February 22, 2024

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David Benavidez won’t make quick work of David Lemieux

There isn’t a huge fight on the schedule for Saturday, but David Benavidez (25-0) and David Lemieux (43-4) will meet for the vacant WBC interim super middleweight title. The great thing about boxing is it doesn’t have to be a huge fight for bettors to win money.

BetMGM has made Benavidez a large -2500 favorite, while bettors can get +1000 (10/1) on Lemieux and +2500 (25/1) for the fight ending in the draw. While the odds suggest this won’t be a very difficult fight for Benavidez, there are other ways to profit such as method of victory, total rounds, and which round the fight will end.

Benavidez has 22 knockouts in his 25 career fights and is expected to make short work of Lemieux on Saturday night. In the market, Benavidez is -800 to win by stoppage with the total rounds set at 4.5. The odds of the fight going the distance are +650.

David Benavidez
David Benavidez

The odds say it’s a foregone conclusion that Benavidez is going to win this fight pretty easily. I see value, however, on the fight going over 4.5 rounds at +100. If you look at Benavidez’s last 11 fights, only two have gone under 4.5 rounds.

Also, Lemieux has been stopped only twice in 47 fights and neither came before Round 7. One of those knockout losses was against hard punching Gennady Golovkin, a bout in which Lemieux lasted until the eighth round. That was almost seven years ago and Lemieux is now 33, but he has proven to have a decent chin over his career.

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It’s understandable why Benavidez is such a big favorite. He has dominated most of his opponents and is looking ahead to a possible fight with Canelo Alvarez in the near future. Meanwhile, Lemieux has come up short against better competition. Lemieux’s exciting style has made him a fan favorite, but he’s been outclassed in fights against Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders and Marco Antonio Rubio.

The one obstacle with this fight hitting the Over is both guys like to slug it out. However long the fight lasts, it should be entertaining. Benavidez has an 88 percent knockout rate, while Lemieux has an impressive 76.6 percent knockout rate himself. Now you see why the fight is +650 to go to the scorecards.

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Although Benavidez has an impressive knockout rate, he has finished only one opponent before the fifth round since mid-2017. His other seven fights during that span have all gone into the seventh round. Additionally, Benavidez’s last 10 bouts have averaged 8.3 rounds.

BoxStat rates punching power and the ability to take a punch. According to their metrics, Benavidez’s estimated power is 81 percent and his estimated chin is 81 percent. Meanwhile, Lemieux’s estimated power is 77 percent and his estimated chin is 81 percent. Those metrics aren’t the end-all to predicting a winner, but on paper, this bout looks to be a bit more competitive than the odds suggest.

Benavidez likely will end this fight at some point. He’s the bigger, younger boxer with a 4.5-inch reach advantage. However, Lemieux has shown the ability to take punches throughout his career and that creates some value in this matchup. I think Lemieux has a good chance to reach Round 5 and cash the Over 4.5 at even or plus money.