Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker clash in a heavyweight battle for the ages, with potential fights against Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on the cards for the winner.
The unbeaten Brit Joe Joyce will step into the ring with the man that now trains in the same town as Tyson Fury.
We preview what should be a thrilling bout below.
Three wins out of three at the AO Manchester Arena
New Zealander Joseph Parker brings his impressive record into this fight with Joe Joyce, in a bout that could set one of the pair on the course to boxing greatness. Occupying the WBO heavyweight world number one and two spots, Joyce and Parker have the opportunity to set up a meeting with the world champion Oleksandr Usyk as a mandatory challenger and potentially a unification bout with the great Tyson Fury.
But on the path to a potential show-stopping fight, first, this dispute must be settled.
The 30-year-old New Zealander, who is the winner of 30 fights with 21 of the wins coming via knockout, is technically the away fighter though his residence is in Morecambe, and three consecutive wins at the Manchester Arena, see him as only the slight underdog at 6/4.
Winning 70 per cent of his bouts by knockout and having never been knocked out himself, there’s no doubt Joseph Parker is a formidable fighter. Despite his disadvantage in height, coming in at 6’4”, two inches shorter than his opponent, he will be eager to exploit his significantly younger age and mettle that has seen him so hard to knock down in his career.
Parker is 5/2 to win by technical decision, a method he may need to utilise coming up against the towering, Joyce, who will be unlikely to give him many chances to achieve a knockout blow.
Taking advantage of his opponent’s older age and perhaps lower levels of stamina could be the way to approach this fight, by wearing him down with body shots and waiting for the opportunity to strike.
Parker enters the ring with a 11/2 chance of winning via KO/TKO or DQ.
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A short but exceptional career to go one further?
After a successful amateur career, Joe Joyce turned pro at the age of 31, making him one of the division’s oldest debut fighters. He won his next 14 out of 14 fights, taking 13 victories via knockout.
He has proven that age is not a barrier, and despite edging ever closer to his forties, the man from London is the 8/15 favourite to triumph and retain his position as the WBO world number one.
He will undoubtedly have the fans on his side in Manchester and will look to extend his knockout streak to five. He has recently defeated Daniel Dubois, Christian Hammer and Carlos Takam but would make his impressive CV look that much more like that of a future world champion with a win here.
Taking a big hit early on in his previous fight with Christian Hammer, he showed resilience and piled on tremendous pressure and pace to turn the tables in a flash and brutally knock down Hammer four times in just a few minutes, stopping the fight in the fourth round. He is 8/1 to win in rounds one to six with enhanced odds, with Joseph Parker 6/1 to be knocked down in the first three rounds.
Not going further than the 6th round in his last two fights and known for his powerful body and hook combos, Joyce could well be on course for another overwhelming victory. He is 9/4 to win by KO/TKO or DQ.
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