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Bettors love underdog in Canelo-Munguia ‘full-out Mexican war’

Canelo Alvarez is arguably the most popular boxer in the world. But he’s not the most popular bet in Saturday’s super middleweight world title fight at T-Mobile Arena.

That distinction belongs to unbeaten fellow Mexican Jaime Munguia, a +375 underdog at the Westgate SuperBook to upset Alvarez, the undisputed champion and heavy -500 favorite.

“In boxing, the public loves to bet on the underdog,” SuperBook executive director John Murray said. “I’m sure we’ll have a lot of money-line parlays going to Canelo, and there might be some bigger bets on Canelo. But right now, it’s mostly bets on Jaime Munguia.”

The price on Munguia (43-0, 34 knockouts) had dropped from +450 to +400 on Thursday at the SuperBook before dipping to +375 on Friday. It was down to +350 at Caesars Sportsbook.

“The public is loving the underdog,” Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said. “Similar to the Ryan Garcia fight.”

Bettors are fresh off a win on Garcia, who cashed as a 5-1 underdog after defeating Devin Haney by majority decision April 20 in New York.

“We didn’t do well on the Ryan Garcia-Devin Haney fight, which was a similar price,” Murray said. “Usually when they have the fights priced like this, everybody wants to bet the ’dog, because they always want to risk a little to win a lot.”

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) will fight on Cinco de Mayo weekend for the fourth straight year and the second time at T-Mobile Arena. Munguia, a Tijuana native, is his first Mexican challenger in that span.

“You can expect a full-out Mexican war,” Munguia said through an interpreter.

Alvarez’s losses were to Floyd Mayweather in 2013 and Dmitry Bivol on May 7, 2022, at T-Mobile Arena.

Alvarez, 33, has won his past three fights by unanimous decision, defeating Gennady Golovkin in September 2022, John Ryder on May 6 last year and Jermell Charlo on Sept. 30.

Munguia, 27, destroyed Ryder his last time out in a ninth-round TKO win Jan. 28.

The total on the 12-round bout is 10½ rounds, with the over a -240 favorite.

In the exact result prop at the SuperBook, Alvarez wins by decision is a -120 favorite, while Alvarez wins by KO, technical knockout or disqualification is the +215 second choice.

“You can get a better price doing that, but it’s always a little bit scary to bet into those five-way pools,” Murray said. “Generally speaking, if you like a guy to win, just take him to win, instead of getting cute.”

Alvarez’s last knockout win was in November 2021, when he beat Caleb Plant via TKO.

“So it’s tough to say you should bet him to win by knockout,” Murray said. “It doesn’t seem like he’s really going to put his foot on the gas and try to win by TKO.”

Munguia wins by decision pays +750, and Munguia wins by KO/TKO/DQ is 12-1. A draw pays 20-1.

Murray said Alvarez is boxing’s biggest betting draw.

“When Tyson Fury was fighting Deontay Wilder and it was in town, that was really good for business,” he said. “Ryan Garcia’s star is definitely rising. He’s becoming a pretty big name. I’d say Canelo’s still the biggest, though.

“And the Cinco de Mayo weekend fights are always good for business.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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