Boxing betting preview: All-time great “Chocolatito" Gonzalez has value at plus money

Kevin Iole
·Combat columnist
·3-min read

This is a rare weekend in which Roman “Chocolatito" Gonzalez, one of the greatest male fighters who ever lived, will compete. But on the Gonzalez undercard, Cecilia Braekhus, one of the greatest women to ever box, will be in action. And David Benavidez, one of the game’s bright young stars, has a bout scheduled.

And this time, the odds aren’t all that difficult to swallow.

The highlight of the weekend will be the rematch between the legendary Gonzalez, who will face Juan Francisco Estrada in a super flyweight unification bout.

The first fight on Nov. 17, 2012, was an amazing battle that Gonzalez won by unanimous decision. The rematch, more than eight years later, will be held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. At BetMGM, Estrada is -170 to gain his revenge, while Gonzalez is +140.

Estrada has a three-year advantage in age, as he’s 30 and Gonzalez is 33. Estrada has been busier recently and has beaten better competition, which is probably why he’s favored.

As Gonzalez, who is 50-2 with 41 KOs, showed in a Feb. 29, 2020, bout with Khalid Yafai, he’s far from done.

Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez is an underdog in Saturday's bout. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Gonzalez is still able to keep a high pace and his body attack still keeps opponents honest. He remains a slow starter, and if there is one thing on Estrada’s to-do list for the bout, it’s to get out of the gate quickly and rack up some of the early rounds while Gonzalez is getting a feel for the fight.

I see this as a 50-50 fight, but when I can get one of the 25 best boxers of all time at plus money, I’m jumping on the opportunity. So I’ll lay $100 to win $140 on Chocolatito.

I’ll put another $100 on Gonzalez at +225 to win by decision.

Braekhus is the favorite in her rematch with Jessica McCaskill. McCaskill won a majority decision over Braekhus in August and handed Braekhus her first defeat in 37 fights to claim the undisputed welterweight title.

Braekhus, 39, was outworked in the last fight, plain and simple. McCaskill appeared hungrier and got the benefit of the doubt in rounds that were close.

I believe McCaskill will repeat her victory, so I’ll lay $100 on her and hope to make a $135 profit. Braekhus is -165, which is too big of a number to lay on a 39-year-old coming off of her first loss.

At Mohengan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, David Benavidez is a whopping -2750 favorite over Ronald Ellis, who comes in at +1350. Ellis is a quick fighter who is coming off a good win over Matt Korobov.

I believe Benavidez wins this, but Ellis is far better than that number indicates. I wouldn’t lay that big of a number on Benavidez, a 24-year-old who has been up and down.

If you want to bet the fight, take a shot with Ellis at +1350. He’s a reasonable play at that number.

I’ll lay off of that one, but Ellis isn’t hopeless and a small wager could mean a big payout if he pulls it off.

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