Oleksandr Usyk vs Tony Bellew Tips, Odds and Analysis
- Usyk to win by stoppage rounds 4-6 – 6/1 with Betfair
- Usyk to win by stoppage anytime – 1/1 with Paddy Power
On Saturday night, in the hothouse of the Manchester Arena, Tony Bellew will tackle Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk for the unified Cruiserweight championship.
A fight that offers Bellew the chance to etch his name alongside predecessors in British Boxing folklore with whom the self-effacing “fat lad from Liverpool” will be the first to insist he has no right to be compared.
It has been this paradox, the deeply held certainty of victory despite simultaneous acknowledgement that the other guy holds all the advantages, that has been the narrative of his rise from peripheral domestic fighter to pay per view attraction and, albeit briefly, world champion.
His flair for providing sound bytes, coupled with his roguish, blue-collar charisma, forged in no small part by his days on the nightclub doors of Liverpool as a teenager, has brought him fame he doesn’t really want and a singular place in the psyche of the British public.
This renown, and the significance of the fight, ensures all the best boxing bookmakers are offering a host of markets on the fight.
Bellew’s self-belief is infectious. It lodges with the listener, and it grows, almost silently as the fight nears.
With the evidence of his two victories over David Haye, who was convinced to pause his pursuit of Anthony Joshua in a bout initially dismissed as a joke, it is no longer possible to write off Bellew’s chances. No matter how insurmountable the odds appear.
Usyk Holds All Advantages
On Saturday, he faces a fighter who is a better combination puncher, younger, fresher, quicker with his hands and his footwork, who fights at a high pace and has a style that, whilst hard to define, offers no apparent weaknesses for Bellew to exploit.
Bellew holds no significant reach or height advantage, will not be significantly heavier on fight night despite his forays to the heavyweight division, and is facing a man with a similarly unshakeable self-belief.
There isn’t an obvious flaw in Usyk’s mercurial style either. He is heavy handed, busy and can fight from the outside, inside and is unflinching in exchanges.
And it is only there, when Usyk comes inside to launch a flurry of punches, that I see a small window of opportunity for Bellew and where, I suspect, he will seek to snatch victory.
Bellew, 30-2-1 (20 KOs), is not an explosive puncher, but he is especially potent with the left hook and once he makes a breakthrough, as he did against Makabu to win the WBC belt in 2016, he will not relent.
If he makes a breakthrough against Usyk, whether it is the first minute of round one or much later in the fight, he will gamble ‘the house’ on getting the stoppage.
So the opportunity for victory for Bellew rests on timing that left hook; catching Usyk as he ducks and rolls beneath the double jab Bellew will be throwing, then forcing a stoppage. Timing is key.
For the ambitious investor, a Bellew stoppage win is available at 6/1 with Betway and will offer entertainment value to those who like to watch the fights and cheer for the underdog.
Usyk, 15-0 (11ko), like his stable mate Vasily Lomachenko, a mercurial, ‘once in a generation’ type fighter, has many more routes to victory.
He punches in varied combinations, shifts attack from head to body and visa versa with aplomb, is fit, busy and aggressive.
His quicker hands will cause Bellew tremendous problems, and Bellew will struggle to get his punches off to counter as he tries to protect himself from the flurries of heavy shots the Ukrainian throws.
Usyk Thrives as the Away Fighter
He is accustomed to travelling to the opponents ‘backyard’ too, his last four fights in Russia, Latvia, Germany and America have followed this model.
He won them all. And his Olympic gold medal, which reveals his amateur pedigree too, was won in London in 2012. Manchester Arena with 20,000 braying Englishman will hold no fear for the champion.
I think the most likely outcome is a Usyk victory and I foresee early dominance, as Bellew struggles to throw punches into the blizzard of leather coming his way.
I sense, in the last fight of his career, Bellew will eventually gamble to try and find that breakthrough.
Usyk’s sharper shooting and greater range of punches will overwhelm him and force intervention from Terry O’Conner, an official of naturally protective disposition by the way, somewhere between 5-7 rounds.
Usyk to win rounds 4-6 is available at a market leading 6/1 with Betfair, and 16/1 for round 5, 14/1 round 6 is worth interest too.
On the undercard, one of Manchester’s favourite sons, Anthony Crolla, returns for one last run at the Lightweight world title picture.
He faces Daud Yordan, an Indonesian fighter who tends to lose at world-class level over the distance. The obvious pick here is Crolla on points, though there isn’t much value available backing that outcome. The best you’ll find is 8/13 with BetVictor.
Recommended Betting Sites
Place £10, Get £40 in Free Bets + £10 on Casino
Promo Code: 10FREE
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
Get up to £100 in Bet Credits!
Bet £10 and Get £10 Welcome Offer
Welcome Bonus Bet £10 Get £20
Deposit £10 Get £10 Free Bet18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply New players only. Free Bet is a one-time stake of £10, minimum odds of 1.5, stake is not returned. 10X wagering the winnings. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Max conversion: £20. Valid for 7 days from issue. Excluded Skrill deposits. 18+. Play Responsibly www.begambleaware.org.
EXCLUSIVE: Bet £15, Get £10
Bet £10 Get £2018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply The Promotion operates as a £/€20 Surprise Bet when you place a bet of at least £/€10 on any market with odds greater than or equal to 1.50 as your first bet. The Promotion runs from 09/08/2021 / 12:00 (BST) until 31/12/2021 / 12:00 (BST) (the “Promotional Period”). The Promotion is only valid to: (a) new customers; (b) customers aged 18 years or over. To qualify for the Promotion, participant must deposit and place a £/€10 bet as their first bet on any market (excluding each way) in the sportsbook with odds greater than or equal to 1.50. Only original odds count toward the promotion. Supercharged odds do not count towards the promotion. An accumulation of smaller stakes will not count. Cashed out bets do not count towards this promotion. Only available once per customer. Rewards will be credited to qualifying participants within 48 hours after placing the qualifying bet. Potential winnings from the Surprise Bet are paid in withdrawable cash, excluding the stake. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Bet £10, Get £10 Free Bet18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply New players only. The qualifying bets to claim the Free Bet must have minimum odds of 3/1 (4.00) or higher and must be settled before triggering free bet. 18+. begambleaware.org - Full Terms Apply
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry.
Stay In The Loop With Free Bets, Insider Tips & More!
Live Betting. Sports Promos. Sent Weekly.