Joshua to pick up first title with fourth round stoppage win

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A year on from making his debut at the same venue Anthony Joshua (9-0-0) continues his rise to heavyweight boxing glory at London’s O2 Arena against Denis Bakhtov (38-9-0).

In just the 24-year-old’s ninth professional fight he will face his sternest test against the Russian for the vacant WBC International heavyweight belt but we expect him to pass it with flying colours.

And that is represented in Ladbrokes’ fight odds with the Watford fighter the overwhelming favourite at 1/33 for victory, with Bakhtov the 12/1 outsider for an upset.

Despite Bakhtov’s only stoppage since 2005 coming on cuts against former potential David Haye opponent Manuel Charr, Joshua is 1/16 to win by KO or TKO or Disqualification and is as long as 8/1 to win by a decision.

That’s why we are looking at the round betting when picking out our best bet for the heavyweight action at the Greenwich peninsula.

No fighter has taken the 2012 Olympic gold medallist past the third round but that could change on Saturday night with his 34-year-old opponent proving a durable character against some good names in the heavyweight division.

With development and rounds under the belt the key for Joshua at this stage of his career it could be wise to back the British heavyweight to take his time against his 5ft 11in opponent.

It’s unlikely Bakhtov has been in the ring with anybody with the attributes and punching power that Joshua possesses and once he gets caught by the crunching right hand of the Londoner then it could be all over very quickly.

But we are backing the 34-year-old to use his experience and take Joshua where he has never been before – the fourth round – therefore back a fourth round stoppage win for AJ at 7/1 with Ladbrokes.

Joshua’s potential win this weekend will give him a top 15 ranking with the WBC and remember Ladbrokes has some particularly interesting specials when it comes to the finest British heavyweight prospect since Lennox Lewis.

The bookmaker goes odds of 8/15 that the Brit becomes World Heavyweight Champion (WBA, WBC, WBO or IBF belt) before 1st Jan 2020, while it is 3/1 he wins a world title before 1st Jan 2017.

A win on Saturday makes both a very real prospect!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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