Bruno faces a fight against the odds

SPORTS BETTING
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The Independent Online
The good news for Frank Bruno as he prepares for next weekend's rematch with Mike Tyson is that while Ladbrokes rated him a 4-1 chance first time around, they now make him 11-4. The bad news is that Tyson is still an all but unbackable favourite, at 1-4.

Indeed, Coral found punters willing to take even that price on Friday and cut the challenger's odds to 1-5. For all the question marks over Tyson's form, and all the talk of how Bruno is better than ever, few people truly believe that big Frank will still be the world champion on Sunday morning.

None the less, bookmakers expect a new record for turnover on a single fight, of anything up to pounds 5m. Many of those wagers will surely ride on Bruno, "just in case". Others will attempt to pick the round in which the contest will end.

The British fighter's technique has improved since their first encounter in 1989, while Tyson cannot still be the fighter he once was. Yet still you will get no better than 12-1 on Bruno being stopped in any of the first eight rounds.

The prices are, of course, far larger for a Bruno win inside the distance, but it is hardly surprising as the champion has never stopped a fighter of any serious merit. Even in the euphoria following his defeat of Oliver McCall, meanwhile, it was impossible not to question the American's application.

Mike Tyson is all but certain to prevail, but far too short to be worth backing. Should Bruno pull off a remarkable upset, punters should simply enjoy the moment - backing him too would be greedy.

TYSON v BRUNO (Las Vegas, 17 March): 1-4 Tyson (Ladbrokes, Hills), 100- 30 Bruno (Coral), 50-1 draw. Points win: 15-2 Tyson (Coral), 10-1 Bruno (Ladbrokes). ROUND-BY-ROUND (Ladbrokes): Tyson: Round 1 14-1; 2 12-1; 3 11-1; 4 10-1; 5 8-1; 6 8-1; 7 10-1; 8 12-1; 9 18-1; 10 28-1; 11 33-1; 12 33-1. Bruno: Round 1 25-1; 2 25-1; 3 20-1; 4 20-1; 5 20-1; 6 25-1; 7 33-1; 8 40-1; 9 50-1; 10 50-1; 11 66-1; 12 66-1.

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