhadzhian (yes, that's his name), who displayed outstanding footwork and noteworthy defense – but didn't win a single round, according to the judges, due to a low work rate.

He also didn't hurt Ennis much at all, barely even punched. But he did keep Ennis, who still won every round with pressure and activity, busy. He just didn't stop the crafty Ukranian as most of the world expected.

Before then, Ennis never had a fight past Round 6 and had knocked out 19 consecutive opponents save for a no-contest in December 2020.

Villa won't do any of that.

One last face-off before they meet in the ring 😈#EnnisVilla goes down tomorrow at 9:30PM ET/6:30PM PT on @Showtime.

— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 7, 2023

The Colombian native will be in Ennis' face all fight long. I'd even say he was chosen for that reason, so that Ennis – while fighting a dangerous opponent – could have a highlight-reel knockout to build an appetite for his next bout. Which isn't quite there for this one outside of boxing's core fans, some of whom were disappointed in his most recent outing.

Villa's win on that same Jan. 7 card came in a minor upset against then-undefeated Rashidi Ellis, whom Villa dropped twice in the 12th round, which decided the fight. One judge scored the bout 113-113, overruled by two 114-112 scores, giving Villa the victory.

While I think Ennis wins, Villa should get more respect from the sportsbooks for his power alone. That said, I'm expecting a more tactical boxing performance from Ennis, counter-punching and navigating Villa's pressure.

Villa is 5-foot-7 with a 70-inch reach while Ennis is 5-foot-10 with a 74-inch reach. Ennis is more skilled, and while his record may indicate he's a finisher, he can also box quite well.

I think Ennis uses his physical advantages to skill his way to a systematic dismantling of his opponent, stopping Villa between Rounds 7-12 (+195 at FanDuel).

I'd also sprinkle on Ennis to win on points at (+550 at bet365 or BetMGM) because the value is incredible, and while Villa will get touched, he does have a chin and has never been stopped.

The Picks: Jaron Ennis in Rounds 7-12 (+195 at FanDuel) | Ennis wins via decision (+550 at bet365)

Eimantas Stanionis vs. Vergil Ortiz Jr. Odds and Analysis

Eimantas Stanionis Odds
Vergil Ortiz Jr. Odds
Go to Decision?
Yes (+104) / No (-132)
AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
8 p.m. ET (main event at 11 p.m. ET)
Odds as of Thursday and via FanDuel

(Editor's note: Officials announced the cancellation of this fight on Thursday. It's the third postponement of Stanionis vs. Ortiz Jr. A possible makeup date hasn't been announced.)

I like that the odds for this are close because Stanionis is very underrated, so let's talk about him first. He is the champion, after all.

The Lithuanian standout won the WBA title against Radzhab Butaev in April 2022 in an insanely enjoyable and competitive artful brawl in which Stanionis took home a split decision: 117-110, 116-111, 113-114.

The problem is Stanionis hasn't defended his title since. Originally, this bout against Ortiz Jr. was scheduled for March 18, but it was pushed back after the champion had emergency appendectomy surgery. The new date was April 29, which was again rescheduled after Ortiz had another bout with rhabdomyolysis, which caused him to postpone a fight last year.

So Stanionis is back after 15 months of inactivity and returns against one of the division's biggest punchers, who has a 100% KO rate.

Ortiz Jr. most recently stopped previously undefeated Michael McKinson last August in the ninth round, his first fight to travel beyond eight rounds.

At 5-foot-10 with a 70-inch reach, Ortiz Jr. has a two-inch height and reach edge over Stanionis, who has never been stopped.

We're taking Ortiz Jr. to win by KO at +125 (at FanDuel), and here's why we're not doing group round betting: Stanionis' inactivity could mean he's extremely testable early if Ortiz Jr. starts off quickly in his home state.

However, he also should be too good to just blow through him, and Ortiz himself is back after 11 months, which isn't insignificant.

I think we get a feel-out round or two before the action picks up, and Ortiz eventually finds a 20th-straight stoppage. Stanionis, at +280, is probably worth a hedge depending on how you bet it, but I feel good about Ortiz here.

Enjoy the fights and don't go broke.

The Pick: Vergil Ortiz Jr. by KO (+125 at FanDuel)

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