In this episode of Gamblecast Richie Delaney sits down with Lee Gwilliam of Gambling.com to discuss the best boxing betting options for the upcoming Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight, which takes place on December 1st in Los Angeles. Listen to the full episode below.
02:35 | "We need to be realistic about British Boxing.."
05:42 | "The 'dad bod' is not a blockage to a heavyweight fighter.."
09:17 | "For Wilder a lot of his success comes off the back of facing fighters who are out of their prime.."
14:32 | "When it's world class boxer vs. world class puncher, traditionally, history favours the boxer.."
15:56 | Industry personalities comment on the fight.
18:33 | Best betting options for Wilder vs. Fury.
Richard Delaney: Ok boxing fans, we are going to be giving you the ultimate fight preview, predictions and lastly betting options for Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury which will take place on December 1, 2018 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Defending WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will face undefeated challenger and former WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
RD: Lee, right now, most bookies have Wilder as a very slim favourite and that makes an outright bet hard to call. This means we want to look at some more specific individual betting options on the fight at the end of our preview but before we get into the details on that, give us it in a nutshell, Fury Vs Wilder. Is this the fight everyone is hyping it up to be? Is it going to worth watching and betting on?
Lee Gwilliam: Definitely. This is not the best heavyweight division we’ve ever had so getting two undefeated fighters, one who ended Klitschko’s reign and the other who has 39 knockouts in 40 fights is as exciting as it’s going to get - right now. Even though these fighters aren’t all time greats they are still world level fighters and will offer a very entertaining bout.
Also, if Wilder wants to say he genuinely deserves a shot at Joshua on achievement rather than there being no one else suitable – a win over Fury would solidify his credentials and make a potential Wilder / Joshua fight that much bigger.
Lastly and most importantly for the spectacle of it – the old boxing slogan is that style’s make fights and the opposing techniques (or lack of them in Wilders case) could make this a very interesting bout. It certainly makes it tough to call and a lot of fun for the neutral fan.
RD: Most people are saying this is a great matchup between two world class fighters? You don’t think it’s unfair to say the division isn’t very good right now? Especially with British boxing delivering so much talent and the increase that generates in popularity for the sport?
LG: I don’t think it’s unfair no. I’m excited by the fact British boxing is bringing through a lot of prospects but we do need to be realistic about the state of the competition. Take the big three right now in the heavyweight division – Fury, Wilder and Anthony Joshua, starting with Fury.
Fury might have become a world class fighter – but – he was out for nearly three years and went to hell and back physically and mentally in that time. It’s hard to write him off because on the right day he really can be a great fighter but you don’t know who will show up, the killer or the clown.
His biggest fight, when he beat Klitschko, that was at the end of Vladimir’s career. Klitschko had become very much a safety fighter by that point under Emmanuel Stewart, there’s an argument to say if Vladimir had pressed Fury more, he might not have lost to him. Disregarding the great Ukrainian, other than Chisora and maybe Christian Hammer, Fury has never really beaten anyone before who was top draw.
Chisora let’s remember, lost to Dillan Whyte and Pulev – Who both lost to Joshua. Hammer lost to both Joshua and Povetkin who was himself later beaten by Joshua and had already been beaten by Klitschko. Fury has only had to face one world class fighter in his career, though, he did show he could do it on that night when everyone doubted him. The worry is he didn’t continue to progress in experience after winning his title due to the ban.
RD: So surely, Wilder, with 39 knockouts in 40 fights is massively underestimated as simply a slight favourite in the current betting markets?
LG: Wilder has even bigger issues on the credibility front than Fury, though it isn’t his fault, there just wasn’t really too many people to fight domestically. After 40 fights we still don’t truly know how good (or bad) Wilder is. Look at his last 7 fights, which are the ones which really matter out of the nearly 40 he has fought.
RD: You seem to be suggesting a serious pattern here of Wilder facing older fighter’s way past their prime. Some have suggested that Wilder will struggle with Fury because of the height and reach advantage given that Wilder has mostly fought smaller heavyweights. Do you think that's true?
LG: Well, I wouldn’t be the only one, Fury also commented that, ‘’Ortiz, forgetting his age, was a good man, but we know father time catches up with everybody’’. Others were even more scathing with one going so far as to say Wilder’s fought 36 nobodies and 4 old men. That’s probably going a bit too far though.
It’s hardly unusual practice in modern boxing as a lot of fighters seem to be keener on keeping undefeated records than they do facing the most serious competition with top fighters ending up avoiding each other. Mayweather fought Pacman years after that should have happened, Canelo waited for GGG to get old and by the time Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr got in the ring both were way out of their primes.
So far as the height/reach thing goes, I’ve read that too but it’s completely false. In fairness to Wilder on this point he’s fought at least 8 of what we would consider ‘large’ heavyweights around the 6.5” mark or taller. Fury is bigger no doubt, one glance at their face offs shows that Wilder is clearly the smaller guy but he has abnormally long reach – only an inch shorter than Fury himself so I don’t think that’s a big factor. The age thing might be if Fury is truly fit, as he’s actually three years younger than Wilder and should be at his peak.
RD: You say should in a way that seems unsure? Would you be part of the crowd who think Fury has rushed a fight at this level and should have waited longer building up to it?
LG: He’s trained hard the last year, watching training sessions he’s running right now I don’t think he’s been in this good shape at any time in his career, he’s also looking extremely fast. Whether he can carry that over 12 rounds without gassing out is a much harder question to answer. Then there’s ring rust, he’s only had two fights back since his ban and neither were tough opponents, he didn’t really look like the Fury of old in the ring last time out.
