Bellew an Underdog Again? Not in our Book
November 10, 2018
Another Tony Bellew PPV event, another fight that sees the scouser priced as a huge underdog. When are we going to learn?
‘The Bomber’ isn’t quite as big a price as he was the first time he fought David Haye in March of last year, and we all know what happened there.
Throughout his entire career, Bellew has been written off and underestimated. Now, heading into what is likely to be his final fight, he is finally receiving the plaudits and recognition that his dedication deserves – even if the bookies’ prices don’t quite reflect as much.
For all the Usyk vs Bellew odds, as well as other upcoming boxing events, you’ll find a selection of betting sites offering a range of markets and generous welcome offers right here.
Why backing against Bellew is so dangerous
Listen to any interview or read any article from some of boxing’s most respected names, they all fire the same warning – “never write Tony Bellew off.”
Yet here we are again. The gobby Liverpudlian going up against a world class talent and being given little more than a puncher’s chance.
Our advice? Listen to the experts.
Now at the ripe old age of 35, at least in boxing years, Bellew’s career has been split into two parts.
Part one saw him develop a reputation as a hard-hitting light heavyweight around the North West area, but as someone who would struggle beyond British level.
In 2010, he beat Atoli Moore for the vacant Commonwealth title and made three successful defences before landing his first shot at a world title.
Bellew would take on Welshman Nathan Cleverly and in a fairly drab affair, would lose out by majority decision.
The pair would face off again in a 2014 grudge match in Liverpool’s Echo Arena, with Bellew claiming the win by split decision. In reality, the pair stunk the place out in what was one of the worst main events of the year.
In between those drab encounters, Bellew had done well to overcome the awkward Isaac Chilemba at the second time of asking, before being brutally stopped by Adonis Stevenson in his second attempt at a world title over in Quebec.
Even after the victory over Cleverly, it was difficult to see where Bellew’s next move would be. No one could have predicted the pay-per-view star that he would go on to become.
That is where part two of the Tony Bellew fight career gets underway.
A move up to cruiserweight seemed to suit the Merseyside man down to the ground.
Consecutive wins at the bigger weight division set up a third tilt at a world title. This time, Bellew would take on Ilunga Makabu inside Goodison Park – home to his beloved Everton Football Club.
Despite being dropped to the canvas after walking into a left hook at the end of the first round, ‘Bomber’ would recover to knock Makabu out in the third round.
Pandemonium ensued, and a new chapter was well underway.
A successful defence over American BJ Flores set up a mega fight with former unified world cruiserweight champion David Haye.
Bellew vs Haye: How Bellew proved he belonged at this level
It is easy to look back at the Makabu and Flores fights and label them as ones that Bellew should win. Once again, the local lad was the underdog heading into the Makabu world title bout and Haye himself backed Flores to beat Bellew.
Both men were stopped in the third round and the boxing community should then have realised that Bellew had become a world-class knockout puncher.
Going into the March 2017 O2 Arena clash, some bookmakers had Bellew as big as 6/1 to win the fight, with Haye priced in and around 1/4 to stop his opponent inside the distance.
In fact, there were genuine concerns for Bellew’s wellbeing heading into the scrap, with some predicting Haye to deliver a lot of punishment.
Even before Haye injured his Achilles in the sixth round, ‘Bomber’ made a mockery of such concerns. Slipping and weaving from his opponent’s advances, Bellew was more than holding his own before Haye’s injury turned the fight on its head.
Despite breaking his hand in the second round, the scouse slugger knocked a near defenceless Haye through the ropes, leaving his corner no choice but to throw in the towel in the 11th round.
Even after a career best win, cries of ‘a fit Haye would have won’ were consistent in the aftermath.
Chasing a final few pay-per-view paydays and keen to dispel such beliefs, Bellew gave Haye a rematch that eventually took place in May of this year.
With no apparent injury concerns hanging over Haye, Bellew floored ‘Hayemaker’ twice in the third round as his famous left hook proved too heavy to handle.
The fight was eventually called to a halt after Haye found himself on the canvas once again in the fifth round.
Even for a man who has starred in a Hollywood blockbuster, you couldn’t write the career of Tony Bellew.
Part two of a quite incredible career is almost complete but, before then, a date with greatness awaits.
Usyk vs Bellew: Brave move to back against the Bomber
Make no mistake, Oleksandr Usyk is an elite-level fighter and Bellew will have to be at his very best to leave the sport on a high.
Winning 335 of 350 amateur fights, the Ukrainian won his first nine professional bouts inside the distance before claiming a unanimous decision to wrestle the WBO world cruiserweight title from Krzysztof Glowacki.
Entering the World Boxing Super Series, Usyk stopped Marco Huck to set up a semi-final clash with Mairis Briedis. It is this fight that should give confidence to Bellew fans.
Despite winning by a majority decision, the movement of Briedis troubled Usyk and the Ukrainian was clearly buzzed on more than one occasion.
The final against Murat Gassiev made history in that it was the first time that every single belt in the cruiserweight division was up for grabs.
Usyk showcased a masterclass in boxing on the back foot and Gassiev ran out of ideas in how to lay a glove on his opponent.
Bellew simply won’t allow Usyk to box and move and will smother any attempts to do that. His left hook is one of the best in the business and should Usyk allow ‘Bomber’ to box on the inside, he will be playing right into the Liverpudlians hands.
The Manchester Arena is in for a huge event on Saturday evening and, with trainer Dave Coldwell conjuring up a masterplan, Bellew has much more than a puncher’s chance.
If he can land the same punches that Briedis managed back in January, while still managing to prevent Usyk from boxing behind his clear reach advantage, Bellew has every chance of ending his career as the unified cruiserweight champion of the world.
Don’t miss this one and, whatever you do, don’t write off Bellew. You have been warned.
As a qualified sports journalist, Luke has worked with nationally-recognised outlets covering events from the World Cup to the Grand National. Luke is one of the few men who has to admit that their father was the better footballer, but at least he can take comfort from the fact he got to see his Dad score at Wembley. When Luke isn’t talking football, you’ll normally find him following his other passion, horse racing and has his own horses in training with Paul Nicholls and Mark Johnston.