After many years of debate about who is the superior fighter, Amir Khan and Kell Brook will finally battle it out this weekend at the AO Arena in Manchester, England. For Brook, it represents a chance to finally defeat the man who has been a presence throughout his career, while Khan will be looking to showcase his skills and prove to the doubters once and for all that he is the better boxer. So where is the value in the Khan vs. Brook odds? Read on to find out.
A close look at the Khan vs. Brook odds
The 1X2 odds suggest this is a fight that Pinnacle is giving Brook the edge to win, but only marginally. This has led to many different opinions and observations on where the value is to be found when betting on this fight.
The Total Rounds is set at 9.5, with Over 9.5 rounds priced at 1.813*, which means Pinnacle is slightly favouring the fight to go the distance rather than end in a KO/TKO, something which might come as a surprise to some bettors.
Date: Saturday, February 19
Venue: AO Arena, Manchester, EnglandBet: Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook odds
Khan vs. Brook: Tale of the Tape
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With no world titles on the line, the fight will be contested at a catchweight of 149 pounds, which is two pounds above the welterweight limit of 147 pounds that both fighters usually fight at, with many observers believing this gives the edge to Amir Khan due to him not having to lose as much weight as Brook in such a short space of time.
Khan will come into the bout with a record of 34 wins, five losses, and zero draws, with 21 of Khan’s wins coming by the way of a knockout, whilst Brook holds a record of 39 wins, three losses, and zero draws, with 27 of those wins coming via knockout.
The stats suggest Brook has a slight advantage in power over Khan, with a 69% knockout percentage compared to Khan's 62%, although it could be argued that Khan has boxed better opposition more consistently throughout his career. Both fighters bring vast experience at the highest level into this contest, against top-quality opposition, with Khan having had three fewer fights, but 12 more professional rounds (232 rounds to Brook's 220).
Khan holds a two-inch reach advantage over Brook and this could be a significant factor, especially when making your predictions, as it could give Khan a slight advantage to win the fight on points due to the style of his boxing, which is fighting at range and setting a high pace.
Speed vs. timing: Who has the edge?
Khan provides a good example of why it is difficult to make accurate boxing betting predictions. The Bolton-born fighter has always been a highly talented but extremely vulnerable boxer. This was demonstrated when Khan was installed as 1.06 favourite by Pinnacle (nearly a 95% chance of victory) to defeat Colombian Breidis Prescott back in September 2008 but was shockingly knocked out in the first round by the hard-hitting Colombian.
The same scenario happened again in 2012 when Khan boxed the less-skilled but harder-hitting (with good timing) Danny Garcia. Garcia was the champion yet Khan was installed as the 1.16 favourite (85% chance of victory) and was again sensationally knocked out inside four rounds despite dominating the fight up to that point from a technical standpoint.
Khan provides a good example of why it is difficult to make accurate boxing betting predictions.
Boxing bettors who can successfully break down these kinds of style matchups and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters would have known that Garcia was being hugely underestimated in the odds, despite being the less-skilled and talented boxer of the two. The fight demonstrated that when executed correctly, timing can beat speed and a boxer with a hard punch and good timing boxing a fighter with questionable punch resistance (like we also have with Khan vs. Brook) can win out. Therefore, style of boxing should always be taken into account before placing your bets on a fight.
Khan’s loss against Garcia wasn’t inevitable by any means but in order to find value, a bettor needs to define their own likelihood of an event happening and this is how the Khan vs. Brook fight will need to be approached. There will be so many contrasting opinions on this fight that to find any kind of edge you will need to calculate your own estimates as to whether the probability of an event occurring is higher than that implied by the bookmaker’s odds. The general consensus here would be to back Khan via decision and then hedge that with a Brook win via KO/TKO due to the styles both boxers possess.
Khan vs. Brook predictions: Consider other markets and strategies
This fight between Khan and Brook is one that has several variables and possible outcomes so bettors need to look at alternative markets to potentially gain a profit. There is not one outcome that is particularly more favourable than the other and there are a lot of unknown factors that are impossible to analyse until the fight starts – for example, the age of both Khan and Brook, and the inactivity between the pair.
With this fight, bettors might want to look more at the total number of rounds the fight goes to.
With this fight, bettors might want to look more at the total number of rounds the fight goes to, or hedge their bets, rather than betting directly on the Money Line and relying on a knockout or judges’ decision. It is possible that this will be a fight full of drama resulting in an outcome that might come as a surprise, so finding longer odds and placing smaller stakes is certainly an approach to consider.
