On Saturday, November 14th, Top Rank Boxing brings us the “Leave No Doubt” event live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This boxing card features the undefeated Terence Crawford defending his WBO welterweight title against Kell Brook.
The co-main event of the night is a world title rematch as Joshua Franco defends his newly won WBA junior bantamweight title against the man he beat it for Andrew Moloney.
As of this writing, Top Rank is still putting together the final details to the undercard. The main card is set to begin at 10PM ET on ESPN.
Boxing betting sites have released odds for the two main event bouts. Let’s step into the ring to examine these odds, identify any potential value, and TKO our predictions.
The co-main event of the night is a 12 round contest for Franco’s WBA junior bantamweight/super flyweight title.
In their first fight, Joshua Franco opened as +650 underdog and closed with odds ranging from +205 to +430. In the rematch, Franco is a -175 favorite.
Andrew Moloney opened as a massive -1429 favorite in the first bout and closed with odds ranging from -247 to -809. He’s currently a +138 underdog in this rematch.
Franco vs Moloney Preview
Their first fight took place in June and it was a very competitive contest for the first eight rounds. The action was back and forth. However, Franco ramped it up a notch in the latter rounds and knocked down Moloney in the 11th round.
His knockdown sealed the win as Franco scored a unanimous decision victory. The three judges scored it 113-115, 112-115, and 113-114.
Moloney’s camp didn’t make any excuses. They immediately exercised the rematch clause and went right back to work in preparing for this rematch.
Moloney came out strong in their first bout as he arguably won the first four or five rounds. He put the pressure on and was beating Franco to the punch. It looked as if things were going to go as predicted. But, Franco made some adjustments, evened up the rounds on the scorecards and then pulled away.
That was Moloney’s first title defense as he won the interim belt in November 2019 by defeating Elton Dharry via TKO in the 8th round due to a doctor stoppage because Dharry suffered a nasty cut.
This will be Franco’s first title defense of the WBA belt.
Who Will Win the Rematch?
All too often we see athletes make excuses when they lose. Moloney didn’t make any excuse. Instead, he acknowledged that the better man won that night. However, he is determined to avenge the first loss of his career and get the belt back:
“I’m extremely grateful that Top Rank have given me this opportunity. I’m doing everything possible to make sure that World Title comes back home with me.”
Franco already has the blueprint to beat Moloney, so Andrew is going to have to change things up. I believe the best adjustment he can make is to box from the outside.
Moloney has a great jab and was using it effectively in the first half of their June bout. Yet, he got sucked into too many inside exchanges where Franco is very good at. In fact, he is the better fighter on the inside which isn’t something that Moloney is accustomed to seeing.
The best way for Moloney to win this fight is to jab, hit the one-two combos, and get out of the pocket. Basically, a stick and move approach that keeps him at a comfortable distance. Moloney does have a two inch reach advantage.
Like their first encounter, I believe this rematch will be just as exciting. With that said, I’m taking Andrew Moloney to win this bout via unanimous decision. I see Moloney making the necessary adjustments to beat the rugged Mexican fighter in Franco. I also like his odds as the underdog.
Franco vs Moloney Pick –Moloney (+138)
Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook
Terence Crawford (-1439)
Kell Brook (+700)
The unbeaten, pound for pound #1 boxer Terence Crawford will put his WBO welterweight title on the line against Kell Brook in a 12 round contest.
Brook enters this contest as a large underdog with odds ranging from +660 to +1400. This is the first time that Brook will be an underdog since his 2017 bout against Errol Spence. He actually opened as a favorite, but closed at +125 odds.
Crawford has been a boxing betting favorite for many years now. He’s listed at a range of -1400 to -2500, but I expect these odds to go up. In his previous fight versus Kavaliauskas, Crawford opened at -800, but closed as high as -5000.
Crawford vs Brook Preview
For the first time since fighting Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017, Kell Brook returns to the welterweight division.
He spent his last three fights competing in the super welterweight division where he went 3-0 with three straight knockouts. Brook last fought in February and defeated Mark Deluca via 7th round KO.
Brook also fought in the middleweight division when he took on GGG in June 2016. Unfortunately, he lost via 5th round TKO. Spence also stopped Brook via 11th round KO, which gave him consecutive losses and the first of his career.
This bout also marks the first time that Brook has fought outside of the UK since August 2014 when he defeated Shawn Porter in California via majority decision to capture the IBF welterweight belt.
Brook is very focused on this fight as it’s a chance to win his second welterweight championship:
“It is just me and him in there and it is going to be a ‘pick them’ fight this one because he’s one hell of a fighter and I believe I belong up there as among the best in the world, and I have to go out and show the people watching this fight that I am. Every second of the fight I am going to be tunnelled in, I am going to be focused to produce the win of my life.”
Crawford Coming off Long Layoff
For Crawford, he hasn’t fought since beating Egidijus Kavaliauskas via 9th round TKO in December 2019. This 11 month layoff is the longest of his career. There are some critics wondering how Crawford will look especially in the early portions of this contest against a bigger fighter.
