Olympics Betting: Boxing Finals Preview


The upcoming gold medal matches will cap off an excellent Olympics for boxing, with the atmosphere at the ExCel like none other in Olympic history. If you followed my pre-tournament advice, you're now in a nice position to guarantee a profit. Cammarelle marched into the superheavyweight final, as did Murata at middleweight, Berinchyk at light welterweight and a terrifically committed and gutsy display from our own bantamweight Luke Campbell sees him one match away from the gold medal.

So we're down to the finals now and the bantamweight decider between Ireland's John Joe Nevin and Luke Campbell may just be the fight of the tournament. A fierce but friendly rivalry exists between the two with Nevin dominating the Brit at the European Championships in 2009 but the tenacious Campbell gaining revenge by edging a decision on countback in last year's World's semi-final.

Campbell has impressed throughout at these games and his massive 20-11 victory over Satoshi Shimizu to put him into the final certainly looked like the work of the man on a mission. Nonetheless, Nevin's dismantling of the world champion Estrada in the other semi-final showed superior footwork, shot selection and ring savvy and he looks the best 56kg fighter we've seen.

Campbell's home advantage won't count for much with the vociferous Irish fans out in force and I expect the Hull fighter to just come up short. Take 1.75 on the Traveller from Mullingar.

I've liked Ukraine's Denys Berinchyk from day one and not just because of his crowd pleasing haircut. Is he technically the best in the tournament? Good lord no – he's often not even the best technician in the ring, yet he keeps on winning his fights. He loves to come forward, plant his feet and land punishing body shots, is in phenomenal condition and always finishes strongly.

He faces  Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo and you had to be terribly impressed with the way the Cuban outfoxed world champion Everton dos Santos Lopes in his very first bout. Bringing the fight to the Brazilian from the start confused Lopes and a final-round flurry came too late with Sotolongo prevailing 18-15. 

Berinchyk beat Sotolongo in the world championships last year and while you would still usually have to favour the slicker fighter, Berinchyk looks like he's on a roll here. I'm going to keep on riding his train right to the finish: 2.35 is good business for the entertaining Ukrainian to walk away with the gold.

My tip of Japan's Ryota Murata was helped no end by what was, if we're being honest, a gift decision for Anthony Ogogo over gold-medal favourite Ievgen Khytrov. He's been one of the most exciting fighters to watch with his patented third round rallies, notably in the semi-final to defeat Uzbekistan's Abbos Atoev, having gone into the final round three points behind.

It's been great to watch but while Murata has been relying on life-and-death rearguard actions his opponent Esquiva Falcão Florentino has breezed through to the final with scores of 24-11, 14-10 and 16-9 against Anthony Ogogo. His semi-final victory over Ogogo was the most controlled I've seen in the entire tournament. Unfazed by a hugely partisan crowd and a strong first round from Ogogo, the Brazilian showed otherworldly cool as he proceeded to dismantle Ogogo's style, flooring him twice in a punishing boxing lesson.

With that rare combination of technical class, ring generalship and temperament I really think he has gold-medal written all over him. 1.62 is well worth taking.