Tony Bellew vs Ilunga Makabu Preview May 29th
Tony Bellew will be hoping it’s third time lucky in world title fights when he takes on Ilunga Makabu of the Congo for the vacant WBC Cruiserweight Championship this Sunday, May 29th at Goodison Park in his hometown of Liverpool, England. Bellew was previously beaten in a light heavyweight title shots when WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson stopped him six in 2013 and Nathan Cleverly beat him by majority decision for the WBO crown in 2011. Bellew last fought in December and beat Mateusz Masternak by 12-round unanimous decision while Makabu stopped Thabiso Mchunu in the 11th round last May. The bout can be seen live in the UK on Sky Sports.
Bellew vs Makabu Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Tony Bellew +140
- Ilunga Makubu -160
The 33-year-old Bellew is a former European and British champion who enters the ring with a record of 26-2-1 with 16 Kos. Bellew moved up to the cruiserweight division after Stevenson stopped him in November of 2013, but he hasn’t taken on any Grade A boxers in his new division. He’s taken on the likes of Masternak, Arturs Kulikauskis, Valery Brudov, Ivica Bacurin and Julio Cesar Dos Santos instead. His draw came back in 2013 against Isaac Chilemba in the light heavyweight division. Bellew has beaten some good boxers in his career as he won decisions in rematches against Chilemba and Cleverly and also beat Edison Miranda by a ninth-round TKO in 2012.
The 29-year-old Makabu was originally scheduled to meet former WBC Cruiserweight king Grigory Drozd, but it was canceled because of an injury to Drozd. The WBC stripped the title from Drozd, but he earn a shot at his old title by taking on the winner of the Bellew vs Makabu tilt. Makabu is a hard-hitting southpaw who has a record of 19-1 with 18 Kos and now fights out of South Africa. The only boxer to go the distance with Makabu was Dmytro Kucher, who lost a 12-round majority decision to him in 2013. The African’s one and only loss came in his debut back in 2008 when Khayeni Hlungwane knocked him out just 29 seconds into his pro career.
Makabu has fought 85 rounds since then and has a very impressive knockout ratio of 90 per cent. Makabu has fought limited opposition though with his best wins being over Glen Johnson and Eric Fields. Bellew turned pro in 2007 and has 194 rounds under his belt. He’s not an overly-powerful puncher and his current knockout ratio is 55 per cent. He stands 6-feet-3-inches tall and has a 74-inch reach. BoxRec has no height and reach stats available for Makabu but he’s reportedly 6-foot-2 with a reach of about 75 inches. What is known is that both he and Bellew have good technical skills and like to press the action, but Makabu would rather stop his opponent than go to the scorecards.
This is a tough fight to call and the outcome will likely be decided by the strength of Bellew’s chin. That might not bode well for the Liverpudlian though since his chin has been questionable up until now. Regardless of his opposition, Makabu has power and it could be the difference. However, if Bellew can stand up to it, then he’ll have the edge if it goes to the scorecards. I think Makabu will eventually catch up to the hometown fighter though and stop him for the title.
This will all comedown to Makabu’s power and Bellew’s chin.
Play: Makabu -160 @ BetOnline.ag
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Ilunga Makabu betting • Tony Bellew betting