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Why Bridgerweight Is the Right Idea and Why Bettors Should Embrace It

Boxing purists hate it. But the new bridgerweight division consistently finds its way into the news. Last month, Lawrence Okolie became the newest WBC bridgerweight title with a scintillating first-round knockout. And now there is talk of a potential “superfight” between him and former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

Boxing odds for this hypothetical matchup will likely show up at our sportsbook. But whether it happens or not, the weight class is here to stay.

Why Bridgerweight Is the Right Idea and Why Bettors Should Embrace It
Lawrence Okolie of the United Kingdom in Rzeszow | ANDRZEJ IWANCZUK / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP

 

 

Bridgerweight Opens New Doors to Bet on Boxing

You have to love boxing fans. They are arguably the most passionate and faithful group of fans… or they just love to hate on everything from officiating to new things such as the bridgerweight division. Created in 2020 and named after Bridger Walker, a brave six-year-old lad who saved his baby sister from a pitbull attack, the division has generated ire from both fans and pundits.

But they are being shortsighted. Sure, many of their claims have some weight. The new division may water down the already-thin heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions. This is a shallow marketing ploy from the WBC. And this division makes it only more confusing for new fans because 18 divisions is a lot more than boxing’s household names.

And yet, why not bridgerweight? It gives plenty of boxers like Okolie and Wilder a shot at becoming champions again. The former was too big for cruiserweight and the latter was too slight for heavyweight.

“When you’re walking around at 118 kilograms (260 lbs.), cruiserweight isn’t happening,” Okolie told Boxing Scene. “Even now I have to make bridgerweight, but it’s a lot nicer weight cut.”

Wilder, on the flip side, weighed in as low as 214 lbs. Compared to his last three opponents who weighed in at 245+ lbs, he was giving up significant weight. His last opponent, Zhang Zhilei, had to cut weight to get to the heavyweight limit of 265 lbs. Zhang weighed closer to 300 lbs. During their clash. Wilder lost by KO.

With the new division, Okolie and Wilder can now pursue newer opportunities.

 

Okolie vs Wilder? Yes, Please!

An Okolie-Wilder bout will sell, easily. While Okolie is not yet a household name outside of his native Britain, Deontay Wilder is still a star. In fact, Wilder was offered a title shot despite getting smashed by Zhang. He may be on the verge of retirement. But maybe he can go for one last title run in a weight division against similarly-sized opponents. And he may not be the only cat thinking of this.

 

 

“There are going to be a lot of heavyweights out there with big names, who are not huge, who are going to be thinking ‘Am I ever going to win the heavyweight world championship in the near future? Maybe not, but I can be world champion if I take on Lawrence Okolie’,” former champion George Groves told Sky Sports.

“I think, maybe, Wilder is the sort of character who goes ‘I’m such a big name, I’m a former heavyweight world champion, I can’t see me just getting a shot at a heavyweight world title any time soon, but why not become a two-weight world champion by fighting at bridgerweight?”

We have several up-and-comers at heavyweight like Agit Kabayel and Michael Hunter. At cruiserweight, established names like Richard Riakporhe (who has history with Okolie) or even Mairis Briedis could make the move up.

Additionally, current champions like Jai Opetaia and Oleksandr Usyk could meet here in the “middle” for a legitimate superfight. It’s unlikely to happen now. But given the run of high-profile boxing matches, we won’t rule it out.

In the meantime, fans can bet on bridgerweight bouts like any other weight class. We’ll hold our breath on any prospective superfights in the division. Keep checking the sportsbook for any updates.

 

 

Questions of the Day

Will Deontay Wilder fight Lawrence Okolie?


This bout is still in the works and there is no guarantee it will take place. However, it may eventually happen.

What are the odds on a Wilder-Okolie bout?


The BetUS sportsbook has yet to offer odds on a potential bout between Deonty Wilder and Lawrence Okolie. But don’t expect a significant favorite.

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