Boxing And MMA Heavyweights Set For A Thumping Weekend Of Action

By Ian John
March 24, 2021
boxing betting

It is not often that you get to enjoy a weekend of top quality heavyweight action, but how about a weekend where there are two heavyweight clashes in two different combat sports taking place on the same evening? Well this weekend, we have that very scenario playing out.

First up from Gibraltar, Russian fighter Alexander Povetkin will take on British brawler Dillian Whyte in a rematch from their bout back in August 2020. Povetkin scored a spectacular, and unexpected knockout victory in that bout, forcing Whyte to use his rematch clause to get a second bout organised a short time later. Whoever wins that fight will have designs on going on to face either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury for one of the heavyweight title belts later on in the year.

The second fight of the night is the headline event at UFC 260 and it too is a rematch. Heavywewight World Champion Stipe Miocic will defend his belt against Francis Ngannou just a couple of years on from beating the same opponent by a unanimous decision. However, experts reckon Ngannou is in much better shape this time around to land the win and that this time around, things could be a great deal closer.

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The United States is a country that has a long heritage with boxing, and it is the spiritual home of the UFC too, so interest in both these heavyweight clashes is going to be huge across the United States. If you are living in the country and want to know what the situation is regarding sports betting in your state, or just want the latest sports betting news and promotions, then check out the fantastic new site bestbetusa.com.

Let’s now shift our focus back to the two big fights this weekend and we will tackle them in chronological order, starting with the heavyweight boxing clash which is taking place in Gibraltar and which features a rematch between two men hoping to put themselves in a position to challenge for any, or all, of the heavyweight championship belts in the near future.

Heavyweight Boxing

Alexander Povetkin v Dillian Whyte

Back in August 2020, these two fighters battled it out and it was largely expected that Dillian Whyte would land another win to confirm himself as the major contender to the heavyweight title crown for either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury to contend with along the line.

However, things did not turn out quite that way. Despite dropping Povetkin to the canvas early on in the fight on two separate occasions, Whyte could not put the Russian away and despite dominating the fight, it was the Russian that landed the knockout win.

In the fifth round Whyte, who had not long since parted with long-time trainer Mark Tibbs, was caught by a fantastic uppercut from Povetkin, which knocked him to the floor and out cold. The referee stopped the contest almost immediately and Povetkin was declared the surprise winner.

Unsurprisingly, not long after the fight Whyte announced that he intended to use the rematch clause in his contract for the fight to try and rectify things as he saw them. Povetkin, with no other real option, accepted and the rematch was set for Gibraltar on the 27th March.

By now talk of a Fury v Joshua unification bout had been growing and there is a very real chance that the winner of this fight, or perhaps Alexander Usyk, could be the man to take on the first unified heavyweight world champion in many years.

Despite his victory over Whyte in the last contest, Bet365 still have the Russian as the 5/2 underdog to land the victory here. Those are tempting odds for a fighter that not only beat his opponent just a few months back, but who has only lost once in his career so far.

The stakes are higher for Whyte who knows that another defeat here could well be fatal to his hopes of earning a shot at any heavyweight title belt. The British fighter is a 2/7 favourite to earn a revenge win and there was no doubt that before the knockout, he was clearly dominating the fight.

I don’t expect Whyte to make the same mistakes that he made in that first fight and I am backing him to gain revenge and land the win here. I am backing Whyte to win by a knockout (4/6 with bet365 relatively early and I think a third-round stoppage (which is a 16/1 shot with bet365) is a good value bet.

He won’t want Povetkin hanging around too long again after what happened last time, so expect Whyte to press home any advantage early.

Once this fight is over it will be time to turn attention to the action happening in the US as UFC 260’s main event gets underway with two of the biggest stars in the organisation battling it out for one of its most coveted crowns.

UFC 260 – Heavyweight Championship Fight

Stipe Miocic v Francis Ngannou

The next big clash of the heavyweights takes place a few hours later as Stipe Miocic, the current UFC World Heavyweight Champion takes on Francis Ngannou once again with the world title crown on the line.

The two first met back in January 2018 and on that night, it was Miocic who came out on top. The part-time firefighter and UFC star defending his world title with a very dominant performance throughout all five rounds, with all three judges awarding Miocic all of the five rounds in what was a rare off-night for Ngannou.

Miocic then went on to lose his belt in his next fight against Daniel Cormier, but he then regained it in a rematch with the same opponent a short time later. A third fight between the two would seemingly settle the impasse but this time, Miocic made no mistake landing his second straight win against the same opponent and ending the trilogy in emphatic style.

Meanwhile, Ngannou was resurrecting his career with four outstanding wins in a row against high quality opponents Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Three of those victories earned him a performance of the night bonus given the powerful and frightening way he despatched his opponents using his raw punching power.

It seemed that the two fighters were destined to lock horns once again for the world title and so it has proved with the two of them locking horns this weekend. Only this time, the bookmakers feel that this fight could potentially have a very different outcome.

Unusually for a heavyweight fight, the champion is the underdog in the betting with Miocic rated an even money bet to retain his title, while the hard-hitting Ngannou is ranked at 4/5 with bet365 Sport at the time of writing.

There are a couple of factors affecting these odds. The general feeling is that Miocic is starting to show some signs of slowing down in his career and in contrast to that, since their last fight, Ngannou has looked much stronger, more powerful and more dangerous. Many of his wins coming by way of an explosive knockout since that first fight between the pair.

However, by the same token, Miocic will have learned a lot from his trilogy of fights with Cormier and that experience could well stand him in good stead in what should be a cracking bout between two men who pack a powerful punch. One of which could end the fight in an instant.

The bookies suggest that this will be a close one and I agree. Miocic’s MMA pedigree means that he can try and diffuse some of Ngannou’s raw power using other techniques, but whether he can stay out of reach of Ngannou for the fight this time around is unclear.

As such, I think this is going to be a very close one but I don’t think it will go to the judges’ scorecards this time around. I am backing Ngannou to land the win by KO, which is an even money shot with bet365.

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