Boxing Tips: 3 Chisora v Pulev best bets +a bonus pick from the USA

Our tipster Matt Gipon weighs in on another heavyweight clash.

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

The big time boxing event this weekend is the fight between storied sluggers Dereck Chisora and Kubrat Pulev at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. There isn’t a title on the line, and there shouldn’t have to be – this is a fun fight between two heavyweight prizefighters.

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Paddy is putting on a full spread of boxing markets and we’ve picked out the three best bets on the colossal clash in London, and there’s also a bonus tip on the fascinating featherweight world title showdown between Mark Magsayo and Rey Vargas in America.

Saturday 10pm: Dereck Chisora v Kubrat Pulev

TV: DAZN

If you didn’t know you wanted a rematch between Chisora and Pulev you weren’t the only one – the first fight in 2016 didn’t go down in the heavyweight humdingers hall of fame – but the veteran big men are still plugging away at pugilism and if they’ve lost any skills they haven’t lost their fire.

Going into the European championship contest six years ago Chisora was already considered to be past his best, but some spiky interactions before the bout brought an edge to the Brit in the ring. As usual, ‘Del Boy’ marauded forward, while Pulev implemented what he calls the ‘European style’ of jab and hold.

The ref and judges in Germany that night favoured the spoiling tactics of the Bulgarian but the wider boxing world felt that Chisora’s volume and effort to force the fight should have given him the decision.

Chisora Pulev

CHISORA TO WIN

Not too much has changed for Dereck, 38, in recent times – the Londoner has lost his last three fights but all have been close, competitive points defeats, and those losses were to outstanding current champ Oleksandr Usyk and twice to former titleholder Joseph Parker.

For Pulev, 41, form and style haven’t changed much either – in 2020 the eastern European hardman was stopped by Anthony Joshua after some combative rounds, but he bounced back with a clear unanimous decision victory over career mid-level American Jerry Forrest.

There’s still plenty of needle between the big boys, and there’s no doubt that both really want to win – the victor will surely get another huge fight and hefty paycheck – but a loss definitely doesn’t sting like it used to. This time Finchley’s finest has home advantage and the fans singing “Oooh Dereck Chisora” could be enough to get him over the line with a Chisora Win.

CHISORA KO/TKO

In a pro career spanning 13 years and 31 bouts, Pulev has only ever been beaten twice – in 2014 unified champ Wladimir Klitschko battered him in five rounds and in 2020 Joshua flattened him in the ninth. Realistically, the Bulgarian’s best win was against Chisora or, possibly, decisioning Hughie Fury four years ago.

Dereck has managed to rack up 12 losses in his career but only three by KO, and that means his current barren run of points defeats won’t concern him too much. Chisora has a level and the very best guys will always beat him, but the only fighters to clearly outclass him are Tyson Fury, Vitali Klitschko and David Haye.

I think this battle will be more violent than the first, with Chisora finding the target more often and Pulev meeting fire with fire. Both of the away fighter’s losses have come inside the distance, while nine of the Brit’s last 10 victories have been by KO – in 2016 Dereck was ‘Del Boy’, now he’s ‘War’ Chisora and a KO/TKO win is a real possibility.

Kubrat Pulev

CHISORA TO WIN IN ROUND 4 – 6

Although he’s had his losses, Chisora has been fighting regularly at the highest level. Pulev, on the other hand, faced Joshua at the end of 2020 and since then he’s fought one round with MMA legend Frank Mir in a triangle ring and 10 rounds with heavyweight also-ran Forrest.

Clearly there’s some wear-and-tear on Chisora, but Pulev is three years his senior. Pulev has been knocked down early before and there’s a chance that age and inactivity have further diminished his resistance – Dereck does his damage early and if you want big odds look for Chisora to win in rounds 4-6.

AND ACROSS THE POND…

Sunday 3am: Mark Magsayo v Rey Vargas – Vargas by points or decision

The Alamodome, San Antonio, hosts the 126-pound title fight between rough-and-ready Filipino Mark Magsayo and back-foot beanpole Rey Vargas. Magsayo won the strap via a shock mixed decision win over long reigning champ Gary Russell in January, while Vargas was a titleholder in the division below between 2017 and 2019.

Paddy is struggling to split these two but I think the Mexican brings the class to the contest – where Magsayo was a bit fortunate to meet a rusty Russell who picked up an injury during their fight, Vargas has beaten several world class boxers. Vargas has won on points in his last seven contests and he’s good value to do it again this weekend.

Boxing Tips

Saturday 10pm: Dereck Chisora v Kubrat Pulev
Chisora to Win
Chisora by KO/TKO
Chisora to Win in Rounds 4-6

Sunday 3am: Mark Magsayo v Rey Vargas
Vargas by points or decision

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

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