British fans have an interest on the undercard in Los Angeles as Joyce and Welborn target big wins. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse expects a mixed bag...
"It has been obvious since his debut that The Juggernaut’s handlers are eager to fast-track him to the big time and their boy has certainly delivered on his side of the bargain."
Interest on the undercard
British fight fans burning the midnight oil to support Tyson Fury as he bids to rip the WBC world heavyweight title from hard-hitting champion Deontay Wilder also have an interest on the undercard as a couple of locals seek wins in Los Angeles that would launch their careers.
Unbeaten heavyweight Joe Joyce gets the chance to showcase his skills in front of a worldwide audience when taking on experienced opponent Joe Hanks, before Jason Welborn shoots for IBF, IBO and WBA super welterweight glory when sharing a ring with Jarrett Hurd in what promises to be a fascinating contest.
Betfair offer betting on the main event, as well as each of the support acts, and that allows us an added interest on what will be an explosive night of action.
Joyce brings a 100% KO average
Joe Joyce travels with a perfect six-fight record, having won each of his first half-dozen starts inside the distance. He started with an impressive stoppage win over Ian Lewison last autumn and has wasted no time climbing through the ranks. He has scored a run of KO victories and was last seen downing Iago Kiladze (26-3-0) in Canada.
It has been obvious since his debut that The Juggernaut's handlers are eager to fast-track him to the big time and their boy has certainly delivered on his side of the bargain so far, passing each of the tests put to him with flying colours. Will this be another step up in class and another win?
Traders think so and he's short-priced favourite to get the desired result. Another KO/TKO is the obvious choice here at 1/5, but we expect a big performance from the Brit. Back him to get the job done in rounds 1-2 at 3/1, both Betfair Sportsbook prices.
Experience not enough
Joe Hanks is no mere opponent and will see this as the perfect opportunity to beat a novice pro and get a good name on his record. He has won 23 of his 25 previous starts, stopping 15 in the process. His losses came at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr (TKO) and Derric Rossy (MD).
The Future was last seen stopping Terrance Marbra with a bit to spare but this is a serious step up in class from that level and we expect the home fighter to come up short. The fact he's as big as 16/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook tells its own story on how this should go. Hanks will use his experience but won't be good enough to stop the Juggernaut.
Welborn has come a long way
An intriguing fight from the undercard sees British champion Jason Welborn look to leap up to world title level and take American Jarrett Hurd's clutch of super welterweight prizes. The fighting pride of the West Midlands brings a professional record reading 24-6-0. Not exactly convincing at this grade, but the 32-year-old has won each of his last five, a run that saw him claim the British middleweight crown.
There are some eye-catching names included in that purple patch, such as Tommy Langford who he beat in a double-header, taking a split decision points win on each occasion to snatch the Lonsdale strap. Welborn has certainly come a long way since losing to journeyman William Warburton back in 2016.
The challenger has lost three of his last 10 at a much lower rank than he faces here and that goes some way to explaining why Betfair traders have him marked at 16/1 to leave with the belts. That's a big price and is the kind you'd want paid into your account this close to Christmas, but it's unlikely to attract too much attention.
Simple win expected for Hurd
While the man in the opposite corner has been mixing it at domestic level in Britain, Jarrett Hurd has been ploughing forward with his grand plans for world dominance. He brings a 22-0-0 CV with 15 of his wins coming inside the distance. The 6ft 1inch orthodox was last seen beating Erislandy Lara on points in Las Vegas to win two of the three titles on the line here.
That nod vs Lara followed victory over Austin Trout late last year and the names on his card far out-weigh anything Welborn brings to the table. Without being harsh, this should be a simple night's work for the champion who is picked by most to get the job done. Take Hurd to win inside the first three rounds at 2/1 (Betfair Sportsbook).