By: Andrew McCart (@Andy_FCboxing)
This Saturday night at the O2 Arena, Britain’s Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16KO’s) will make the first defence of his IBF heavyweight title against unbeaten American Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15KO’s). Then over in the States Keith Thurman (26-0, 22KO’s) defends his WBA world title against Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16KO’s) in a huge welterweight contest between to explosive and exciting young fighters.
After dispatching Charles Martin with ease to win the world title, Joshua will look to continue his 100% knockout record against the huge underdog on Breazeale. Despite many feeling this isn’t a tough enough test for Watford native, Breazeale will travel to London looking to dethrone Britain’s rising star.
The co-main event will see George Groves take on Martin Murray for the WBA International, super-middleweight title. This is a domestic clash between two of Britain’s world class fighters. While Chris Eubank Jr. defends his British strap against Tom Doran and Dillian Whyte returns to the ring after shoulder surgery.
According to the bookies the card isn’t competitive enough with Joshua, Groves, Eubank Jr. and Whyte all heavy favourites to come through their respective bouts with their hands raised. That being said this Saturday nights boxing matches at William Hill are offering enhanced odds of 5/1 for these four to all win by stoppage.
Breazeale may be the bookies favourite to lose the fight on Saturday, but one thing worth noting, is every opponent who has stepped in the ring with the 30-year old American has tasted the canvas. So Breazeale does carry power. Is it worth betting on the California native to pull off the upset? At 12/1 it might be worth a punt.
Probably the most competitive bout on the card is Groves Vs. Murray. With Groves coming in at the slight favourite at 4/9. St Helens’ Murray will be stepping in to the ring for only the third time at 168 pounds and being the shorter man facing someone who is a career super-middleweight, you can see why the 33-year old is 7/4 to walk away victorious.
However, Murray has proven time and time again he is a tough warrior. A four-time world title challenger who took the fearsome Gennady Golovkin 11 rounds and narrowly lost to Arthur Abraham in his first fight at 168 pounds, it might be worth gambling on a Murray upset.
Then over in the States from the Barclays Center, New York, Keith Thurman defends his WBA welteright title against Shawn Porter. Thurman boasts a formidable record of 26 fights, with 22 of them not seeing the final bell. A reason why the Florida native is an 8/15 favourite to retain his title.
However, Porter has been the underdog twice before against Devon Alexander and Adrien Broner and both times he was victorious. At 6/4, who’s to say the 28-year old can’t make it three out of three on Saturday night.
Boxing is a sport full of upsets. Just last week, Joe Smith Jr., who was a heavy underdog sensationally knocked out home town favourite Andrej Fonfara in the first round. Proving miracles can happen.by