As we approach the weigh-ins today for tomorrow's Khan vs. Peterson fight, let's take a look at how the oddsmakers think this one stacks up. Some has suggested Peterson is being profoundly overlooked in this bout, but SB Nation's Brent Brookhouse disagrees. "The thing with boxing odds as compared to MMA odds is that you'll see a wider line in boxing much more often. There's a lot more area for things to change in an MMA fight. In one moment you can be dominating the fight on the feet only to be taken down and quickly submitted," says Brookhouse.
"In boxing things are a bit more stable. While Peterson is good and this is not a 'gimmie' by any stretch, Khan is a better boxer. He's got great handspeed when he decides to use it, he's better at uglying up a fight through timing disruptions like clinch work and he has better power. In the end it's simply difficult to look at Peterson and Khan and see Lamont being able to win enough rounds to take a decision and he lacks the power to reliably change the course of a fight against top level talent. The odds are more indicative of the style match-up than any indication of Peterson's quality as a fighter."
The odds as of the time of this post are as follows:
Brookhouse's analysis seems largely correct to me. Khan is the rightful favorite and given both his explosive speed and clear success against 'next-level' opposition (two components of Peterson's career that are absent), the road for Peterson's path to victory here is hard to see.
Then again, when Manny Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time, the odds were similar. Most assumed it would be a blowout given the weight jump for Marquez and his relative poor performance in bouts just prior to their rubber match. Yet, he performed quite ably and while he technically lost a decision, he demonstrated the odds were grossly off the mark. Khan vs. Peterson isn't Pacquiao vs. Marquez for a whole host of reasons - not least of which is that Khan and Peterson are fighting for the first time. I'm just underscoring the idea Peterson is not lost here or an unworthy opposition. He faces an uphill challenge, but the odds shouldn't be taken as ironclad proof of his eminent destruction.