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Bellew Defends WBC Belt Against Mandatory Challenger Flores

Posted by David King on 10/9/2016 7:52:58 AM

Liverpool, England's Tony Bellew repeatedly fell short during his campaign at light heavyweight, to the dismay of British boxing betting fans.

He was pulled in to deep waters by Ovill McKenzie and decisioned by Nathan Cleverly when he first tried to step up to the world level in 2011. After three wins, he drew with Isaac Chilemba and then beat him by decision to earn a WBC title shot against Adonis Stevenson. The Canadian swept him up in November 2013, winning via TKO in the sixth round.

The loss prompted a move up to cruiserweight, a 25-lb increase, and it has turned out for the better for Bellew. His punching power has evidently survived the added poundage, with four KO wins coming in his first five bouts. Points wins against rival Cleverly and EBU champ Mateusz Masternak set him up for a vacant WBC title fight against knockout artist Illunga "Junior" Makabu from the Congo.

Makabu, favored among insiders following a ferocious win streak in which he knocked out 18 of 19 adversaries, opened the bout hot; decking Bellew with a hard left hook. He broke Bellew's nose and was doing damage, but the Liverpudlian held on to unload on a depleted Makabu and put him to sleep in the third.

His route to the title was a calamitous one, and he's sure not to give it up easy.

BJ Flores, 37, lost the lone title bout of his thirteen year pro career against Danny Green in 2010. The NBC boxing commentator has had a fascinating career marred by inactivity. With that said, he is 7-1 in his last eight fights and holds a six inch reach advantage over Bellew.

Flores would be best advised to establish his jab early. If he can put in some body work and hold the bout at center ring early, he may be able to afford a little cat-and-mouse later on as Bellew desperately pursues from behind.

Bellew's power could be the difference. In his last significant bout, former 175-lb champ Beibut Shumenov put Flores on the back pedal for much of their fight. I think Bellew backs Flores up and tires him out towards a sixth round knockout. Get ready boxing betting fans, this is going to be good. Check the sportsbook for current odds.

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