He’s come down from Abel Sanchez’s high-altitude training camp at Big Bear now and is training at sea level at Freddie Roach’s gym in LA. which I think is right for him this close to the fight. One thing you can say is that he picked out good sparring partners in former IBF/WBA cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev & specifically with heavyweight Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce. Joyce is a monster of a pressure fighter and hits very hard – exactly the daily test Fury needed to face Wilder.
I would have liked to see him fight two to three more fights between now and the end of next year, setting himself up for a title early in 2020. Though, this way, if he beats both Wilder and then Joshua, and you add that to the Klitschko victory he will have left a solid legacy behind. In a years’ time, if Joshua and Wilder had fought first, it would likely be Joshua who ended Wilders unbeaten run.
If Fury does win this, he’s also likely to have to do it all over again before getting a shot at Joshua. Wilder’s defence of his title is voluntary so there’s no doubt going to be a rematch if it doesn’t go the way he thinks it will.
RD: What about Wilder, he’s known as a hard puncher with a good chin, does he have the skill to beat Fury if Fury shows up at his best or is he also not as prepared as he could be?
LG: Wilder’s intelligence gets dismissed by a lot of people because them lump him in the puncher category, I think he’s a smart guy and a reasonably smart fighter – which is not the same thing. However, he is not as technically skilled as Fury is, not even close. A few fighters he’s already faced he has struggled with and traditionally speaking when it’s world class boxer versus world class puncher then history favours the boxer.
I’m not sure that I think Wilder is underestimating Fury’s past ability, I just think he’s a little overconfident given how unpredictable Fury is and also thinks a little too highly of himself as he hasn’t had the schooling coming up through the ranks that you used to see.
The great American heavyweights of old are long gone with so many more athletes pursuing NFL instead of boxing, Wilder’s the best the states currently have but he’s no Tyson or Holyfield.
Klitschko suffered some of the same in that he didn’t have many challengers after Lewis hung up his gloves in 2003 – the heavyweight division as a whole has been in massive decline. The big difference for me is that Klitschko was aware of it and would have been a great fighter even in previous generations whereas Wilder probably wouldn’t have been – Mike Tyson would have crucified the guy.
RD: We’ve a selection of comments that we’ve seen around from notable boxing personalities, let’s summarise what the experts have to say and see how it compares with your thoughts;
Amir Khan, the former unified light-welterweight world champion (and he of the glass chin) says:
Fury is unbeaten, unpredictable, you can’t sleep on him.
Derek Chisora, currently the WBA International champion who has lost to Fury previously didn’t hold back saying:
Fury needed 2-3 fights more, it’s too early, he’s taking it for the money, that’s the way the fight game is.
Eddie Hearn, who manages Anthony Joshua is happy about it, commenting:
It grows the following fight for AJ, Fury shouldn’t take it yet.
Evander Holyfield, Former undisputed champion seemed split between the two, his opinion was:
Fury wouldn’t do it if he didn’t have the belief, Wilder will have the confidence from his record.
Teddy Atlas, Former trainer to Mike Tyson also weighed in with his thoughts that:
Wilder has the mindset & physicality, Wilder’s the purest puncher in the division, but not skilful, Fury for a big guy fights like a lightweight and will frustrate Wilder.
What do make of these comments Lee?
LG: I think they are mostly on the ball, I’d certainly be listening closely to Teddy Atlas who knows boxing like few others and summarises it well there. The most fascinating take on the whole thing I heard was from a guy called Walt Harris who sparred with both of them. He said he’s never been hit as hard as Wilder did but that he’s never felt so outclassed boxing than with Fury. He just couldn’t predict him at all and as a boxer that’s just so hard to deal with.
This was after Fury’s first comeback fight, so it’s clear he still has plenty of skill in the tank, it’s all going to come down to Wilder finding a way past to land that big hand and put Fury out of the fight.
RD: So, I have to ask this, you box yourself, who would you want to be up against?
LG: Well thankfully I’m both a welterweight and a rank amateur so I don’t have to face either of them!
If I was a heavyweight, it would be Fury I wouldn’t want to fight, Wilder is predictable and you can train for that, give yourself a fighting edge, you just can’t predict the unpredictable and that’s Fury.
RD: Last and most important then, what bets should we be looking at on this fight and what bet will you be placing yourself?
LG: Boxing bettors will always tend to favour their own intuition when it comes to who wins and given how tight the odds are on both fighters, I don’t favour a simple bet there for outright win without calling the method.
The over/under rounds market is a little less tight and, as I can see this going the distance for Fury on points or Wilder winning a late knockout as Fury tires. As a result, the over 9.5 rounds is probably the safest bet out there which still carries some decent winning potential – it also negates who wins so long as the fight goes past the middle of the 9th round.
Similarly, Wilder to win in rounds 10-12 is currently 11/1 and Fury to win in 10-12 is 20/1, depending on your chosen fighter both those are nice odd sets for a more specific result prediction.
Fury to win by decision is looking really good value at 2/1, quite surprised at that as there’s no way he’s winning by knockout barring a miracle so if you a Fury fan – I’d back that as a safer option than choosing the rounds.
Those are my picks for what I will be betting, over 9.5 rounds, Fury to win by decision and Fury to win in rounds 10-12. If you are in Wilder’s camp, also take over 9.5 rounds, Wilder by Knockout or TKO and Wilder in rounds 10-12.
If you want higher odds than that on this fight you are going to have to put your money with your opinion and take a narrower bet on the exact outcome or round, which I don’t advocate, it’s too hard to call.
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