Anthony Joshua is a sure thing to eventually be crowned heavyweight champion of the world after disposing of domestic rival Dillian Whyte in emphatic fashion at the weekend.
That is according to the betting, with Ladbrokes making the Watford fighter an odds-on shot to land a version of the title before 2020.
Joshua looked certain to maintain his record of not being taken past three rounds after an explosive start to his bout with Whyte at London’s O2 Arena, but the underdog made a fight of it after catching AJ with a big shot in the second round.
Joshua, however, recovered well and soon took control of the bout, subjecting his victim to crushing blows seemingly at will.
Whyte proved he has a solid chin but even his admirable durability crumbled in the seventh round when a right hook shook the south Londoner before a devastating uppercut sent him crashing to the canvas and out of the contest.
On the back of such an impressive display Ladbrokes have made Joshua a 1/9 shot to land either the WBA, WBC, WBO or IBF title by 2020.
It’s 1/5 he lands any of those straps by 2019 and just 1/3 he achieves the feat by 2018. Many expect the 26-year-old to fight for a title next year but with the man himself saying he needs more rounds with fighters of Whyte’s ilk first a 2017 title has been priced up at evens.
One man who could provide Joshua with those rounds is David Haye, who watched from ringside at the weekend and was licking his lips at the prospect of a tussle with the Olympic gold medallist.
Former WBA champ Haye retired through injury three years ago but returns to the ring in January against Australia’s Mark de Mori.
The Bermondsey man will be heavy favourite to win that bout and after his comments on Saturday night the public interest could just see Joshua step up a level to fight the Hayemaker.
Ladbrokes are confident that AJ would make light work of the 35-year-old, however, and have the younger man at 4/9 to beat Haye should the bout be given the go ahead.
As impressive as Joshua was against Whyte, Haye would represent an altogether tougher test, and the older man could represent good value at odds of 7/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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