Terence “Bud” Crawford will make the first defense of his WBO welterweight championship when he takes on the undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. on Saturday, 10/13/18 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Crawford won the belt with a 9th round beat down of Australian Jeff Horn last June 9th. Benavidez earned his title shot with a one round disposal of the previously unbeaten Frank Rojas at the undercard of Crawford vs Horn. Benavidez called out Crawford after the fight and with Crawford unable to land big money fights, the three division world champion has taken Benavidez’s challenge.

Pound For Pound

Terence Crawford is one of the best boxers in the planet right now. Pound for pound, he is ranked as the 2nd best boxer in that category. Crawford was named as the Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2014 after his star emerged following his sensational knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Stylistically, Crawford is considered one of the best technical boxers the sport has ever seen. He has exceptionally fast hands, lightning quick feet, terrific defense and the uncanny ability to switch hit in between fights. Crawford has a 48% connect rate on his punches, that’s well above the 38% average of the 147 pound division.

I think the key here against an equally offensively gifted opponent in Jose Benavidez is going to be Terence Crawford’s defense. Crawford is one of the best in hitting his opponent without being hit back in return at a +14.8. Only the matrix, Vasyl Lomachenko has a better plus/minus rating than Crawford at 17.3

What’re the Odds?

Terence Crawford vs Jose Benavidez 10/13/18
Moneyline Odds: Crawford -3200, Benavidez +1200
Odds from Bovada as of 10/12/18

 

Miraculous Comeback

After being the youngest boxer to win the Golden Gloves (in 2009) at the age of 16, Jose Benavidez was regarded as one of the top 140 pound prospects. In 2014, he captured the interim WBC light welterweight title by decisioning Mauricio Herrera in what currently stands as his biggest win to date.

But tragedy struck in 2016 when Benavidez was shot in the leg by a stranger while he was walking his dog in his hometown of Phoenix. The bullet hit Benavidez’s femoral artery and he almost bled out. After 18 months of recovery, Benavidez returned to action last February and has since won back to back knockouts over unheralded foes Matthew Strode and Frank Rojas.

At 6-2 with a reach of 73 inches, Benavidez has exceptional size and length for a welterweight. Against Crawford, he brings at least a four inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage. Benavidez has punching power but his main advantage is his length which he utilizes very well.

Who Wins?

Crawford opened at a -1400 while Benavidez came back at +800 but since then, the odds have moved significantly in favor’s Crawford. But given Benavidez’s natural size advantage and his toolbox of boxing skills, I think the current line of -3200 for Crawford is overstated.

While pundits point to Benavidez not having the kind of resume that Crawford has, it’s not his fault. To his credit, he’s beaten every fighter that his promoter has put in front of him And there weren’t any recognizable flaws in his game in his previous fights. However, there’s no doubt that Crawford is his biggest test and he is fighting Bud in the latter’s hometown of Omaha in Nebraska.

Betting Prediction

I think the size of Benavidez is going to be a factor in the opening rounds. Benavidez should be able to score points over the shorter Crawford. He will likely have his moments early on but once Crawford figure him out, it’s going to be good night. No question the better fighter wins this one.

We’re picking Terence Crawford to beat Jose Benavidez on 10/13/18. However, the moneyline is too pricey so I’m going to take a look at the other bets for this fight.

Place Your Bet Here

 

Other Bets To Make

Terence Crawford has 24 knockouts in 33 wins or a 72.72% knockout ratio. On the other hand, Jose Benavidez has knocked out 18 out of 27 opponents or a 66.66% knockout rate. Bud Crawford’s last four bouts have ended in a stoppage while Benavidez himself has knocked out two opponents in a row.

What’re the Odds?

Will The Fight Go The Distance?
Yes +145
No  -205
Odds from Bovada as of 10/12//18

Power for power, I’m not sure who has more pop in his punches in this weight class. Both fighters started their careers at a lighter division and have been able to carry their respective punching power to welterweight. But both have enough power to stop the other. The main question here is whether Benavidez can penetrate Crawford’s defense because we know that Crawford has one of the best defenses in the business.

Betting Prediction

I think not and while I think that Benavidez is going to put up a good fight, he isn’t going to go the distance against a machine like Crawford. We’ve seen Crawford put to sleep a naturally bigger man in Jeff Horn. No question he can put Benavidez to sleep. I don’t think it’s going to be a one punch knockout but the accumulation of blows will put Benavidez away.

Prediction: No -205

Place Your Bet Here

 

What’re the Odds?

Method of Victor
Crawford by KO,TKO or DQ           -205
Crawford by Decision                     +155
Benavidez by KO, TKO or DQ      +1200
Benavidez by Decision                 +2800
Draw or Technical Draw               +3300
Odds from Bovada as of 10/12/18

 

Betting Prediction

This bet is pretty much the same as above if you agree with me that Bud Crawford is going to close the show early. But if you think that Benavidez’s length will be disruptive enough for Crawford to score a knockout, then this is the best bet for you to make. In the previous bet, a points win is valued at +145 while if you qualify that bet saying that Crawford wins the fight by decision, you get an additional plus money of 10 at +155. For me it’s still Bud by stoppage but i won’t blame you if you take the plus money.

Prediction: Crawford by KO,TKO or DQ -205

Place Your Bet Here

 

Ten out of the last 14 bouts of Terence Crawford have gone eight rounds or more with nine of them going at least over eight rounds. On the other hand, five of the last seven bouts by Jose Benavidez have gone 8 rounds or more.

What’re the Odds?

Total Rounds
Over 8.5     -155
Under 8.5  +110
Odds from Bovada as of 10/12/18

As I mentioned earlier, these fighters started their boxing careers at lighter weight classes, meaning they’ve gone up in weight at least one division higher. The higher they’ve moved, the naturally bigger foes they’ve faced and that’s the reason why despite having punching power, they have needed more rounds to finish their bouts.

Betting Prediction

I think there’s a chance that Crawford wins by early stoppage, that is if he can swarm Benavidez in the opening round and surprise him. If not, I think Bud methodically breaks him down like he does most of his opponents. I think Benavidez gives Bud some problems early but once Crawford solves him, it’s over.

Prediction: Over 8.5 -155

Place Your Bet Here

The best value bet here if you are picking Terence Crawford is the Over 8.5 which is at -155. The safest one of course is the moneyline odds but it’s obviously too pricey at -3200. Crawford by stoppage is -205 and if you’re not comfortable with betting on the over/under, then go for the -205. When Crawford said in one of his interviews that he won’t shake Benavidez hand after the fight, I think he wants to put him away and I agree.

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