Once bettors can grasp the concept of analysing each boxer’s fighting styles to find value in a fight, it is possible to spot which fights will almost certainly go the distance and which ones are unlikely to go long. This fight, however, is rare in that the probability of either happening is around the same percentage, which means this is a difficult matchup in which to find a concrete edge in your betting.
Khan vs. Brook betting: Where is the value?
Khan’s key to victory is more straightforward than Brook’s in terms of a game plan: box long, don’t get timed leaping in, bank rounds using his best attributes (hand and foot speed), and win via whatever method prevents the least risk. One bad trait that Khan possesses, though, is that he isn’t very defensively aware and needs his coach to help him stick to his game plan during a fight in order to come out victorious at the top level.
When he has listened to his coach and has executed his game plan, bettors have seen the best version of Khan and have witnessed some stellar performances from him. Ahead of the Brook fight, Khan has gone to train with new coach Brian 'BoMac' McIntyre in the cold climate of Colorado alongside previous opponent Terence Crawford. This is a big positive for a variety of reasons but largely because the intense and rigorous training regime will give Khan more discipline, and because the team would have studied both Khan and Brook when they both boxed Terrence Crawford, and this useful information might give the Bolton man a psychological edge.
If Brook wants to secure victory he will need to control his emotions in the ring, as in the build-up to the fight he has looked tense as if he is carrying a sense of rage towards Khan and this is certainly playing into Khan’s hands. The fear for those backing Brook is that he lets his sentiments towards Khan get the better of him. The Sheffield-based man will need to stay calm and pace himself for 12 rounds and make Khan be the aggressor while looking to pick him off with sharp counter-attacks and well-timed time hard and fast punches.
If Brook wants to secure victory he will need to control his emotions in the ring.
With this strategy, the opportunities to deliver a damaging or even one-punch knockout will present themselves but he will have to stay patient; if the red mist descends too early and too often he may find himself chasing Khan around the ring for a lot of the fight and getting picked off with fast snappy punches, ultimately losing rounds on the cards.
Both fighters should have their moments in this fight, and Khan might even make Brook look quite basic during periods of the bout if he still has that vast amount of the speed that has made his career so successful thus far. That outcome will largely depend on which fighter is currently the fresher and more able of the two though, as at 35 years of age both boxers are not at the level they once were and both will be more vulnerable than ever, make no mistake about it.
The Money Line betting odds at Pinnacle should be closer in my opinion at this stage of their careers and the odds do seem to factor (and favour) power and strength over skill and technique. Khan has shown so much vulnerability throughout his career that odds compilers will factor in the risk of him being knocked out - even whilst dominating the fight with his skills (something that, as mentioned, has happened in the past).
Relying on power can sometimes be a mistake and Brook will need to be wary of this - as he runs the risk of relying on landing that one knockout punch that many Amir Khan opponents have done in the past and soon realising that it is harder than it looks to actually land that knockout blow on Khan, especially with his movement skills.
The former Olympic silver medallist is a fighter that has you on the edge of your seat throughout all 12 rounds of a fight, and very nervous if you have bet money on him to win because you know he is possibly just one punch away from getting knocked down or knocked out.
On the other hand, he has you on the edge because he’s throwing his lightning-fast combinations and letting his hands fly, and is capable of winning a fight in round 1 or round 12 – he is possibly one of, if not the most, flawed yet talented boxers in recent years and one of the hardest boxers to gauge value on when betting on his fights. The big question is to what extent do both Khan and Brook have the same attributes they once had? I would not be at ease betting on Kell Brook to win this fight at odds of 1.625* at this stage of his career. With the confidence and mindset that Khan appears to have going into this fight and based on where Brook’s level is currently at as a fighter, I feel the value between the two sits with Khan at odds of 2.380*. It is very difficult to win rounds against Khan, so it is likely that Brook will need to land a big punch that finishes him otherwise Khan will be more than capable of winning the fight on points.
I also feel that for this fight, where the odds sit so close and there are so many variables that could play out, bettors should consider other markets and strategies instead of betting solely on the Money Line. Here are some longer-odds bets that could present good value.
- Back Khan to knock Brook down in rounds 1-3
- Back Khan to win on points
- Back both fighters to be knocked down
Puncher's Chance: Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook betting special
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