There is a huge amount of buzz surrounding the Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker heavyweight title fight, which is set to take place on 31st March at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. It will mark the third stadium fight in succession for Joshua, after he took down Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam in front of 75,000+ fans last year at Wembley and the Principality respectively.
The fight will see Joshua (20-0, 20KOs) put his IBF, IBO and WBA (Super) heavyweight titles on the line, with Parker (24-0, 18KOs) putting his WBO heavyweight belt. Much of the anticipation has sprung up due to the prospect of crowing the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis nearly twenty years ago. The final piece in that puzzle lies with Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC belt. Wilder will fight Luis Ortiz on 3rd March in NYC. It is expected that we will see a unification bout later in the year.
Joshua overwhelming favourite to take WBO crown
In Cardiff however, Joshua is a massive favourite to take down Parker. The huge British fighter has rarely been troubled in his 20 professional fights so far, although Klitschko did knock him down a couple of times. He leads Parker in nearly all metrics, including a significant four inches in reach. While Joshua has 100% record of winning fights by KO/TKO, the last three of Parker’s fights ended on decision – sometimes in a controversial manner.
That has caused the bookmakers to price it up for a resounding Joshua win. He is priced at 1/8 (William Hill) to win the fight, with odds of 2/7 to win by KO/TKO. He is also priced at 4/1 to win by decision for the first time in his career. Other interesting markets for the Watford-born fighter include odds of 14/1 to win in Round 1 and 20/1 to win in Round 12. Betfair has a special market of 6/1 for Joshua to get knocked down and still win, which would have paid vs. Klitschko.
Betting expected to be huge on both fighters
While those odds might suggest that Joshua is a ‘lock’ for victory, plenty of pundits disagree. There really are lots of different betting markets, so you should really check the latest Joshua v Parker fight betting predictions from experts. Indeed, lots of the odds are tempting in Parker’s markets: he is 13/2 to win the fight and some bookmakers’ data has suggested that the majority of bets are going on that outcome. Lots of punters will also like the look of 33/1 for Parker to win by decision – just like he did in those last three fights.
Fighters’ styles should deliver entertaining fight
There is, of course, the question of whether the fight will deliver on the hype. While Joshua is favoured to end the fight early, he nonetheless seems to know the value of putting on a show. The scrappy Parker will also not be an easy target to take down early. The New Zealander is a clever boxer, one who won’t be overawed by the tens of thousands of Joshua fans in attendance.
There are many who think the bookmakers’ have called the fight incorrectly. While most appreciate Joshua deserves to be favourite, they also feel Parker has been underestimated. It all points to an intriguing affair under the lights at the impressive Principality Stadium. Whatever happens, there is much more to come from the heavyweight division over the next couple of years.