How the bookies are calling Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew
The big fights are coming thick and fast now, with Tony Bellew taking on Oleksandr Usyk at the Manchester Arena on Saturday.
Having beaten David Haye twice in his last two bouts, Bellew is gunning for the World Boxing Super Series winner’s four crusierweight titles.
Before the mayhem starts, our boxing trader Tommy Young has given us his verdict.
Ladbrokes News: Hi Tommy, Usyk is the clear 1/6 favourite here. Do you think there’s much chance of a Bellew upset?
Tommy Young: Bellew upset the odds in both the Haye fights and he will have to do so again as he is the 4/1 outsider for this. Is he being written off too easily again by the bookies? Probably not this time.
There were all sorts of question marks hanging over Haye, especially before the second fight. Bellew fought well and was able to exploit Haye’s issues, but Usyk is coming into this fight in the prime of his career.
LN: What sort of competition has Usyk faced recently?
TY: In his last two fights Usyk has beaten Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev – the other two best cruiserweights around. He’s the deserved champion of the division.
LN: What about the preparations? Who’s looking in better shape?
TY: Another issue with Bellew is his inactivity. Due to Haye falling to pieces, their rematch was pushed back by around six months, so Bellew has only fought once per year since 2016.
Usyk has fought four times in that period against top-level fighters. He’ll be sharper on the night of the fight.
LN: Has Bellew beaten an opponent of Usyk’s quality in the past?
TY: Bellew’s best ever win at cruiserweight is probably when he stopped Ilunga Makabu in the third round to take the WBC title, having been down himself in the first round.
LN: Are there any reasons for the Brit to be optimistic?
TY: Trying to see the positives for Bellew, Usyk’s record is superb but he has shown himself to be vulnerable at times.
The match with Briedis was extremely close and the decision really could have gone either way. Gassiev gave him problems and even against Michael Hunter he wasn’t massively impressive.
People want to make him out to be a big Lomachenko-style hitter because of the Ukrainian connection but he certainly isn’t that. Having said that he still looks to have enough to beat Bellew.
LN: What markets do you like the look of?
TY: I’ll go with Usyk to win by KO, TKO or DQ at 4/5 and Bellow to be knocked down in round one at 14/1.
Click here for the latest Usyk v Bellew odds.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication