Anthony Joshua is the hot favourite at 1/14 to maintain his 100 per cent record in the heavyweight division with a win over domestic rival Dillian Whyte on December 12.
Such is the confidence in AJ to continue his blaze up the rankings the Watford man is as short as 1/8 to win inside the distance for the 15th time in as many fights.
The odds suggest an easy night’s work for Joshua at London’s O2 Arena, with Whyte billed as the 7/1 underdog and a 10/1 shot to stop his rival inside the distance.
However, there are plenty of reasons to back Whyte aside from the fact that no one will be getting rich by betting on Joshua and here are a few to ponder ahead of the fight.
As an Olympic gold medallist with a 100 per cent knockout record in the pro ranks it’s obvious to see why AJ is the media darling and racks up the column inches.
Whyte may not have the same medal-winning background or share AJ’s star quality but he does share an unbeaten start to his life in the pro ranks, winning each of 16 fights and 13 of those by stoppage. Like Joshua Whyte has yet to be truly tested but in Brian Minto – a man who had previously faced Chris Arreola and Marco Huck – he has beaten at least one noteworthy opponent.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ll be well aware that the needle between these two fighters stems from the fact that Whyte beat Joshua when the pair were still fighting as amateurs.
Not only did Whyte win but he had Joshua on the canvas and while it goes without saying that AJ has impressed immeasurably in the intervening years only a fool would assume Whyte’s improvement has been static.
Boxers always talk up their chances ahead of a big fight but Whyte not only believes in his own abilities put has also called AJ’s confidence into question, saying: “He’s a very nervy kind of guy … He’s not confident in himself and is worried about going past three or four rounds.
“I’m training for 12. I would love to stop him but I want to go a few rounds. Once you go to eight, nine and 10, you go there mentally. I’d like to experience going to the later rounds.”
World Champion backing
Granted Deontay Wilder could be playing mind games ahead of a potential title defence against Joshua but for a reigning world champion to put his neck on the line and call an upset, the American must have some faith in Whyte’s potential to cause a shock.
“Joshua is ranked No.2 for some reason. I don’t think he’s really improved himself to get to that height. I mean, who has he really fought to get to that rank? You know there are many ways to get ranked,” he told Wilder SecondsOut.
“Soon he’ll be a mandatory of mine, and I’m looking forward to that. But don’t count Dillian Whyte out in this fight. Don’t be surprised if he beats him. I think Dillian Whyte is going to bring it. I think he’s going to get an upset.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.