bet365's trading professional Ian Vickers looks ahead to Saturday night's blockbuster heavyweight bout between Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker, with the WBO interim belt on the line.
The two heavyweight rivals collide at Manchester’s AO Arena on Saturday night, with the winner taking mandatory position for a shot at Oleksandr Usyk’s prized WBO title.
Olympic silver medallist Joyce heads into the bout as the favourite, at 1/2, with Parker, under the guidance of Andy Lee for the third time, the narrow outsider, at 8/5.
Speaking ahead of the bout, Vickers understands the reasons for seeing money come in for both fighters, but feels the power and aggressive nature of Joyce will ultimately swing a tight points decision in his favour.
“Look, it’s a tough one to call, and one that legitimately could go either way,” the trading professional told us on Friday.
“You can weigh it all up and say the Joseph Parker has the movement, the speed and the professional experience, but at the same time, Joe Joyce boasts relentless pressure and real knockout power.
“Joyce can be deceiving because he looks a bit blowy and a bit slow, but that is just how he is. He looks the same in the eighth round as he does in the first – he doesn’t change.
“He has an incredible engine on him, he can get hit by a baseball bat and barely move, and personally speaking, I just think he edges this fight.
“I wouldn’t entirely rule out a late stoppage either, because he is a bit of a freak – he hits so incredibly hard and if Parker begins to wane in the latter stages it could well be goodnight.
“As I say, I am edging towards a Joyce points victory. It will be tight and I think that will be proven on the scorecards if it does go the distance, which I think it will.”
The title-heavy undercard also features seven-weight world champion Amanda Serrano 1/20, as she bids to mark her first outing in the UK in triumphant fashion by unifying her WBO and WBC titles with the unbeaten Sarah Mahfoud's 15/2 IBF strap.
"This is another interesting fight - Serrano is a star, and she is back to her fighting weight - her knockout weight! She boasts one of the best KO percentages of any fighter out there, it is ridiculous - especially in the women's game.
"A lot of people do think this one could go deep, because Mahfoud does have a great chin on her.
"But if Serrano fights anything like she did against Katie Taylor then she will win this comfortably. I would say a late stoppage in this one - any time after round seven."