With September coming to an end and October just around the corner, there are a couple of good heavyweight fights coming up and both have early odds posted at most sportsbooks that might be worth an early bet before the line changes.
We'll start with the Mike Tyson pay-per-view fight against Andrew Golota on Oct. 20. No, this isn't Friday and you aren't reading Joe Ellison's Nevada Appeal betting column.
Tyson is listed locally as a -$3.75 favorite with Golota at +$3.00. There are several reasons to bet this one early, but only if you favor Golota.
First, that's a big price to lay on an unpredictable Tyson and a good price on an even more unpredictable Golota. The price will not go any higher because the "big money" that changes fight odds won't be bet on Tyson. The "wise guys" don't bet on unpredictable fighters so money that could change the odds won't be bet on this fight.
However, there will be money bet on Golota and that means the price on him will go down. The average bettor cannot lay that price to bet on Tyson and if the big money stays away, that's the only way the odds can go, down.
Golota will attract what I call the "Pluggers" to bet on him and it's not really a bad bet. Pluggers don't bet a lot but they do bet and enough of them will take a flyer on Golota to bring the price on him down. So bet Golota now and if you must bet on Tyson, wait until after the weigh-in to make that bet.
- Now, as for the fight itself, Tyson should take out Golota easily and early if all goes well and by that I mean, no fouls that get one of them disqualified or something else weird happening to end the fight. Since both fighters have bitten opponents before, I suppose that's a possibility and Golota is known for his famous low blows and other fouls while Tyson hits after the bell, does at times punch low and both probably have committed every foul possible in boxing between them.
Also, in a heavyweight fight anything can happen to change the fight. One punch can change a loser into a winner so keep that in mind. I must also note that Golota can fight!
Not only is he a decent fighter, his losses are all self-inflicted. He had Riddick Bowe whipped twice when he fouled his way into defeat, lost a cinch win against Michael Grant when he quit midway through round 10 while far ahead on the scorecards and froze against Lennox Lewis when he fought for the title and was bombed out in just 90-seconds.
Tyson, on the other hand, isn't the Tyson most fans remember. The guy most remember as a devastating puncher with an iron chin and iron will is long gone and the Tyson of today is not the same fighter.
Just look at Tyson's last few fights. Frans Botha had Tyson beat until a lucky one-punch knockout by Tyson in round 5 of their fight changed things. Tyson only went one round against Orlin Norris before hitting him after the bell, causing that fight to be declared a no-contest. To be honest, I thought Norris would take Tyson into the late rounds and beat him but it never got that far.
Tyson's 38-second win over Lou Savarese was a joke as Savarese came for the payday and not to fight and Tyson's blowout of that English fighter was another joke but that's all that Tyson has done in a few years and unlike fine wine, Tyson doesn't get better with age.
Some will bet the Tyson they used to see but most have not even seen his recent fights and may not know how far downhill he's come from when he was good. The bottom line is, both fighters seem to have about equal ability at this point and since you can get 3-1 on Golota, it makes sense to take a shot on him now if you are inclined to wager on the fight. Betting this way, you won't cash every ticket but you'll cash enough to show a profit and that too is the bottom line!
P.S. I wouldn't bet any significant amount on this one but I would take a small shot on Golota if you are going to bet the fight.
- The other heavyweight fight with early odds is the Lennox Lewis fight against David Tua. That fight takes place Nov. 11 in Las Vegas. Lewis is listed as a -$3.40 favorite, with Tua at +$2.80. In my opinion, this is a cheap price on Lewis and I think this one will go up as the public learns that Tua is not as good as advertised. That's a bet that can wait, as the odds won't change a lot. But if they do, I feel they will go up slightly on Lewis, so bet accordingly - now, if you like Lewis; later if you like Tua.
The over/under on this fight is listed at both the Carson Station and Pinon Plaza sportsbooks and they have 7 rounds but don't be fooled by that.
The over/under actual number is 1:30 of round seven. If the fight goes longer than that the over wins, otherwise the under takes it but in truth, that's really over/under 6 rounds so don't bet thinking that 7 rounds is seven rounds plus half of round eight. It ain't that! It's really 6 rounds you're betting on whichever way you go.
P.S. I love the over on this one and feel that it can't go down so bet the over now and wait if you like the under.
- WEEKEND RESULTS - We'll start with Univision's live telecast Sunday of the main event from West Wendover. Jorge Paez, known as the "Clown Prince of Boxing" because he once was a circus clown in his youth, didn't clown around much as he struggled to beat journeyman Justo Sanchez by split decision in their 10-round junior welterweight fight.
Paez, a former world champion on his way down at age 34, improved his record to 66-14-4 with 44 KOs. Sanchez is even now at 11-11 with 1 KO.
- Saturday night Showtime had two pretty good fights on its telecast. Harry Simon (19-0, 16 KOs) won a majority decision over Rodney Jones (24-2, 13 KOs) in their junior middleweight fight from Ontario, Canada.
The main event saw unbeaten Acelino Frietas improve to 27-0, 27 KOs when he stopped Carlos Rios (49-5-2, 30 KOs) in round nine of their junior lightweight fight.
- In a rare fight between two unbeaten fighters, Sammy Ahmad (15-0, 7 KOs) and Julian Letterlough (14-0, 14 KOs) fought to a 10-round draw in their light heavyweight fight Friday night on ESPN2.
Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.