Tony Bellew vs Valery Brudov preview March 15
British boxer Tony Bellew will be making his debut in the cruiserweight division this Saturday, March 15 when he takes on Valery Brudov of Russia. The 12-round bout is for the vacant WBO International Cruiserweight Title and will be taking place at the Echo Arena in Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool. The 31-year-old Bellew enters the contest with a record of 20-2-1 with 12 Kos while the 37-year-old Brudov climbs into the ring with a mark of 41-4 with 28 Kos. The bout will be broadcast by Sky Sports in the UK.
The odd thing about this fight is that Brudov’s a light heavyweight not a cruiserweight. Therefore there’s not really much sense in moving up a division to test your skills against a heavier fighter unless Bellew simply couldn’t or didn’t want to make the 175 lb light heavyweight limit anymore. Bellew didn’t fare too well in his last outing when he travelled to Montreal, Canada to challenge WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson.
Bellew was blown out in six rounds by the champion in the November bout and he’s told the British press that he will retire if he can’t beat the aging Brudov. He could be making a big mistake if he stays in the cruiserweight division since he doesn’t really have the chin to stand up against elite power punchers. Luckily for him, we can’t call Brudov an elite boxer even though he’s got a decent record and power.
However, Brudov hasn’t fought a good contender since he was stopped by Ola Afolabi in the fifth round back in March, 2012. He’s beaten a couple of boxers in his last two bouts that had a combined record of 8-53. Brudov was also stopped in 11 rounds by Guillermo Jones in 2010 and back in 2006 Virgil Hill beat him by a unanimous decision. Brudov’s other loss came against Firat Arslan in 2007 when he dropped a 12-round split decision.
Like many other boxer’s Brudov just can’t manage to get over the hump when he steps up in class and it’s been that way since he turned pro 15 years ago. But perhaps the same could be said of Bellew as he lost to Stevenson and drew with Isaac Chilemba before beating him in a rematch. He did stop Edison Miranda in nine rounds in 2012, but lost a 12-round majority decision t Nathan Cleverley a year later.
The current cruiserweight champions are Guillermo Jones, Marco Huck and Yoan Pablo Hernandez and for Bellew to earn a shot against any of these fighters he’s going to have to beat the likes of Brudov in impressive fashion.
Both boxers stand about 6-foot-3 so there isn’t much of a size difference. Brudov has relatively fast hands and is quite mobile in the ring. However, Bellew isn’t that easy to hit, unless his opponent happens to be Adonis Stevenson. This is a huge fight for Bellew since he’ll slide down the rankings with another loss, especially to a 37-year-old who’s past his prime. Bellew will be fighting in front of his home fans and he should take this fight by a unanimous decision or late stoppage.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights with a Bellew win being listed at -2000 and a Brudov victory at +1000. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the bouts.