Boxing tips: Joshua v Pulev undercard best bets with Okolie and Fury in action

There are some big fights on the undercard at Wembley

Lawrence Okolie Hughie Fury Sergey Kuzmin

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Eddie Hearn’s stocking fillers before the main Anthony-Joshua-shaped present are all big and come with a bang.

Top of the undercard is the cruiserweight contest between Britain’s future world champion Lawerence Okolie and Poland’s Nikodem Jezewski, and then there’s Hughie Fury versus Mariusz Wach and Martin Bakole versus Sergey Kuzmin with the winners looking to go on to become heavyweight contenders in 2021.

Check out our best bets below and don’t miss our Joshua vs Pulev betting preview for the main event itself.

9.30pm – LAWRENCE OKOLIE V NIKODEM JEZEWSKI

This Saturday was supposed to be Okolie’s first shot at a world title but the opponent caught coronavirus, and, despite Hearn’s enticing SOS tweet requesting that top ten cruiserweights DM him, an appropriate foe couldn’t be found. So, we have Jezewski in the opposite corner and some worthless ranking belt on the line.

For Okolie, this is still a useful fight. The 2016 Olympian has only boxed 14 pro bouts and although he is unbeaten with a formidable 78% KO ratio, he’s not always impressed. The Hackney man has been accused of making fights ugly, so this is a chance to cement the work he’s been doing with new trainer Shane McGuigan, and entertain the fans.

Lawrence Okolie

Jezewski is also unbeaten and after 20 pro bouts he’s shown some decent skills and fine conditioning. The Pole was already preparing for a fight, so he shouldn’t be undercooked for this scrap, and it’s a big opportunity for him to make a splash on the big stage.

Jezewski hasn’t got any recognisable names on his ledger but he does share a common opponent with Okolie: Tamas Lodi. While the Brit blitzed Lodi in three rounds, Nik could only manage a clear-cut points victory.

The other interesting bout on the away fighter’s record is a ‘No-Contest‘ back in 2016. Jezewski originally lost via a third-round TKO but the result was overturned after both he and his victor were popped for doping.

This is the top bout on the undercard but there is a difference in levels between the boxers. Okolie has moved quickly through British, Commonwealth and European levels and he’s handled the additional pressures of headlining shows against fierce domestic rivals.

‘The Sauce’ is so hard to spoil because he’s huge, strong and packs an almighty wallop. I’d pick Okolie against everyone except the top one or two in the division, and I think he’ll turn the disappointment of missing out on winning a world title at Wembley to a spiteful performance.

Bet of the bout: Okolie rounds 3-4

9.00pm – HUGHIE FURY V MARIUSZ WACH

The slightly lesser-known heavyweight from the Fury family is a fine practitioner of the noble art but he’s yet to show he can threaten the kings and contenders of the division. Wach is closer to being top twenty than top ten, but getting past him sets up Fury for another shot at the big names.

Fury, 26, has been matched hard and he’s come up just short against former Joshua victims Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin, and the challenger to the main man this weekend, Pulev. There’s more to come from Fury and I’m confident he’s been working hard during lockdown.

Hughie Fury v Pavel Sour March 7, 2020

Wach has been around the block more than once – the 6’7″ Pole is 40 years old, he’s had 42 fights with 36 wins, and he lost on points against Wladimir Klitschko for the heavyweight championship of the world back in 2012. He’s been bested in four of his last seven but ‘The Viking’ has faced a lot of the top contenders and he’s never an easy out.

Fury is not a famed puncher and although he might have been practicing his power shots, I can’t see him stopping a man like Wach. I also can’t see the old fella landing much on Hughie and I fancy Fury to win by a wide margin.

Bet of the bout: Fury points

8.00pm – MARTIN BAKOLE V SERGEY KUZMIN

Two more tough guys looking to position themselves as worthy contenders for the trinkets of the heavyweight division are Bakole and Kuzmin. Big Bakole is a power puncher hailing from Congo but training out of Airdrie, while Kuzmin is a well-schooled Russian who doesn’t mind going punch-for-punch.

Bakole’s best win was a stoppage against Wach after seven close rounds but the honorary Scotsman was KO’d himself by Michael Hunter – a talented boxer but with only mediocre power. Kuzmin has the grit to bang with Bakole and the skills to land more than he takes.

Bet of the bout: Kuzmin KO

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Joshua v Pulev undercard tips

9.30pm: Lawrence Okolie v Nikodem Jezewski – Okloke rounds 3-4
9.00pm: Hughie Fury v Mariusz Wach – Fury points
8.00pm: Martin Bakole v Sergey Kuzmin – Kuzmin KO

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