We preview Saturday night’s huge Usyk vs Chisora showdown to come up with some expert betting tips
By the middle of December the heavyweight picture should be a lot clearer. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are both in action before Christmas and both British superstars have an eye on an undisputed heavyweight title clash against each other in 2021. However, a ‘third wheel’ has emerged in this heavyweight love story and his name is Oleksandr Usyk.
The 17-0 (13) Ukrainian risks his status as mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBO belt when he steps into the ring – for just the second time as a heavyweight – against Dereck Chisora on Saturday.
The fight was initially signed for May but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. There will be no crowd on Saturday, but no social distancing either when these two lock horns. Usyk is an overwhelming favourite with the bookies, with 1/7 the best price available at time of writing about a Usyk victory.
The last time ‘The Cat’ was on the prowl in the UK, more than 20,000 saw him stop Tony Bellew inside eight rounds at the O2. The atmosphere will be entirely different at the Wembley Arena this weekend, but the mind set won’t.
Usyk is unwavering in his belief that he has the skills to clean up at heavyweight having already unified the cruiserweight division in fine style. To be fair his heavyweight debut was a pretty low key affair and failed to properly answer questions as to whether or not he can hang with the big boys in this division.
He took a while to get going but did ultimately showcase his skill, boxing IQ and class as he picked apart late stand-in Chazz Witherspoon and forced a corner retirement in Chicago. The worry for Usyk fans is that this move up in weight may blunt the superiority previously afforded to him by his ringcraft, purely due to the size and strength of his opponents.
Usyk vs Chisora: size must matter for Dereck
Chisora’s size is perhaps his only advantage. He can punch by heavyweight standards but does not have wrecking ball power. The Londoner has a spotty 32-9 (23) pro log but in mitigation he has mixed with the best during a career he can be proud of.
Chisora, even in the winter of his career, is a legit test. He’s been in with some of the biggest names at heavyweight and while he has never disgraced himself in big fights, tellingly he has always come up short.
David Haye, Tyson Fury (twice) and Dillian Whyte (twice) have all beaten him, while he also lost to Vitali Klitschko on points in 2012 for the WBC heavyweight crown in Germany.
“He is in the absolute shape of his life,” chimed Eddie Hearn about Chisora during an IFL interview this week, and it seems ‘Del Boy’ has benefitted since linking up with former adversary Haye. Yet although he is on a run of three straight wins (including a couple of quick knockouts) Chisora goes off as a 5/1 outsider with Sky Bet this weekend.
Will he be able to swim in the depths of Usyk’s unforgiving ocean? Possibly not. The Ukraine star has 13 early wins as a pro and is no bigger than 11/10 with Sky Bet to win inside schedule.
Del can take it the distance
Interestingly the ‘Method of Victory’ line has moved slightly in recent weeks. Usyk by decision or technical decision was odds on in places around six weeks ago, but has been eased with plenty of recent money coming in for Usyk to win by stoppage. However those expecting Chisora to surrender could be in for a shock. A fully fit and motivated Chisora remains a handful for anyone.
Chisora could have some fleeting success with single right hands, though Usyk’s footwork is borderline brilliant. However look for Usyk to thread uppercuts through his opponent’s guard and slip those educated hooks around it, while all the time pivoting away from Chisora’s counters.
The Londoner is in shape and usually has a decent set of whiskers. All this points to a comprehensive win on the cards for Usyk, who can then start to bang the drum for a Joshua showdown.
Usyk vs Chisora betting prediction: Usyk to win by decision or technical decision at 5/4 (Sky Bet)