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Bettingpro.com's writers offer free boxing betting tips & predictions for the big fights both in the United Kingdom and across the globe.

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin (September 22)

Anthony Joshua heads back to Wembley Stadium for his latest defence of his world heavyweight titles, and providing the opposition at the home of English football will be a former world champion who has suffered just one professional defeat in his career and has never been knocked out, Alexander Povetkin.

‘The White Lion’ has just completed 13 years as a professional boxer and in that time he has reached the mountain top in the heavyweight division, claiming the WBA (Regular) heavyweight title with a unanimous decision win over Ruslan Chagaev back in August 2011. He lost that belt just over two years later when he suffered his first – and only – defeat of his career, dropping a decision to Wladimir Klitschko, but since then he has won eight straight fights to get back into title contention.

There have been a couple of failed drugs test in recent years that have left a dark cloud hanging over Povetkin, but the Russian now has his shot at becoming world heavyweight champion for the second time in his career when he faces Joshua in front of around 90,000 fans on September 22. The question is, can the 38-year-old Russian do what 21 other men have failed to do so far and beat Joshua in a professional boxing ring? He will fancy his chances, but Joshua has vowed to win in style.

“Parker survived [in March],” Joshua told Sky Sports News. “No disrespect to him, but he went onto the back foot. I boxed cleverly because I thought I was fighting Deontay Wilder next so I didn't get involved. Now, I've had time to reflect on my performance and I think I'll go back to the old me. No worries about who is next – I'll go guns blazing.”

But how much of those comments are intent and how much are hype to sell a pay-per-view and enough tickets to draw another huge crowd to Wembley Stadium?

Getting into a slugfest with a 35-fight veteran that boasts a 69% knockout ratio and has never been knocked out would be reckless and we do know that AJ can be rocked. Povetkin throws powerful left-hooks and overhand rights – a combination that he used to take out David Price in March – and those are shots that Joshua has been open to as well. It only takes one big shot in heavyweight boxing to change everything and the champion knows that.

However, he showcased maturity and discipline as he successfully negotiated his first 12-round fight back in March, and with bigger bouts on the horizon I expect him to fight smart again here. AJ boasts a massive height and reach advantage in this one, so if he is clever he will use those advantages to full effect to keep Povetkin at range and limit the Russian’s chances of landing a big shot that could result in an upset.

I expect Joshua to take no unnecessary risks, he will work over the challenger and dispatch him in clinical fashion to take his perfect professional record to 22-0 with 21 stoppage wins. Povetkin has not been stopped in his career, but he was rocked by Price back in March, with only the ropes preventing him from hitting the canvas, and he has been dropped previously. The ‘White Lion’ was able to recover and fight on on those occasions, but when Joshua drops him at Wembley it will be all over. 

George Groves v Callum Smith (September 28)

An injury to George Groves left fight fans having to wait for the final of the World Boxing Super Series, but the super-middleweight part of the competition will finally come to an end on September 28 when ‘Saint George’ finally steps into the ring with domestic rival Callum Smith. However, despite this being an all-British affair it will not be taking place in the United Kingdom, with promoters instead opting to cash-in and stage the bout at a stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The decision has left fans disappointed, but there is still a sense of excitement ahead of the contest. So will Britain usher in a new super-middleweight star in Smith, or can WBA (Super) champion Groves cement his status as the number one boxer in the weight class by inflicting a first professional defeat on the unbeaten Liverpudlian? As far as Groves is concerned, he is expecting a “comfortable win” in Saudi Arabia.

“In terms of in the tournament I think it'll be the toughest test yet, but it's nowhere near a step too far,” Groves said. “I feel I'm in the form of my life and I'm boxing better than ever, I don't see Callum posing a problem on fight night. Obviously we've got to be on our A-game. We know how to beat him and like always it's just another fight. If I go out and perform like I know I can and stick to the game plan it'll be another comfortable win.”

Smith, of course, disagrees and he insists he will finally complete his road to a world title by dethroning WBA (Super) title-holder Groves.

“That's his opinion,” Smith countered. “I'm in a good place, feeling good and training's going really well. It's a fight I've always liked and it's a fight I've always been confident of winning. I've finally got my chance now to go out and prove that I can become a world champion, which I feel I'm more than good enough to do. I'm expecting the toughest fight of my career and I'm training for that. I've always felt that I've always rose to the occasion and this fight is no different.”

Both men are talking a good game, but only one man can leave Jeddah as world champion and as Ring Magazine’s recognised number one in the super-middleweight ranks. For me that man is Smith. I have backed the Liverpudlian since before the tournament began and while his performances in getting this far have not been exactly headline-grabbing, I do believe there is much more to come from him.

On the opposite side, I have my concerns about Groves after suffering that serious shoulder injury in the semi-finals which required surgery to fix. I also have my concerns about his stamina. ‘Saint George’ may have gone 12 rounds against Eubank Jr earlier this year, but he is known to run out of steam in the latter rounds and Smith, a violent body-puncher, will be well aware of that. He is going to pound away at the champion’s ‘gas tank’ and force him to run out steam as the fight wears on. And of course, Smith has a big size advantage over Groves, standing four inches taller and boasting a longer reach by a massive six inches. The last time the Groves faced a man of this size it was Badou Jack three years ago this month, and the Swede worked over the body of his challenger on that night to claim a split decision victory. In some ways that fight can be a blueprint for Smith here.

So while Groves did look great against Eubank Jr last time out I believe he is in for a fall here. Smith is a much smarter, more disciplined and more intelligent fighter than Eubank Jr and he appears to have all of the tools needed to end his domestic rival’s world title reign. A late stoppage is not out of the question, but I am going to play safe and simply back Smith to win. After all, his quarter-final and semi-final outings did go the distance and Groves has been stopped just twice in his career – once in questionable fashion and once due to a thunderous shot from Carl Froch that would have KO’d just about any man on the planet. 

