Billy Joe Saunders vs Artur Akavov Preview December 3rd
Unbeaten WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders of England will be defending his title for the first time when he takes on Artur Akavov of Russia at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Scotland on Saturday, December 3rd. The bout was postponed by a week as it was originally scheduled for November 26th in Cardiff Wales, but there was a problem with the Russian’s paperwork. Saunders, a southpaw, won the title by stopping former champ Andy Lee of Ireland by a close 12-round majority decision last December and had Lee down twice in the third round. Akavov, who’s also a southpaw, last fought in March and stopped Todd Manuel in the sixth round.
Saunders vs Akavov Betting Odds
Here are the winner odds from online sportsbook 5dimes.eu
- Artur Akavov +2600
- Billy Joe Saunders -6500
The 27-year-old Saunders enters the bout with a perfect record of 23-0 along with 12 Kos. He’s hoping to earn possible big-money fights down the road with the likes of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and/or Gennady Golovkin, the other middleweight champion. However, he needs to get past the 28-year-old Akavov first, who is the current WBO European Middleweight Champion. The Russian, who now fights out of Brooklyn, New York, enters the contest at 16-1 with 7 Kos under his belt and has won 11 straight fights since 2012.
Saunders was also the Commonwealth Middleweight Champion with his biggest wins being against Lee and a 12-round split decision over fellow Englishman Chris Eubank Jr. on November of 2014. Saunders competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China and has fought 139 rounds since turning pro the same year. Other notable opponents include Gary O’Sullivan and Jarrod Fletcher. The champion stands 5-feet-11-inches tall, but BoxRec doesn’t list his reach. He’s not known as a KO artist with his knockout ratio currently standing at 52 per cent.
Akavov turned pro back in 2011 and has boxed 92 rounds since then. Most of his bouts have been held in Russia against domestic opponents, and most fans have likely never heard of any of them. He beat Ivan Jukic May of 2014 by second-round stoppage to win the vacant WBO European crown and has defended it three times since. He stands just over 5-feet-9-inches tall with an unlisted reach, so gives up about 1.5-inches in reach to Saunders.
The most likely outcome here is a Saunders win on points with a stoppage being a remote possibility. There isn’t a lot known about Akavov, but he can’t be taken lightly. Saunders’ power shouldn’t be taken lightly either as it’s probably a bit underrated at the moment, the same as his boxing skills. Saunders has good technical skills and if his chin is as solid as it’s been in the past then he should be able to retain his title on Saturday night, but he’ll have to work hard for the win.
It won’t be as easy as the odds suggest, but Saunders should prevail.
Play: Saunders -6500 @ 5dimes.eu
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