If you are to believe the ~1,482 promoters involved in this weekend’s The Day of Reckoning card, then Christmas Day – or even Boxing Day – has well and truly come early this weekend.
We’ll be seeing some of the best big guys in action in Riyadh, but how competitive are the betting markets looking?
Spoiler: not very, but let’s try and squeeze some value out of the heavy, heavy show.
The co-headliners for this card are the longest priced favourites – aside from Daniel Dubios – to get a victory in Riyadh: Anthony Joshua 1/4 against Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder 1/6 against Joseph Parker.
They’re on a collision course to meet in March, so there will be extra eyes and extra pressures on anything that could potentially scupper this long-awaited meeting.
Picking the most likely of the two to get upset is a coin toss in truth, but Deontay Wilder’s inactivity could well bring Joseph Parker’s price of 4/1 into play.
Wilder has fought just two minutes and 57 seconds since October 2021, and despite his unforgiving ability to turn someone’s lights out in a single punch, is in there with a canny operator in Parker.
Wilder showcased his defensive vulnerabilities in his trilogy with Tyson Fury, and with Parker winning nine of his last 10 fights and still only 31, there wouldn’t be jaws agape if the Kiwi was to score the upset.
Joshua has faced his opponent Otto Wallin twice as an amateur, winning on both occasions, and has sparred him a multiple of times – there are unlikely to be many surprises as the first bell goes.
The southpaw is made for Joshua’s right hand down the pipe, and at 8/1 to knock out the Briton is far too long to be tempted into a small stake.
If you fancy Joshua to get the job done early in the first half of the fight, then 11/2 is your price for Joshua in Rounds 1-6.
A double on Joshua and Wilder to both win weight in at 8/15, if you’re a believer that the two will finally meet.
Miller’s bite to back up his bark?
Daniel Dubois vs Jarrell Miller is probably the closest to a 50/50 on the card. Dubois opens as a 2/5 FAV with “Big Baby” sitting at a 2/1 dog.
We still don’t know enough about Jarrell Miller, but what is impossible to ignore is the size of the guy.
Miller is expected to weigh around 328lbs for this contest, and with Dubois suffering two knockouts in his last six fights, will be wary of the artillery coming from the American.
Miller to win this by knockout is 11/4 and arguably one of the best bets of the weekend if you’re looking to squeeze genuine value out of the card – the dude won’t be planning to box to a decision.
Dubois is a big puncher but previous damage could make him gunshy when push comes to shove.
Opetaia in a league of his own
Jai Opetaia is a scary talent in the cruiserweight division.
It’s possible that the Australian southpaw has the highest ceiling of any in the sport on Saturday’s card, and he’ll be looking to rack up another statement victory against Ellis Zorro.
Make no mistake: he will. Opetaia is a 1/25 FAV against Zorro and it’s impossible to sneak any value out of the fight with the 28-year-old just 1/6 to stop the Briton.
Picking an early round has to be the way to go. Rounds 4 and 5 for an Opetaia stoppage are both priced at 7/1 and are worth a small stake.
Speaking of mismatches, Filip Hrgovic takes on Mark de Mori at the start of the card.
The highly-rated heavyweight is probably the best of the bunch in the “second tier” and he’ll walk through de Mori as a huge 1/50 FAV.
De Mori is 41, and has been on a Eurotrip the last few years after suffering a first-round KO at the hands of David Haye in 2016.
Hrgovic probably won’t be in any rush, but if he is, then 5/2 says the Croatian can get him out of there within the first 180 seconds.
Arthur to frustrate Bivol
A final price to consider is Dmitry Bivol to beat Lyndon Arthur by Decision at 5/6.
Arthur is an experienced, tough campaigner who knows his role as a B-side on Saturday night.
That doesn’t mean he won’t believe he can win, but I don’t expect him to walk into any big trouble.
Bivol hasn’t won by stoppage since 2018, going 8-0 in Unanimous Decisions over 12 rounds.