After a couple of fallow weeks, bettors have increased options tonight with significant cards taking place on both sides of the Atlantic. Here are this week’s selections:
Dereck Chisora is drinking in the Last Chance Saloon, again. It is an establishment he has been frequenting for a number of years now, but one which never seems to call last orders. You would not want to be the one to tell ‘Del Boy’ to leave, would you?
Of course, there will always be offers on the table for Chisora, but those offers will be significantly better if he beats Kubrat Pulev tonight, with Dillian Whyte and (potentially) Anthony Joshua requiring comeback opponents later in the year.
Given that Dereck Chisora has never won a significant fight by decision, common sense would dictate that his best chance of victory is by stoppage. However, we have seen this one before. The pair met back in 2016 and Zimbabwe-born fighter could not put a dent in his rival.
Yes, both men are older, their punch resistance is declining, but I have a feeling this is another fight which will go the distance. Most of Chisora’s fights above a certain level tend to be decided by the judges’ scorecards.
Chisora has been hard done by in the past: there’s a strong case to be made that he should have got the nod against Robert Helenius, Dillian Whyte (in their first encounter) and perhaps even versus Joseph Parker, in their initial meeting.
There were mitigating circumstances though: it was always going to be difficult to get a fair shake on cards against the ‘Nordic Nightmare’ in his home country of Finland, Whyte was in the midst of a promotional push and Parker had become an internet sensation during the first lockdown with his wholesome videos.
‘Del Boy’ will not face such barriers tonight. For years, he had a difficult relationship with the British public but since he repackaged himself as Dereck ‘War’ Chisora, he has become a national treasure. Honestly, it is the best bit of rebranding since veganism became known as a plant-based diet. Oh, and the less said about the reasons behind Pulev going viral, the better.
It is not that judges do not appreciate Chisora’s style, in fact there have been numerous occasions when he has received more credit than he was due for ineffective pressure. Pulev won their 2016 meeting by split decision (despite winning handily), two judges found five rounds to give ‘War’ against Oleksandr Usyk, scores in his defeat to Agit Kabayel were too close and Michael Alexander scored the Parker rematch 114-112, with the two knockdowns being decisive.
Chisora has been conducting a hearts and minds operation throughout fight week; retweeting fans, giving away cash at the public workout and claiming he has to hold back tears when supporters chant his name. It seems that ‘Del Boy’ is attempting to gain as much backing as possible.
If Chisora hears the final bell, tonight could be the night he wins a big bout on points. Chisora to be victorious by decision is currently 13/2 with Betfred. For those who want a massive price, in Exact Method of Victory markets, Chisora to win by split decision is available at 20/1. Always back the Brit on points at home.
Fabio Wardley takes on, late replacement, Chris Healey at heavyweight. Wardley is a good finisher who has got rid of seven opponents within the first two rounds. It is likely that Healey will suffer a similar fate. The pick here is Wardley to win in rounds 1-2 at 6/5.
Mark Magsayo defends his WBC featherweight title against, former super-bantamweight titlist, Rey Vargas in a battle of undefeated fighters. The bookmakers have struggled to split them, but I like Vargas by decision at 7/5.
The double is priced at over 4/1.
Israil Madrimov faces Michel Soro in a rematch of their bout from December of last year. The fight ended controversially when, referee, Salvador Sala failed to hear the bell to signify the end of the ninth round and allowed Madrimov to keep punching, obliging Sala to halt the contest. Their first meeting was competitive, but I believe the Uzbek can force the stoppage. Soro is durable and unlikely to go early, so the selection is Madrimov to win between 7-12 at 12/5.
If you like all three bets, the treble is priced at just under 17/1.