Bookmakers across the board are posting conflicting odds ahead of this weekend’s heavyweight showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in Las Vegas.
BetVictor are one of six major bookies who can’t split the pair, with 10/11 apiece on either to win the going rate in the build-up to the bout, which is due to begin at around 5am GMT on Sunday morning.
However, traders at Ladbrokes and Coral have given Fury an even-money (1/1) chance against their slight favourite Wilder (10/11), while Paddy Power have the same odds in reverse.
The conflicting opinions of the bookies reflects those of journalists and punters, with this classic boxer-verses-puncher match-up quite rightly capturing the imagination of fight fans on both sides of the Atlantic.
“This is an exceptionally difficult fight to call with both boxers holding extremely strong claims to win in Vegas,” writes BetVictor’s boxing tipster Simon Mail in his betting preview of the event.
“Slight preference is for Fury, who should be in better shape than their last meeting, to adopt another exceptional gameplan and box his way to a points victory in Vegas.
“But it is definitely also worth backing Fury to be knocked down during the fight at 5/6. He was floored twice in the first contest and avoiding Wilder’s ferocious power over 12 rounds will be exceptionally difficult.”
⚖️ Bookies can barely split them— Bookmakers.co.uk (@bookmakers) February 21, 2020
🥊 But who are you backing in #WilderFury2?
Fury Loses Favourtism
After dominating the first fight, only to be undone by the judges after hitting the canvas twice in an otherwise flawless display, Fury opened as the favourite for the inevitable re-match when betting began.
Indeed, he even retained his status as the favourite after surviving a scare against game contender Otto Wallin in his last fight, with the big Swede inflicting a nasty wound on Fury – a cut that on another night may well have forced a stoppage win in the 20/1 underdog’s favour.
But in the intervening months a number of circumstances have changed and traders believe they have tilted things back ever so slightly in Wilder’s favour, which makes sense given he’s defending his WBC World Heavyweight Title for the 11th time.
The first concern is Fury’s wounds sustained in the battle with Wallin last September. Has the flesh around his eye flesh healed sufficiently enough to deal with the ferocious power of Wilder’s hooks? There’s every chance the American will target Fury’s right eye early on to see if it’s a weakness he can exploit.
The other factor going against Fury is his decision to change trainer for this fight. He split with previous trainer, Ben Davison, on amicable terms and has since recruited Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward, a nephew of the late, great Emanuel Steward of the Kronk Gym.
In theory, this could well benefit Fury as Sugar Hill is more experienced than Davison, but the bookmakers see it as a risk to employ a new trainer for a heavyweight title clash when many would opt to do so for a so-called ‘tune-up’ fight instead.
Not since the era of Joe Coburn and Jem Mace has a transatlantic fight captured the imagination of fight fans on both sides of the water.
The debate will rumble on long into the early hours of Sunday morning, while many punters will be waking up to confirmation of the result hours later. Back-to-back draws between the same fighters are rare in boxing, but with some bookies going as short as 18/1 on that, it’s not totally out of the question.