Cully vs Patera Predictions: You can’t beat a bit of Cully

 | Friday 24th May 2024, 10:58am

Friday 24th May 2024, 10:58am

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Gary Cully meets Francesco Patera in an enticing lightweight clash on Saturday, May 25. The bout takes place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on the undercard of Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall II. The fight will be televised live on DAZN.

Here are my Cully vs Patera predictions ahead of a red-hot 135-pound collision.

Cully vs Patera Tips

  • Cully on points @ 10/11
  • Will the fight go the distance - Yes @ 8/11

Gary Cully is not your typical lightweight. Standing 6-foot-2, he is just an inch shorter than undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. His long reach and rangy style make him difficult for many 135-pounders to hit cleanly. But one wonders how long Cully can keep boiling down to a lightweight limit that does not suit his frame.

The matter may be starting to come to a head. Experienced Mexican Jose Felix upset him in three rounds a year ago, chopping down the big Irishman with wild hooks to secure the knockout. A 10-round split decision win over Reece Mould in his only fight since did little to convince. Many thought Mould had actually done enough to deserve the judges’ nod.

How much of this was down to the weight? Was Cully just caught against Felix and consequently gun-shy against Mould? That remains to be seen. But make no mistake, if the weight is a struggle for Cully, taking a fight with Patera is a dangerous assignment. 

The Belgian is a two-time European lightweight champion who has mixed in very good company. He went the 10-round distance with America’s highly-touted Keyshawn Davis last July, dropping a unanimous decision. 

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Former world title challenger Edis Tatli went 1-1 with Patera across two European title battles. Then-contender Yvan Mendy and popular warrior Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd are the other two men to defeat him. Not a bad resume at all, considering the Belgian has scored quality wins over Samuel Molina, Paul Hyland Jr, Lewis Ritson and Marvin Petit along the way.

Can he add Cully to this list? I believe it hinges on which Cully turns up. That might sound like an arch-cop-out, but stay with me. I promise I will be drawn into a conclusion before the end of this piece. But Cully’s comfort at lightweight and mentality following the Felix loss will be pivotal to this bout.

If ‘The Diva’ isn’t where he needs to be, physically or mentally, then Patera will beat him. The Belgian is not a fighter who allows his opponents to coast. If lightweight is proving too much of a cut, Patera will win. If Cully can’t let his shots go in fear of what might come back, Patera will win. 

There is a lot at stake here. Both of these men are world-ranked at lightweight. Cully is rated 10th by the WBA, who are supplying something called the WBA Continental lightweight title for this match-up. Patera is the current WBC number 14. Whoever wins this will get a chance to kick on at world level, while the loser could drop out of the ratings altogether.

Cully should have enough to get through this challenge. I think it could be closer than many expect, depending on how much he has shaken off the shackles. But Patera, for all his talent, is no power-puncher. I don’t think he’ll chin-check Cully in the same way Felix did. I’m going for ‘The Diva’ to rack up the points, easing into the fight as he gets his groove back. I don’t think he’s stopping Patera. Better men have tried and failed. But I’m backing him at 10/11 to pick up a points decision in Leeds.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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