Fight night flutters
Sky Bet's Jamie Casey gives his tips on this weekend's action at the Copper Box Arena.
By Jamie Casey - Follow: @SkyJamieCasey. Last Updated: 17/02/14 9:58am
Dereck Chisora: Tops the bill at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday
Heavyweight duo Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury are in action on the same card at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday and a win for each should set up a rematch between the pair later this year.
Both fighters are much improved since Fury scored a unanimous decision over Chisora in 2011, and they're each odds-on to win against their respective American opponents this weekend.
Chisora will look to carry his form from last year into 2014 as he takes on Kevin Johnson, a former victim of Fury's.
The Finchley fighter produced four stoppage wins in 2013 and looked in the best shape of his career as he bounced back from defeat to David Haye in ruthless fashion.
Chisora will do well to force a fifth straight win inside the distance though, as Johnson has never been stopped in his 34-fight career.
Even Vitali Klitschko failed to stop Johnson back in 2009, when the 34-year-old was at his peak, meaning Chisora to win inside the distance should perhaps be overlooked at around 3/1.
The American will provide a stern workout for the home favourite (1/6) and may have some success with the jab due to his much superior reach, boasting eight inches on Chisora in that respect.
However, Chisora's brutal body shots should force Johnson to backtrack and enable the favourite to take control, but if he is to force a stoppage it's likely to come in the later rounds.
Therefore, the stand-out bet looks to be the double chance on the favourite under Sky Bet's Fight Handicap - Chisora to win either in rounds 8-12 or on points, which is only marginally shorter than the 30-year-old to win on points (8/15).
Before all that, 1/20 favourite Fury will be out to show he's not suffering from ring rust as he fights for the first time since April last year.
As his previously scheduled bout with David Haye was cancelled on two occasions, the 25-year-old has not performed since stopping Steve Cunningham in New York almost 10 months ago.
In contrast, Fury's opponent Abell was in action as recently as December, though he suffered a loss to Kubrat Pulev inside five rounds despite flooring the fearsome, unbeaten Bulgarian.
Although he has seven losses to his name, the American is a big hitter, emphasised by the 28 knockouts from 29 wins on his record, and he could catch Fury if he's allowed to tee off. Sky Bet offer 6/1 on Fury hitting the canvas and 16/1 for it to happen in the opening round.
Fury has great heart, though, as he showed when getting up to win after natural cruiserweight Cunningham put him down with a big right hand at Maddison Square Garden Theatre.
It would be no surprise to see the Manchester-born heavyweight get off the floor and go on to win for a third time in his 21-0 career.
Meanwhile, five of Fury's last six fights have gone under eight rounds, making that odds-on to come in once more in this 10-round bout, but the favourite to win in rounds 1-5 may be prove better value.