Tyson Fury will travel to Los Angeles for a December meeting with WBC champ Deontay Wilder, a man with a 98% KO average. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse is excited and takes a stroll through the early betting...
"As I always say when looking at the betting for the big fights – trust your initial reaction. You’ll often have a clear view of how things will go before being caught up in the excitement of it all"
It's rare for a proposed boxing match to capture the imagination of the general public but Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder has done just that. No sooner had the ink dried on the contracts, the hype began to build. It's happening on December 2 in Los Angeles and the build-up promises to be spectacular.
Critics will call it a pantomime, a mismatch or even bad for boxing's image but the truth is this heavyweight blockbuster, matching two undefeated fighters in the prime of their careers, is something special and will go down in history. There will be plenty of joking, mocking, insulting and fake outrage between now and the first bell but rest assured, in Fury - Wilder we have a real fight.
Fury wants a war
Both men wasted no time getting down to business, the towering gladiators with a combined 58 knockout wins between them having to be pulled apart at a press conference in London on Monday.
Now, we know neither man is stupid enough to attempt to land a blow and put the fight in jeopardy. There will be no Mike Tyson biting the leg of Lennox Lewis here, but by the time the promotional work is done the boxers will be sick of the sight, and sound, of each other.
Tyson Fury (27-0-0) threw down the gauntlet to his American rival when challenging Wilder to meet him in the middle of the ring and have a war, abandoning the game plan. A strange challenge to issue a man with a perfect 40-fight record, 39 of his wins coming inside the distance, 19 before the end of the first round.
Far more likely the self-styled Gypsy King is hoping to goad The Bronze Bomber into rushing forward aimlessly, swinging reckless shots. If he does he'll find Fury nowhere near the centre, instead boxing, tucking up and building a points advantage. The tip at this stage is take everything either man says with a shovelful of salt.
Serious shift in the betting
It makes much more sense to pay closer attention to how the betting markets are shaping up. I revealed back in August when taking an early look at this fight that traders were struggling to separate the pair and that came as a surprise. Before the bout was announced Fury was chalked up at 10/11 against the 5/6 of Wilder, a draw 33/1. Those quotes are long gone as things get serious and the money starts to flood in.
Upon confirmation of the fight, Betfair traders threw the weight of their support behind Deontay Wilder, pricing him up as an 8/13 jolly on the sportsbook. Fury backers - and there's certainly a few of them - will be over the moon to find their man doing the rounds at 6/4. That's market best price at the time of writing, the competition stuck around the 5/4 mark.
There's more to be had if being bold enough to tackle the method of victory. Wilder by KO/TKO is fav and with the 6ft 7inch Alabama native carrying a 98% KO average it's difficult to argue against that stance. At this point there's [2.52] on the Exchange about Wilder knocking Fury out. Punters know the 32-year-old won't target a points win, that's why he's [4.6] to gain victory on the scorecards.
Tyson has more to offer
If you're a Tyson Fury fan or not, it's impossible not to love his story. The man was down and out, a lost soul after sacrificing the world titles he dedicated his life to winning, losing them outside of the ring. Depression, weight gain, drug use, he has beaten them all and come through the other end still sporting his loveable grin. Will he now add Wilder's unbeaten record and WBC belt to the list?
The Manchester-born fighter may be an underdog going in but that will sit with him perfectly. Many wrote him off when going to Germany to take on Wladimir Klitschko, yet he produced the fight of his life to dethrone a long-term ruler of the division, and at a canter. We have Fury to thank for making the top division interesting again.
That night in Dusseldorf three years ago was the best Tyson has boxed, does he have more to give? It would certainly make a fine tale if he was to return to the top of the game. There's [2.92] he outpoints Wilder, [5.5] for the KO.
Those preferring to steer clear of naming the winner will find an interest in the various specials markets. The fight to go the distance is 11/10 on the Sportsbook, against the 4/6 a winner is found before the end of the 12 rounds.
Go with your gut
As I always say when looking at the betting for the big fights - trust your initial reaction. You'll often have a clear view of how things will go before being caught up in the excitement of it all. Like most, I had Floyd Mayweather an easy winner of Ricky Hatton in 2007.
A few emotional rants and jokes from The Hitman and I was then utterly convinced he was going to walk through Pretty Boy. Go with your gut.