The Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III undercard Saturday features three fights, including the highly anticipated Frank Sanchez vs Efe Ajagba, Jared Anderson vs Vladimir Tereshkin, and Adam Kownacki vs Robert Helenius.
Sanchez vs Ajagba
The unbeaten winning streak of Frank Sanchez is on the line, and bookmakers think he has a good chance of winning.
The Cuban is 18-0 with 13 wins coming by knockout, but he has yet to fight anyone of note. He knocked out a 21-10 fighter earlier this year, which was for the WBC Americas heavyweight title.
Despite not facing anyone of note, Sanchez passes the eye test. The 29-year-old looks sharp, and the -190 odds at the sportsbook reflect his ability. However, Efe Ajagba isn’t a fighter that should be overlooked.
So, fight fans … who you got?
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) October 8, 2021
The Nigerian is 15-0 after knocking out Brian Howard. He has had the more high-profile fights, especially when beating Jonathan Rice and Ali Eren Demirezen by unanimous decision.
Twelve of his 15 wins have come via knockout, so this won’t be an easy fight for Sanchez, but expectations are high. His manager, Mike Borao, is confident his fighter could steal the show.
“Frank can steal the spotlight with an explosive win over Efe Ajagba, most definitely,” Borao told The Daily Express.
“The reason we made this fight is because Frank is faster and technically superior by miles.”
The -190 quote is short, but Sanchez should get the job done on the undercard.
- Pick: Frank Sanchez -190
Kownacki vs Helenius
We don’t think Helenius’ upset win over Kownacki was a fluke when they met in 2020.
The Finland native improved his record to 30-3 with the knockout victory, which was seen as a lucky punch by many fight fans. However, Helenius showed he’s not a fighter that should be overlooked on the world stage.
He’s the man that provided Kownacki with his first career loss, and he could be the man to beat him again.
Kownacki has been chomping at the bit to get back in the ring. The Polish fighter believes he has a point to prove, but that doesn’t always result in a win. He will need to fight smarter and more economically, otherwise he could get caught with a big right hand again.
He hasn’t knocked someone out since beating Gerald Washington over two years ago, so that will be playing on his mind.
Betting online markets have Kownacki at -220 to win. That is too short for our liking, and we would much prefer to include Robert Helenius at +180 in our selections.
It should be a close fight, and it might not end before the final bell, which favors the underdog.
- Pick: Helenius +180
Anderson vs Tereshkin
The biggest favorite on the card is Anderson at -2500, which is a phenomenally-short quote.
The future is bright for the 21-year-old, who is 9-0. “Big Baby” has scored a knockout win in every fight to date, including against Kingsley Ibeh and Johnnie Langston.
He has been talked up as the future of American heavyweight boxing, so it’s hard not to join the hype train.
It’s official, the #FuryWilder3 PPV card is an all-heavyweight slugfest.
🥊 Efe Ajagba vs. Frank Sanchez
🥊 Robert Helenius vs. Adam Kownacki 2
🥊 Jared Anderson vs. Vladimir Tereshkin pic.twitter.com/w6xDeUqfgO
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) June 29, 2021
There have been reports that Anderson gave Fury trouble in their sparring showdowns, which could have been attributed to Fury’s ill health last week. Boxing promoter Bob Arum denies the claims.
“That’s not true, but Anderson gives him hell in sparring, and Tyson tells me that Jared Anderson is a future heavyweight champion of the world,” Arum said.
That’s a huge claim from Fury, so we wouldn’t be backing against the raging hot favorite.
Vladimir Tereshkin is the more experienced fighter, but his fights have been against weak opposition. He should be exposed on Saturday, so take Anderson to win via knockout at -800 for better value.
The total is set at 3½ rounds, which shows how quickly this fight could end.
- Pick: Jared Anderson by KO (-800)