Crawford has won seven straight fights via TKO/KO. He was the former undisputed junior welterweight champion having won all the belts in a unification fight against Viktor Postol in July 2016. That was the last time he went the distance in a bout.
In August 2018, Crawford made the jump up to welterweight and defeated Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title via 9th round TKO.
This weekend’s bout will be the 4th title defense for Crawford. The champ recognizes that he’s taking on a dangerous opponent and is preparing for the best Brook possible:
“He has everything to gain and nothing to really lose. In those types of moments, it wakes up a different animal and beast in a person. I’m preparing for the best Kell Brook we could possibly prepare for.”
Can Brook Pull off the Upset?
Brook will be the bigger fighter of the two as he’s more of a super welterweight or middleweight than a welterweight. Crawford has come up from lightweight to welterweight whereas Brook has come down.
There’s no rehydration clause or second day weight restriction for Brook. So, he could put on at least 10 pounds by the time these athletes step into the ring. Crawford might still have the reach advantage, but Brook will have the size and power advantages.
With that said, Crawford is still the better boxer between the two. He might not have the power advantage that he’s had in the last few fights, but he will have the advantage in technical skills, footwork and athleticism.
I have no doubt that Crawford will win this fight. The only question is when. I see Crawford using movement and hand speed to pick apart Brook and avoid fighting in the proverbial phone booth. I doubt he will allow Brook to get him against the ropes.
I expect Crawford to stick and move, circle the ring and fight from a comfortable distance where he sets up some power shots.
Crawford vs Brook Pick –Crawford (-1439)
Over/Under for Crawford vs Brook
There are numerous Over/Unders listed for this bout from O/U 3.5 rounds to an O/U of 9.5 rounds.
I like the Over/Under of 7.5 rounds with the Over at -175 and the Under at +125.
I believe this fight will go into the championship rounds since Brook will have the size advantage. Crawford has gone to the 9th round or further in five of his last eight contests including three of his last four.
There’s also an O/U of 9.5 rounds with the over set at -135 to +110. If you feel like I do that this fight will go into the double digit rounds then this is a good option as well. However, I like the value of the Over 7.5 rounds best.
Over/Under for Crawford vs Brook –Over 7.5 rounds (-175)
Crawford vs Brook Method of Decision
As usual, we have decision or TKO/KO, DQ as the methods of decision for this bout.
Will the Fight Go the Distance?
As mentioned, Crawford has gone seven straight fights where he’s stopped an opponent. He has gone to the latter rounds in five of his last eight bouts. With Brook being the bigger fighter, I just don’t see Crawford getting a stoppage prior to the championship rounds.
The only way he will get the TKO/KO is by wearing down Brook with his movement and volume. That will take most of the fight to put Brook into that position.
With that said, I see Crawford cruising to a unanimous decision victory. I believe this bout will go the distance. The +180 odds will provide a nice payout.
Will the Fight Go the Distance? –Yes (+180)
Will Someone Get a TKO/KO?
Crawford via TKO/KO (-250)
Brook via TKO/KO (+1400)
As mentioned, I believe this fight will go the distance. But, I do leave open the possibility of Crawford scoring the TKO. I don’t see Brook winning this fight via any method. If you are determined to wager on a fighter to win via knockout then you have to go with Crawford.
For his career, Crawford has 27 KOs in his 36 professional fights including seven in a row.
Will Someone Get a TKO/KO? –Crawford via TKO/KO (-250)
What’s Next for Crawford if He Wins?
The biggest knock against Crawford is his lack of wins over big name opponents. However, that’s not due to Terence avoiding top fighters. In fact, it’s been the opposite. Other champs just haven’t wanted to fight Crawford.
All of that is expected to change after this weekend’s bout. Top Rank owner Bob Arum has emphatically stated that Crawford will have a big time fight in his next bout and it will be against either Spence or Pacquiao:
“The next fight is going to be, as far as I can control things, we’re not going to fool around, it’s going to be Pacquiao or Spence.”
A fight against Pacquiao, one of the best boxers of all time, will most likely take place in the Middle East next year. A bout against Spence would be in America most likely in Vegas or Texas. Either way, Crawford will finally get the big name fight that he deserves. I would pick him to win either fight.
Full Card for Crawford vs Brook
(C)Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook in a 12 round WBO welterweight title fight
(c)Joshua Franco vs Andrew Moloney in a 12 round WBA junior bantamweight title bout
Joshua Greer Jr vs Edwin Rodriguez in an 8 round bantamweight clash
Tyler Howard vs KeAndrae Leatherwood in an 8 round middleweight contest
Elvis Rodriguez vs TBA in an 8 round junior welterweight bout
Raymond Muratalla vs TBA in an 8 round lightweight fight
Duke Ragan vs TBA in a 4 round featherweight clash
Vegas Larfield vs Juan Alberto Flores in a 4 round bantamweight contest
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …