IBHOF inductee and boxing betting expert Graham Houston looks ahead to the weekend’s major fight between WBC/WBO 140lbs champion Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol from a gambling perspective.

The big fight of the weekend is at the MGM Grand “Bubble” in Las Vegas tonight, with Jose Ramirez defending his 140lbs titles against seasoned Viktor Postol, the WBC mandatory challenger.

I started out thinking on the lines of Ramirez to win by decision, which looks the logical outcome. But I am starting to look at the idea of a stoppage win for the undefeated champion. 

While Postol has been the distance with Terence Crawford and Josh Taylor, he was knocked down by Taylor and possibly saved by the bell in the 10th round. I’m just wondering if Postol might be starting to wear out at the age of 36. 

Ramirez, at his best, brings relentless pressure. Postol is tall and lanky but Ramirez blasted right through a tall opponent in Maurice Hooker. I think Ramirez will be forcing the pace from the outset and I am not sure if Postol will be able to keep him off. Postol can bang a bit with the right hand but he isn’t what you would call a seriously hard hitter. Ramirez’ workrate and constant forward motion might take a toll.

Although Postol went the distance with Crawford, that was four years ago. I had the impression that Crawford was content to cruise to a decision; Ramirez usually sets and maintains a fast, busy-punching pace. And I can’t forget how Postol was dropped and almost stopped in the fifth round of his fight with limited southpaw Jamshidbek Najmiddinov a couple of years ago. OK, Postol got hit by a looping left hand that he didn’t see coming, but his chin can be dented.

Ramirez vs Postol figures to be a long fight but I’m thinking that the Ukrainian veteran might be starting to wilt by the later rounds.  

Because almost everyone expects this fight to go the full 12 rounds, the odds on the fight not going the distance at Betfred are quite attractive at 19/10 (+190 in US odds) while Ramirez to win by KO TKO DQ is attractively priced at 13/5 (+260). 

We know that, as a Freddie Roach-trained fighter, Postol will be well prepared — and he looked in tremendous condition at the weigh-in. But if the same Ramirez as the one who stopped Maurice Hooker shows up in Las Vegas tonight he will be hard to fend off for 12 rounds. 

I think the “fight won’t go distance” or “Ramirez KO TKO DQ” odds are worth a look. 

Main image: Ramirez (left) and Postol shape up. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank.