As a quick glimpse at online sportsbook sites in Ukraine confirms, boxing fans have until July 21 to convert their predictions into financial profit. Let us look at the factors that could potentially decide the bout.
Gassiev to have the home advantage, after all
The fight was originally planned to take place in Saudi Arabia, but that was changed after the event had to be rescheduled because of a “minor elbow injury” Usyk suffered. The Ukrainian boxer had originally said he would be willing to fight Gassiev anywhere but on his opponent’s home turf. He ironically stated, “of course, it [the fight] could take place in Russia, but then [it] would be without Oleksandr Usyk.”
It seems that he got an offer that was too tempting to be refused, because the event will after all be in Moscow. Gassiev claims that the location will not give him any advantage over Usyk, and most Usyk vs Gassiev betting previews believe him: they did not take this change into consideration when analyzing the boxers’ chances.
However, it is no coincidence that Usyk was extremely reluctant to accept a Russian venue. Should the fight go the distance, judges could easily score in favor of the home champion.
Other factors influencing our Usyk vs Gassiev betting preview
Of course, it is not guaranteed that the fight will last 12 rounds. Both contenders are, after all, knockout artists: 11 of Usyk’s 14 wins and 19 of Gassiev’s 26 victories ended with a KO. (Incidentally, both are undefeated.)
No Usyk vs Gassiev betting preview can hide the fact that even online betting sites in Russia suggest that Usyk has better chances of leaving the ring with another victory. At Bet365 Sportsbook, for instance, Usyk’s odds are 1.57 compared to Gassiev’s 2.37. That preference is due to Usyk’s being a more well-established name. However, Gassiev has been very active lately. He is still the less experienced of the two, but undoubtedly has everything he needs to upset the official Usyk vs Gassiev betting odds.
The bout will a nail-biter: the boxers’ extremely heavy hands could immediately end the encounter should one of the contenders make a single mistake. There will also be an exciting difference in strategy. As Gassiev himself told reporters, his opponent relies on “a lot of movement,” while he tends to apply “more pressure.”
The encounter is expected be close, much closer than what the difference between Usyk’s and Gassiev’s official odds suggest. Since this is a toss-up fight where bookies nevertheless noticeably favor one contestant over the other, we would recommend placing a bit of money on Gassiev in the hopes of receiving the higher increase (2.37).