Briton Dillian Whyte comes up against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker on Saturday night in a crucial showdown for both men.
The winner will claim the vacant WBO International title and Whyte is defending his WBC Silver crown, but there is a bigger prize on offer as whoever comes out on top is likely to be in line for a world title bout against either Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.
The stakes are high and both fighters have a real chance in what looks to be a 50-50 clash on paper. Parker is probably technically the better technician but Whyte is a huge puncher with an excellent work-rate, so both will be in confident mood.
Whyte to win @ 20/21
Parker is the slight favourite at 10/13 but the New Zealander is coming into this bout on the back of a first professional loss, having been beaten on points by Joshua in his last outing when he lost the WBO title.
Whyte also has a loss to Joshua on his record, having been knocked out by the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO champion back in 2014, but that was a very different sort of contest.
Joshua was disciplined against Parker and seemed happy to take the points win, while Whyte dragged him into a war in an explosive contest.
The 30-year-old Londoner will almost certainly try and force Parker into a battle on Saturday and if he manages to do that then you would expect Whyte to win.
However, Parker fought on the back foot against both Joshua and Hughie Fury in an attempt to outbox his opponents and is likely to adopt that approach against Whyte.
Parker’s tactics paid off against Fury but Joshua’s work-rate saw the decision swing in his favour.
Whyte may not be the most technically gifted heavyweight but I’m anticipating a similar pattern and he can land the more eye-catching blows and edge a decision.
Whyte to win on points @ 2/1
Parker is probably too savvy to get stopped and managed to largely negate Joshua’s power, so he should be able to get through the 12 rounds with Whyte.
As the fight is taking place in London, Whyte has a perceived home advantage but regardless he is likely to be the more aggressive of the two and in a close fight that could make the difference if the judges are required to decide a winner.
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