Joe Joyce v Bermane Stiverne: Inactivity will see B Ware's challenge end early
This looks a question of how Joyce beats Stiverne but Betfair's boxing writer Frankie Monkhouse believes he has found something in the group betting...
"At 40 years old it looks like his best days are behind him with the Haiti born heavyweight fighting only twice since dragging Deontay Wilder 12 rounds over four years ago"
British heavyweight Joe Joyce continues his journey to the top of the division when facing American Bermane Stiverne on Saturday evening at London's 02 Arena on the undercard of James DeGale v Chris Eubank Jr. Betting experts predict another win for the progressive Londoner, but he'll get nothing for free against an opponent with 21 knockout wins already on his card.
Stiverne was also the first fighter to take Deontay Wilder 12 rounds, the other being Tyson Fury, but this will be his first competitive outing since November 2017 and critics say he lacks the sharpness and ambition to upset the local. There's little to be had in backing a home win, but the specials throw up a couple of bets that'll help keep things interesting.
Joyce moving quickly
Joe Joyce was late making the move to professional boxing but the 33-year-old from Putney will arrive at the venue with a perfect seven-fight record. Juggernaut enjoyed a successful career in the unpaid ranks and has been fast-tracked since dropping the vest, marking his professional debut in October 2017 with an eighth-round stoppage win over Ian Lewison. Since then handlers have moved him quickly through the ranks and the 6ft 6inch orthodox has made the grade, stopping each of the men placed in front of him.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist won the professional Commonwealth title in only his fourth start when downing Lenroy Thomas (22-4-1) in two rounds at this venue, before going on to beat American Joe Hanks (23-2-0) last time out for the vacant WBA Continental crown, smashing the New Jersey native in the opener of a bout that was scheduled for 12. With a 100% knockout record behind him and four of his seven wins coming in the first round it's little surprise to see punters have been keen to keep on the right side of Joyce from the start.
Those looking to support JJ in the fight winner market will find no more than [1.06] available on the Betfair Exchange and that price tells the story of how this one should go. Playing the method of victory market should bring more joy and a first career points win is 6/1 on the sportsbook, although the KO/TKO makes more sense, even at 1/7. Another first round KO won't go unnoticed at 7/2.
An interesting one
The challenge of Bermane Stiverne is an interesting one. At 40 years old it looks like his best days are behind him with the Haiti born heavyweight fighting only twice since dragging Deontay Wilder 12 rounds over four years ago. The 6ft 2inch orthodox lost that fight for the WBC world title by a wide points margin, the scores reading 118-109, 119-108, 120-107, and appears to have struggled for motivation since.
He was dropped in the opening round of a comeback fight with Derric Rossy, an opponent with a record showing 30 wins against 10 defeats at the time but climbed off the canvas to score a 10-round points decision, winning by three rounds on two cards and one round on the other. That victory came in November 2015. With Wilder keen to knockout the only man to have taken him the distance the pair met in a 2017 rematch, a bout The Bronze Bomber won inside a round, Stiverne dropped three times before referee Arthur Mercante Jr called it.
At his best there's no doubt Stiverne would ask serious questions of Joyce, but it's unlikely we'll see the Las Vegas native anywhere near his physical peak. He's a chunky [14.5] to cause an upset but that's not expected to attract too much attention. B Ware's best chance looks to be in landing a knockout blow, the 22nd of his career, and the visitor can be backed at 14/1 to win by KO/TKO, deemed more likely than him winning over the scoring judges, a points verdict 33/1, both sportsbook quotes.