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BOXING ODDS: UPCOMING FIGHTS

September 15: Gennady Golovkin v Saul Alvarez

September 22: Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin

September 22: Luke Campbell v Yvan Mendy

September 28: George Groves v Callum Smith

November 10: Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew

Date TBC: Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury

ANTHONY JOSHUA V ALEXANDER POVETKIN

Anthony Joshua's next defence of his world heavyweight titles will come on September 22 when the British star returns to Wembley Stadium to take on Alexander Povetkin.

Joshua successfully defended his WBA (Super), IBF and IBO crowns and claimed the WBO title when he beat Joseph Parker via unanimous decision back in March, and the 28-year-old will now defend all of those belts on another huge night at the home of English football on September 22.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring, the end of March feels a long time ago now,” Joshua said. “Povetkin is a serious challenge that I will prepare meticulously for. He has serious pedigree and only a fool would underestimate what he brings to the table. 

“Training hasn’t stopped for me, but the next 10 weeks ahead will be intense both mentally and physically. I will push myself to breaking point to make sure I am in peak condition for another huge night for British boxing at Wembley Stadium on September 22.”

Povetkin represents a tough challenge for the champion. He held the WBA belt for just over two years and has suffered one defeat in 35 professional outings - unanimous decision defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 that ended his time as a world champion.

However. bookmaker Paddy Power does not expect Povetkin to end Joshua's reign over the heavyweight division. 'AJ' is a 1/14 favourite and is 4/11 to win by KO/TKO for the 21st time in 22 professional outings. with Povetkin 7/1 to score the upset and leave London has world champion.

BEST BOOKMAKERS FOR BETTING ON BOXING

Boxing remains an incredibly popular sport to bet on and that means there is no shortage of bookmaker websites where you can place your bets, but with so many bookies to choose from which ones offer the most competitive odds and the best service?

Not only does Bettingpro.com offer advice on what bets you should place on boxing, we also offer advice on which bookmakers you should use. Our comprehensive reviews give you a rundown of what you can expect from the bookies when you become a customer of theirs.

Is there an incentive to sign up at the website - ie. free bets, risk-free bets etc? Are their odds competitive? Do they offer much variety in the way of markets? What special promotions can I use to insure my bet or boost my pay-out if it is a winner? What standard of customer service can I expect?

All of those questions, and more, are answered in our reviews that you can access HERE.

BOXING FREE BETS & SIGN-UP OFFERS

The sign-up incentive has become a staple of the betting industry with bookmakers now offering new customers the chance to claim free bets, risk-free bets and more when they register for a new online account.

But what offers are available to you right now? Below is Bettingpro.com's favourite bookmaker welcome offers at this time...

BOXING BETTING TIPS GUIDE: HOW TO BET ON THE SWEET SCIENCE

Boxing continues to be a popular sport to bet on and that is because the bookmakers offer no shortage of markets for every major fight as well as big domestic bust-ups. This wide selection of markets gives you the chance to make a healthy profit when betting on boxing, and here are some of the Bettingpro.com’s favourite boxing betting markets, using the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker world heavyweight title fight as an example…

Method Of Victory

This market is simple – you pick the winner of the market and how they will win the fight. By adding the method of victory on to simply backing a fighter, you give the price a nice shot in the arm. Joshua is as short as 1/12 to win this fight, but having stopped all of his previous 20 opponents you may like his chances of stopping Parker too. Now, odds of 1/3 are not particularly appealing, but you can see from this example that betting on a fighter’s method of victory can give his odds a healthy boost. And when it comes to bouts that are much closer to call, this market offers a great way to make a tidy profit. 

Total Rounds

The Total Rounds market gives punters the chance to bet on how many rounds the fight will or will not last. So, for example, if you believe Joshua will win in the last three rounds you could back Over 8.5 Total Rounds at 11/8, and this bet would still be a winner even if Parker won the fight as long as the bout went at least eight-and-a-half rounds. Alternatively, you may like Joshua’s chances of taking out Parker inside six rounds and Under 6.5 Total Rounds can be backed at Even money. And just like the Overs, this bet would be a winner if Parker won the fight, as long as he stopped Joshua in less than six-and-a-half rounds. This market covers every round from 1.5 Total Rounds to 10.5 Total Rounds so there are plenty of options.

Round Betting

One of the most popular ways to bet on combat sports is to bet on which round the fight will finish, and this market covers every single round in the fight. The odds can be quite lucrative too because you are pinpointing the ending of the bout down to just one round, so if you like Joshua for a 10th round stoppage you could get odds as big as 16/1, but if you believe Parker will get the nod from the judges after the full 12 rounds you could get a price as big as 33/1. If there is a market where you can make a big profit, it is this one.

Round Group Betting

But perhaps betting on a single round in a 12-round fight is not that appealing to you? If it is not, we highly recommend this boxing betting odds market because it lumps together multiple rounds and you can still get good odds. Some bookmakers will group together three rounds at a time, while others will simply split the fight in half to offer Rounds 1-6 and Rounds 7-12. When it comes to choosing a bookmaker it is simply down to how accurate you want to be with your prediction. In his most recent outings Joshua has gone into the second half of the fight so Rounds 7-12 could be tempting at 9/5, but if you want to narrow it down to the last three rounds, 10-12, the price is a much bigger 6/1. There are many options and the bigger the grouping of rounds the shorter the odds will get, but even at the shortest price, you can still make a nice profit with a winning bet.

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