Alimkhanuly vs. Dignum Boxing Preview

This upcoming Saturday, the 21st of May, there will be two televised U.S. boxing cards. The bigger one, David Benavidez vs. David Lemieux, will be on Showtime, while the Danny Dignum vs. Janibek Alimkhanuly card on ESPN+ arrives with less fanfare.

But the more overlooked bouts mean more of a possible edge for bettors against the bookies, so let's take a closer look at the Alimkhanuly/Dignum card to see if we can find any good bets.

Before the fights where you can get (non-ridiculous) odds) begin, prospects will be in action against journeymen, and those can be worth watching if you want to see a fighter before he (possibly) becomes a world champ or household name. Such boxers on this card include Tiger Johnson, a 2020 U.S. Olympian who medaled in the 2019 Pan-American Games and 2016 Youth Championships. His opponent hasn't been announced.

Then there's Charlie Sheehy, who has won 17 national amateur titles and beat guys like Ryan Garcia and Vergil Ortiz in the amateur ranks. He will lace it up as a pro for just the third time. Other prospects on this card will be Duke Ragan, Giovanni Cabrera, and Steven Nelson.

Onto the four fights to look at from a betting standpoint. All rankings mentioned are from Boxrec.

First up, Karlos Balderas vs. Ruben Cervera. Balderas is 12-1 with 11 KOs, but is ranked just 164th in the world at lightweight. The loss was to Rene Tellez in 2019, who would go on to lose to the aforementioned Giovanni Cabrera. Cervera (13-2), a Colombian, is no stranger to fighting in the United States, but is coming off a nearly two-year layoff and was beaten soundly the two teams he fought someone with a record like Balderas's.

No odds have been published for this one yet, but I would set the price for Balderas at -1000 (so Cervera at +1000). If you can beat that price for either, take it.

Next, at 126 pounds, we have Adam "Blunose" Lopez against William Encarnacion. Blunose has been a bit unlucky. Two of his three losses were by majority decision, and the third, where he was stopped, saw him ahead on one card and just one round behind on another. He's legit. His opponent, William Encarnacion, has muscles for days, but he's moving up in weight and got smoked the only other time he fought in the US. Again, no odds are available yet, but look for Blunose at a price better than -1200 or Encarnacion better than +1200.

In the co-feature, Jamel Herring (23-3) will take on Jamaine Ortiz in a lightweight bout. Since 2017, Herring won the WBO Super Featherweight title and defended it three times before getting thumped by Shakur Stevenson.

In case it needs to be said, there is no shame in getting thumped by Shakur Stevenson, who Boxrec currently has ranked No. 8 pound-for-pound and is younger than anyone else in the top 10 by EIGHT YEARS.

I kind of feel like Herring has gotten a little bit snubbed by not even being the main event on a card like this. Nevertheless, he has a solid opponent in Ortiz, who is undefeated and hasn't lost a bout on any judge's scorecard as a professional. Nonetheless, he seems to give up a couple of rounds in most of his fights, but he's used to fighting at lightweight whereas Herring is moving up.

I'd make Herring the favorite at about -750, and for this one, there are odds available. I don't look at the odds before doing my write-ups to avoid bias. I see here that Ortiz is actually the favorite. I am humble enough to say this means caution should be exercised by my readers, but I'm pounding Herring in this spot.

Finally, the main event, featuring Danny Dignum (14-0-1) against Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0). In his last two fights, Alimkhanuly has knocked out two guys ranked higher than Dignum, and nothing on Dignum's resume suggests that he could be a step up from those guys. I don't think there is any price I would take Dignum, and indeed Alimkhanuly is -1200 to -1400 on most books, so I'll be looking to parlay Alimkhanuly with either Herring or a non-boxing bet.

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