Britain’s top heavyweight, Tyson Fury, returns to action tomorrow (Saturday, February 28, 2015) in London as he faces Germany’s Christian Hammer at the O2 Arena. As is to be expected, Fury is a big (-1450) favorite over Hammer, who comes back at (+950). The over/under for the scheduled twelve round bout is set at 9 1/2, with the over paying at (+205) and the under returning (-245). Fury is the mandatory defense for World Champion Wladimir Klitschko, and that fight is going to be pushed heavily for the second half of 2015. With Klitschko booked to fight in the United States, in April, Fury was forced to take a fight to avoid sitting idle. Now in Hammer, you get a fighter who has not lost a fight since December of 2010, and who is on a nice ten fight winning streak. Hammer is on the short side at 6’2, and he is going to have trouble getting inside on Fury, whose height and reach advantages are going to be pronounced. Fury has also advanced to the point where he is a better technical fighter than Hammer, as he displayed a good range of motion and an ability to vary his stances in his last outing against Dereck Chisora. What is more telling is that he stopped Chisora in their November outing, whereas the two men had gone the distance in their first meeting. Fury could use an impressive stoppage here to build heat for the impending match-up with Klitschko. There is a lot to be worked out between the two men as both will look to maximize their income. A big win for Fury would help his cause. Also on the card is an interim WBA World Middleweight title fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Dmitry Chudinov. Right now the line for that fight sees Eubank Jr favored at (-255), with the return on Chudinov coming in at (+215). The over/under is 10 1/2, with the over paying (-210) and the under at (+175). Chudinov started his career off in the United States, and he has experience fighting in England as he is (1-0-1) in his two bouts in the UK. For his last three fights, Chudinov returned to his native Russia, where he captured the interim belt in December of 2013 with a KO win over Juan Camilo Novoa. He has since defended the belt twice, earning wins over Patrick Neilsen and Mehdi Bouadla. But Eubank Jr is the favorite in this fight for more reasons than just the home cooking. Eubank is coming off a split decision loss to rival Billy Joe Saunders that gave him the only blemish on his (18-1) record. Being a second generation son of a British boxing legend, promoter Frank Warren is seen to be looking to get Eubank Jr back on track with a piece of a world title. Interestingly, Saunders is not booked to fight, and a re-match with Eubank Jr would certainly be made much more glossy if Eubank came with a piece of a world title. Though Eubank is in for a tough fight, he has an edge in speed and in the polish of his boxing game, which should win out the day. The live event has nine total bouts scheduled, and with a slew of regional titles, there are two more twelve round bouts scheduled and there are also three ten rounders planned. Several undefeated or once beaten British prospects such as Liam Walsh (17-0) and Bradley Skeete (18-1) are booked for fights, so more lines could appear at the books as the fights get closer.
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