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Teofimo Lopez vs. Sandor Martin Odds, Pick & Prediction: Boxing Betting Preview (Saturday, Dec. 10)

Teofimo Lopez vs. Sandor Martin Odds, Pick & Prediction: Boxing Betting Preview (Saturday, Dec. 10) article feature image
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Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images. Pictured: Boxer Teofimo Lopez

  • Teofimo Lopez takes the spotlight in his usual Heisman Night boxing headliner on ESPN.
  • Replacement opponent Sandor Martin may be a tougher challenge, but he's still a massive underdog to Lopez.
  • Below, Bryan Fonseca breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet for the fight.

Teofimo Lopez vs. Sandor Martin Odds

Lopez odds
-950
Martin odds
+540
To go distance
Yes (-180) / No (+140)
Venue
Madison Square Garden, New York
Time
Approx. 11 p.m. ET
Channel
ESPN
Odds as of Friday and via FanDuel.

It’s become a Heisman Trophy night tradition.

Since 2017, on the same evening as the Heisman Trophy award ceremony, ESPN would immediately flip to a Madison Square Garden-held boxing card promoted by Top Rank and Bob Arum. This happened every year, excluding 2020 (duh, right?).

For the first two years, the brilliance of Vasiliy Lomachenko headlined the event. But it became a staple because of Teofimo Lopez and this second-round knockout:

This year, Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) was originally supposed to fight former two-time world champion Jose Pedraza, who fought and lost to Lomachenko on Heisman night in 2018 but pulled out of the fight last month due to injury. He’s been replaced by Sandor Martin (40-2, 13 KOs), who is arguably a tougher challenger.

This fight will be for Lopez’s WBO international super lightweight title, which he won in August in his first bout at 140 pounds since moving up from lightweight.

Fight Analysis 

This is much less of a gimme than Terence Crawford vs. David Avanesyan is expected to be on the same night.

Lopez is a bonafide world-class talent who has strung together enough star-making performances to make him, at 25, one of the 10 most important fighters in the sport right now. When he’s focused and can manage his emotions, he could defeat anyone, as demonstrated by his handling of Lomachenko two years ago.

But the worst of Teofimo could lead to an array of openings for the counter-punching Martin, as it did for George Kambosos in Lopez’s only loss (November 2021).

That was a fight that Lopez should’ve won on paper, and he missed out on a 2022 unification bout with current undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney, who defeated Kambosos twice in 2022, as a result.

And frankly, Martin is the worst type of fighter for an overpowering star like Lopez to stand across. Martin is a replacement who doesn’t give a (bleep), who is a patient, counter-punching southpaw, highly experienced, and doesn’t have knockout power (or, let’s be honest, ESPN would’ve found someone else to step up). Thus, he could piss you off all night by just finding the pockets to pick you apart – but continue moving around all night long. He will mix movement with precision, or try to, all night long.

Martin, 29, is a very good fighter who’s in front of his biggest career opportunity to date. The Spaniard won the vacant WBA international super lightweight title against Jose Felix in Spain in April. He’s also a former European champion at 140 pounds, and famously stunned former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in October 2021 in what became the last fight of the potential future hall of famer’s career.

Lopez is ahead of where that version of Garcia was, but Martin earned the majority decision. Lopez has also assured a new level of focus for this 140-pound class, so if that’s the case, Martin would need to be special to topple him.

But in this sport, as predictable as it may seem sometimes, the anything-can-happen mantra still applies and smacks us in the face a handful of times per year.

Furthermore, Martin doesn’t appear to have ever been knocked down – nevermind out – according to BoxRec. His two losses came to former 140-pound champion Anthony Yigit in 2017 and Alexandre Lepelley way back in 2013.

Lopez vs. Martin Pick

Bluntly, I ain’t got the balls to pick Martin for the upset. I could talk myself into a sprinkle at most, but I don’t see Lopez underwhelming to the point of being stunned again – or at least not on Saturday.

The odds are backing Lopez to win, as he’s a wide moneyline favorite (-950), but it’s not nearly as lopsided as Tyson Fury vs. Derek Chisora or Terence Crawford vs. David Avanesyan.

The method of victory options reflect it being a close call whether or not Lopez gets this done by decision or knockout. And you probably want to look at method of victory because the moneyline odds are already so wide.

Lopez by decision stands at -125 on FanDuel and DraftKings, and by KO, he’s between +160 and +175. Martin’s mobility, and the fact that this is Lopez’s New York City home with the promotional backing in his favor, would suggest a Lopez decision is more likely. However, it’s worth mentioning that we’ve seen Lopez knock out others who had never been stopped previously, including the aforementioned Commey most famously, along with Edis Tatli and William Silva.

But Martin is better than all of the above, so I’d probably lean Lopez by decision, which could be a closer one than some expect. The knockout is intriguing, however, because Lopez is a top-10 most explosive boxer on the planet.

If you like Martin via upset, it won’t happen by KO, so your ticket of choice may as well be Martin by decision, which ranges from +600 to +700. If so, good luck with that.

If you’re really unsure about how Lopez wins but are confident he will – which is probably closer to where I stand – Lopez moneyline three-way (-550 on PointsBet) is a trustworthy parlay leg. If you throw him in there with enough of the Top Rank prospects (Jared Anderson, Xander Zayas, Keyshawn Davis, Bruce Carrington, etc), throw in some Crawford and some Naoya Inoue (who fights on Dec. 12), you could actually get even odds. It sounds ridiculous, but honestly, all of those guys should take care of business, and we’d have Upset of the Year possibilities if any of them don’t.

But if you want to keep it simple, Lopez on points feels like the way to go.

Good luck and bet responsibly.

Pick: Lopez via decision (-125)

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