Chisora v Usyk Produces Heavyweight Profits for Bookmakers
The fight between Britain’s Derek Chisora and Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk proved to be profitable for operators. The fight went the distance, causing all round-betting bets to be losers.
Saturday night’s heavyweight clash between Chisora and Usyk was heavily backed by punters and is the main focus in our betting week review; the Premier League also provided plenty of surprises which is good news for operators.
Chisora’s Last Chance to Become a Great?
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, high-profile fights have been few and far between. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the heavyweight clash between Britain’s Derek Chisora and Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk attracted a lot of attention and bets.
Derek Chisora, whose fighting moniker is Del Boy had previously fought 41 bouts. With the 36-year-old starting his professional career in 2007, fighting Istvan Kecskes at Wembley Arena, a fight he won by a TKO. The Finchley fighter then went on a 14-fight winning streak, claiming the BBBofC British Heavy Title in 2010 by beating Danny Williams. He retained his title in September of that year, beating Sam Sexton by way of a knockout. Chisora lost his first fight the following year, a certain Tyson Fury winning by unanimous decision to take his title.
He won his comeback fight against Remigijus Ziausys on points before losing three title fights in quick succession. These were against; Robert Helenius (World Boxing Association Inter-Continental Heavy Title), Vitali Klitschko (World Boxing Council World Heavy Title) and Britain’s David Haye (vacant World Boxing Organisation International Heavy Title).
Chisora suffered further defeats when fighting for the vacant EBU European Heavy Title against Kubrat Pulev, EBU European Heavy Title. He lost against Agit Kabayel for the EBU European Heavy Title and Dillian Whyte for the World Boxing Organisation International Heavy Title two years ago.
Despite picking up the vacant World Boxing Organisation Inter-Continental Heavy Title by beating David Price last year, many felt this title defence against Usyk was the Briton’s last chance to be considered a credible challenger for a world heavyweight title. As with all British fighters, punters were happy to back home-grown talent.
Punters Bet Heavily on a Fight Stoppage
Pre-fight, few Chisora fans expected this bout to go the distance and with good reason. In Chisora’s previous 41 fights he had knocked out his opponent on 23 occasions, a telling stat of the punching power of the fighter. He also had a huge weight advantage over his opponent, at the weigh-I, Chisora was almost three stone heavier than his opponent (Chisora 18st 3lbs compared to Usyk’s 15st 7lbs).
Therefore, many punters predicted an early win for Chisora in rounds 1-5 due to his ability to stop an opponent with one punch. Alternatively, plenty of bets were placed on Ukraine’s undefeated Olympic gold medallist winning in the later stages due to the heavier man’s lack of stamina and the likelihood of the Briton punching himself out. The result was just about the perfect one for the bookmakers with the fight going the distance. The judges scored the fight 117-112, 115-113 and 115-113 in favour of the Ukrainian. Meaning all bets of a stoppage were lost, as were bets that predicted which round the fight would end and of course, any placed on the well-backed Briton.
Premier League Once Again the Bookies Darling
Football betting is the most popular sport for betting, and last year 46% of the £2.121bn spent on sports betting in the UK was placed on football bets. The vast majority of these bets were placed on the Premier League; therefore, any surprise results greatly benefit the bookmakers. And this season there has been plenty of shocks, and matchday 7 was no different.
Friday night’s game between Wolves and Crystal Palace could have gone either way, a win for either team would see them go into the top three, as both teams were sitting on ten points before kick-off. It was, however, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side that claimed the three points with a 2-0 win over Palace, with teenager Rayan Ait-Nouri scoring on his Wolves debut.
Saturday was quite a routine day for punters with Manchester City easing out Sheffield United; the only surprise was the scoreline. It was much lower than most people predicted, City beating the Yorkshire club by a solitary goal scored by Sheffield United fanatic Kyle Walker.
The 3 pm kick-off between struggling Burnley & Chelsea produced more goals, all for the visitors as the Blues dispatched Sean Dyche’s side 3-0 with goals from Ziyech (26’), Zouma (63’) and Werner (70’). The late kick-off between Liverpool and West Ham also went to form; the champions won at Anfield 2-1. They did, however, have to fight back from an early Pablo Fornals’ goal (10’) with a penalty from Salah in the 42nd minute and the winner from substitute Diogo Jota, who scored for the third straight game to put Liverpool top of the table.
Sunday was a better day for the bookies. Aston Villa, who dispatched Liverpool before the international break 7-2, were soundly beaten by Southampton. Southampton was coasting 4-0 before three late goals by the Midlands team gave the scoreline a degree of respectability.
The biggest surprise of the weekend came in the game between previous league leaders Everton v Newcastle. Callum Wilson scored twice to give Newcastle their first win in three matches in a 2-1 win. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late goal couldn’t prevent manager Ancelotti losing back-to-back games for the first time as Everton manager and the first time he’s suffered such a fate since 2014, back when he was the manager of Real Madrid. It was a defeat that would see Everton drop to third later as Tottenham beat Brighton 2-0 in the late kick-off. Former fan favourite Gareth Bale scored the winner for his Spurs goal since May 2013.
It wasn’t all good news for the bookmakers this weekend though. In horseracing, on Saturday in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, Cyrname had been 5/4 earlier in the week but slipped to 3/1. The horse easily won, and Royal Encore’s win was bad news. Things got even worse in Sunday’s racing, seven winning favourites from eight races at Huntingdon cost the bookies dear.