Artem Dalakian defends his WBA flyweight title against David Jimenez in the chief supporting bout of Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde this weekend from the OVO Arena in London, England.
Dalakian is unknown to casual fans, but he’s a capable technician who is making the sixth defense of his title. The upset-minded Jimenez hopes to play spoiler once more in the biggest fight of his career.
Boxing odds have Dalakian as a minor -170 favorite, while first-time challenger Jimenez comes in as a +130 underdog.
Here are our picks and predictions for Dalakian vs. Jimenez from London.
Artem Dalakian vs David Jimenez odds
|Method of victory||Artem Dalakian||David Jimenez|
|Win by KO/TKO||+260||+430|
|Win by points or decision||+165||+320|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel as of January 25, 2022.
Artur Beterbiev vs Anthony Yarde betting predictions
Picks made on January 28. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Artem Dalakian vs David Jimenez betting preview
Dalakian is 21-0 with 15 KOs and has flown under the radar since winning the WBA title in 2018. After beating Brian Viloria, he took the title back to Ukraine where he has made five successful defenses. Due to the ongoing war, he’s been out of the ring since a 2021 win over Luis Concepcion. The Ukrainian’s style has shades of Vasyl Lomachenko in which he works behind constant movement and fires combinations at odd angles.
Dalakian is the seasoned pro with nine more fights than the challenger and an average fight time of 6.28 rounds. While he's only fought three times since June 2019, he’s stopped four of his last five opponents. The ring rust is going to be a factor, especially for a 35-year-old flyweight who hasn’t fought for more than a year.
Jimenez comes in undefeated at 12-0 (9 KOs) and was a 16-1 underdog when he upset Ricardo Sandoval in a majority decision last summer. It wasn’t a pretty fight, but Jimenez’s pressure and a late knockdown put him in position for this title shot. The Costa Rican spoiler will only be making his second trip outside his homeland, and he’s getting the benefit of the doubt against the aging champion.
Where Dalakian brings finesse, Jimenez brings grit as he comes forward with a lot of pressure and isn’t afraid to get rough. He has an average fight time of 5.08 rounds and has the kind of taxing style that gives technical fighters fits because he likes to get inside and bang around.
Dalakian has fought the better opposition and is the better boxer, but if he comes in with anything less than 100%, he’s going to lose his title.
Artem Dalakian vs David Jimenez boxing prediction and best bet
Prediction: Dalakian ML
The key thing to look out for here is Dalakian’s ring rust. Fighters in the sub-130-pound divisions tend to have a smaller shelf life, so the inactivity might hurt or help him. With faster hands, better experience, and skill, Dalakian should have this in the bag.
The odds are close, but Jimenez might be over his head. Beating Sandoval was a shock, especially to those watching it, and he isn’t going to get away with some of the same sloppy exchanges here. Dalakian has great movement and will keep Jimenez off balance. While they will have moments where they trade, Dalakain should be fresh enough to avoid taking too much damage.
Jimenez is a hard-hitting southpaw that can create angles of his own, and it’s a bit surprising oddsmakers have him going from an afterthought against a rising prospect to such a narrow underdog against a legitimate world champion. The Ukrainian tends to get carried away, causing him to absorb punches he doesn’t see, so it isn’t completely out of the question that he can pull off the upset.
This should be a fun fight, but we have to go with the champion to overcome the ring rust. Our pick is Dalakian defending the title once more — this time at Jimenez’s expense.
Prediction: Dalakian moneyline (-170 at DraftKings)
Best Bet: Dalakian by decision
This should be a decent scrap with two fighters who like to let their hands go. Skill beats grit, however, and Dalakian should outclass Jimenez. The long layoff might slow him down and give Jimenez some chances. However, he should have the fight wrapped up by the halfway point, fighting when he has to and boxing to preserve his lead.
If Dalakian were fresher, we’d go with a KO at the +225 line. As a result, we’re going to pick the champ to retain by decision at +185.
Prediction: Dalakian by decision (+185 at DraftKings)