Joshua is coming off a 20-0 run and Parker has had a series of 24 wins with no losses. There is no doubt that Joshua is firm favourite, with some bookmakers offering odds as short as 1/16. But there is often room for an upset when it comes to heavyweight boxing.
Placing a bet on the big fight
There is likely to be a high appetite for betting on the fight, with plenty of opportunity to get the best betting odds on Joshua vs Parker online. But, where is the smart money going to be placed? For recreational bettors there is not much value in placing money on Joshua to win. The best potential returns seem to be around the draw, with bookmakers giving odds of 30/1 and longer. Taking a better look at Joshua's plans, and the run up to the fight, can help give a better insight into value for money bets.
The popularity factor
When it comes to support, it’s likely that Joshua will be leading the way. The WBA and IBF champion is hugely popular in the UK where 90,000 people watched him defeat Wladimir Klitschko. It seems as though the Watford born heavyweight relishes the opportunity to perform in the ring again. He spoke of his love for the sport, as his training camp began.
But, popularity is not going to win the fight for Joshua, and Parker could certainly be a tricky opponent. Joshua may have dismissed Parker as a “kid from New Zealand” but Parker’s form has been decent. Not only has he never been defeated; he has never been knocked down.
Joshua desperately wants to emulate Lennox Lewis who was the last undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, but it may not be as simple a task as many people think.
The lead up to the fight
Promoter Eddie Hearn certainly seems to be happy at having secured the bout for his fighter, Joshua. He has spoken of a potentially explosive fight which marks the first occasion that two reigning heavyweight champions have met on British soil.
Both fighters come into the clash on decent form. Joshua stopped Carlos Takam in the 10th round of their fight, in October last year. Parker was also successful, when he achieved a points victory against Hughie Fury when defending his title last September, although the result was contentious.
Joshua’s plans for the fight
Joshua has spoken about his recognition of Parker’s power. To counteract this, he aims to smash his opponent up the body in a similar fashion to the way he dealt with Takam. The fact is that the bout against Takam taught Joshua some lessons about how to grind out a victory. This is important to a fighter who is used to starting powerfully and fast and gaining early victories. It’s a lesson that is sure to help him against Parker, who is known for being a durable fighter that goes the distance rather than achieving a lot of knockouts. Given this information, a bet for the bout to go the distance may just be good value; given that a finish within the distance is currently odds on.
From a betting point of view, the value odds in the fight are away from a Joshua victory. The British favourite may be odds on but Parker is young, strong and fast, so the result may not be as much of a forgone conclusion as expected.