Will it happen this time?
Originally scheduled for May, Kiwi Joseph Parker (23-0, 18 KO) vs Hughie Fury (20-10 KO) are officially re-scheduled to fight for the former's WBO heavyweight title on September 23 at Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), Manchester, Lancashire.
Fury backed out of May's affair due to a lower back injury leaving Parker to face last-minute opponent Razvan Cojanu in Auckland, New Zealand as a volunteer defense. And despite winning, Parker looked ordinary, at best, against an opponent who was 16-1 and had less than 12 days to prepare.
Is that why the odds are so close, despite the fact Fury will not have fought in a year and a half (sans a meaningless exhibition today) and hasn't faced anyone of merit?
Combine Parker's most recent performance with the fact Fury will have home field advantage and the odds aren't surprising. And let's not forget, Parker struggled mightily in his title-taking battle with Andy Ruiz in December.
Parker was awarded a majority decision in a bout some thought he deserved to lose.
Parker vs Fury odds (As of 7/8/17)
Per bet365, Parker is the 4 to 6 favorite while Fury is the underdog at 6 to 5. Should Parker win, $100 bet on him would generate about $67 in net revenue while the same bet on Fury would produce about $120 in net winnings.
SkyBet has the New Zealander as a 4 to 7 favorite and the Brit, Fury, slated as the 11 to 8 underdog. Moreover, BetVictor has the WBO Champ as low as a 8 to 15 favorite.
Although undefeated, Hughie Fury hasn't received the level of buzz as the aforementioned names. An upset, however, over Parker would undoubtedly raise his stock, especially considering his already-famous, very flamboyant cousin, Tyson Fury, a former champion.
WBO Heavyweight Ratings (as of June 2017)
CHAMPION: JOSEPH PARKER NZ
1 Hughie Fury UK
2 Christian Hammer (WBO Europe) GER
3 Kubrat Pulev BUL
4 Andy Ruiz USA
5 Tom Schwarz (Int-Cont) GER
6 Jarrell Miller USA
7 Dominic Breazeale USA
8 Dillan Whyte JAM
9 Kyotaro Fujimoto (Asia-Pacific) JPN
10 Luis Ortiz CUB
"Hughie Fury may only be 22, but I really do believe his time has come and that he will prove me right when he goes in against the recently crowned champion Joseph Parker," wrote Fury's promoter, Frankie Warren, in an article he published on BoxingScene.com earlier this year.