Live on Sky Sports 1 from 20:30, Saturday’s Matchroom promoted boxing card at London’s O2 Arena sees 2012 Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua fight for the ninth time as a professional, while featherweight Lee Selby will compete in an IBF world title eliminator earlier in the evening.
Lee Selby v Joel Brunker
Losing a four round points decision in his fifth career fight, Welshman Selby has compiled an overall 19-1 record with just seven of his victories coming by stoppage.
A British and Commonwealth champion at featherweight, Selby’s biggest scalps include Stephen Smith, Rendell Monroe and Viorel Simion, but with an IBF world title shot to come if he beats the 27-0 Brunker, he’s in his biggest fight to date this weekend.
Selby v Brunker Betting
Selby is priced at 2/9 with Bet365, the draw is 33/1 with Stan James and a Brunker win is offered at 9/2 with the same firm.
All in all, we expect Selby to win a close fight, and as he’s only stopped seven of his 19 opponents it seems extremely likely to come via the scorecards. As such, we advise the 11/10 priced bet of Selby on points with Stan James.
Anthony Joshua v Denis Bakhtov
After eight straight wins and eight knockouts, Anthony Joshua continues his march towards world heavyweight domination when he takes on Denis Bakhtov for the vacant WBC international silver heavyweight title.
Russian Bakhtov has a 38-9 professional boxing record, with 24 of his wins coming by KO/TKO, and most notably fought former British and Commonwealth champion Danny Williams, winning a ten round unanimous points decision in 2012.
Joshua v Bakhtov Betting
Joshua is priced at 1/33 with Ladbrokes to win his first-ever title in the pro ranks, while the draw is 18/1 with Paddy Power. A Bakhtov victory – which only seems likely if Joshua sustains a serious injury during the fight – is offered at 40/1 with Bet Victor.
All in all, Bakhtov is a slight step up in class compared to recent Joshua opponents, but the Briton should still easily win by KO within a few rounds. The bad news is that, with total rounds over/under not available at the time of writing and a Joshua stoppage at any time not worth betting on at 1/18, there isn’t a bet that appeals to us pricewise.
However, when such a market is eventually released, we recommend that you bet as close to evens as possible on something like over 1.5, 2.5 or maybe even 3.5 total rounds.