Boxing: Anthony Joshua Opens as a Favorite Over Deontay Wilder
Anthony “AJ” Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) and Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) are on a collision course and the potential megafight is coming into focus.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posted odds for the potential fight of the year, with Joshua priced as a -200 favorite and “The Bronze Bomber” coming in at +170. The fight must take place by 12/31/2019 for action.
The logistics of the fight are still a ways off and both heavyweights could elect to schedule a tune-up fight before they meet, but the general consensus is that this battle will take place within the next 12 months.
Even though Joshua is a rightful favorite, it wouldn’t be surprising to see money come in on Wilder considering Joshua’s performance as a big favorite this past weekend against Joseph Parker in Cardiff, Wales.
Although Joshua easily won on the scorecards, it was the first time he was ever taken to the final bell as a professional and the bout was a little tighter than the 119-109, 118-110, 118-110 scorecards suggest. The fight was largely uninspiring and Joshua never imposed his will in the manner that everyone thought he would against a smaller, inferior boxer.
Wilder meanwhile is coming off a high-octane stoppage win over Luis Ortiz on March 3. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama ,native was wobbled a couple times against ‘The Real King-Kong’ but was able to stay on his feet and hand Ortiz the first loss of his career. It was the first true test of Wilder’s career and the former football player silenced some critics by defeating a boxer with an impressive pedigree.
There’s little doubt that Joshua is the sharper boxer and has a better in-ring skillset than the brash Wilder, but it’s been two underwhelming fights in a row for Joshua after his “Fight of the Year” win over Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017. On the other hand, Wilder is coming off a first-round KO of Bermane Stiverne and the aforementioned slobberknocker victory against Ortiz.
It should be an interesting market to monitor as things progress.
Top photo: Anthony “AJ” Joshua.