Kell Brook v Michael Zerafa free boxing betting preview and tips

Kell Brook
Kell Brook

The boxing headlines will be made closer to home this weekend and Chris Oliver is expecting big things from both Kell Brook and Josh Kelly.

Recommended bets

2pts Kell Brook to win in rounds 5-8 at 15/8

3pts Josh Kelly to win by decision at 5/2


With a fight against Amir Khan finally looking like it could be made early next year, Kell Brook plays it safe by taking on Michael Zerafa in what could be his last bout before the domestic blockbuster.

'Special K' is a best price of 1/33 to register career win number 38 against the Australian and his hometown fans will be turning up at the Sheffield Arena anticipating more one-sided stuff.

He was a similar price on his return from 10 months out of the ring in March against Sergey Rabchenko and registered a second-round stoppage victory, so can we expect a similar outcome this time?

The younger man at 26, Zerafa boasts a record of 25-2 and arrives on an eight-fight winning streak after halting Jose Agustin Feria in the third round three months ago.

However, it looks ominous that his defeats came on his two sole outings outside of Australia, firstly a lopsided points loss to Arif Magomedov in Russia in 2014 before being stopping in five rounds by Peter Quillin a year later.

Dusting off his passport and stepping back up in class here, it's hard to see the Melbourne native pulling off a 16/1 upset.

That is unless Brook gets old overnight, as they say, but he looked sharp enough in the four or so minutes we saw of him earlier in the year and proved that he carries his power up to light middleweight with that pleasing early stoppage.

Kell Brook
Kell Brook

There were doubts about what the 32-year-old had left prior to that return after back-to-back stoppage defeats to middleweight monster Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence, both of which were painfully brutal for the loser and looked to be potentially career-shortening beatings.

Unfortunately, the Rabchenko fight didn't tell us much about what Brook has left in the tank at the top level and this outing may not either.

It should be noted that both Zerafa's defeats came up at middleweight so he should be sturdier than Rabchenko down at 154lb and he may be able to match Brook physically.

However, he is unlikely to be any sort of a match for him technically and it shouldn't be long before Brook starts unloading the heavy artillery, which is why a stoppage victory for the local fighter is only a best price of 1/4.

Round group betting looks the way to go for something closer to a working man's price and with another early night very possible, Sky Bet's standout price of 11/10 for Brook to end it before halfway is tempting.

However, the underdog's experience of mixing it with bigger men should make him tougher than Rabchenko to break down and the favourite winning in rounds 5-8 makes more appeal at 15/8.

The most interesting fight of the night is Josh Kelly's test against former world title challenger David Avanesyan, who represents a notable rise in the level of competition in just his ninth fight.

The Sunderland welterweight is arguably Britain's hottest prospect at the moment and has barely broken sweat in registering eight wins since turning professional, with his first-round blowout last month being his sixth stoppage victory. This will be much tougher, though, and is a real statement of intent so early in his career.

Such is the regard in which Kelly is held that 1/8 is the best price available for him to claim another victory, despite Avanesyan giving a very good account of himself when challenging Lamont Peterson for his WBA strap just last year as he took it to the scorecards in a competitive fight.

The Nottingham-based Russian also holds a victory over Shane Mosley in 2016, albeit a faded version of the future Hall of Famer, and he will fancy this task against an inexperienced opponent.

A sixth-round stoppage loss to Egidijus Kavaliauskas when last seen in February suggests he may be on the decline slightly, though the unbeaten Lithuanian is very heavy-handed and, at the 30-years-old, the 8/1 outsider should still carry plenty of ambition.

Kelly is likely to be asked a few serious questions but the 24-year-old is a special talent and is expected to have all the answers.

Getting the job done inside the distance would be a big statement from Kelly, yet that outcome is just 1/2 and this is only a 10-rounder, so the 5/2 available about him recording his ninth win via the scorecards makes much more appeal at 5/2, with Avanesyan fancied to use his experience to get him through some sticky moments late on.


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