The Big Question: Can underdogs Whyte and O’Sullivan upset the odds?
This Saturday’s multi-title show at the O2 Arena is headlined by two fights sparked by lively, social media rivalry. Yet a glance at the bookies’ odds suggest the outcomes of both bouts are a foregone conclusion. Can Dillian Whyte (15-2 outsider) and/or Spike O’Sullivan (4-1 against) pull off the big upset? Or will rising stars Joshua and Eubank Jr shine as expected? Boxing Monthly's online team give their verdict in this week's 'Big Question’.
Whilst I'm a big believer in boxing's underdog I can't bring much of an argument for Dillian Whyte against Anthony Joshua.
Joshua's hand speed and accuracy will be too much for his rival to handle. I don't see the contest going beyond the second round. Whyte is going to have to match his opponent's start and that could be his downfall. I don't see what shots Whyte has that may even land on Joshua.
O'Sullivan has the better chance of the two 'dogs but barring power I haven't seen attributes of Spike's that can pose many problems for his rival.
Again, hand speed could be a telling factor as will be the rate of Eubank's combinations. He will want to make a statement and I don't see this fight going past six rounds. - Shaun Brown.
Of the two, I give Whyte the better chance of pulling off the upset. Although Joshua is a clear favourite, Whyte will enter the ring full of confidence. He has beaten Joshua before (as an amateur) and is certain he'll do it again. This will be easier said than done as - although both have improved considerably since their first fight - Joshua looks like a genuine, world class prospect. However, Whyte will be the first opponent the Olympic Gold medalist has faced that will genuinely believe he can win. Joshua's chin remains untested and it'll be interesting to see how he reacts IF Whyte lands cleanly.
Although the bookmakers believe O'Sullivan is more likely to win than Whyte, I I believe the Irishman's strengths will be his undoing here. 'Spike' will set himself to land big shots, by doing so he he'll leave himself open to attacks from his faster, more explosive opponent. This may be a carbon copy of Eubank’s fight with Dmitry Chudinov with O'Sullivan enduring a long night. - John A. MacDonald.
The main criticism levelled at Anthony Joshua is that he has yet to have his chin or gut tested. You also have to aim that same criticism at Dillian Whyte. 'The Villian' (I much prefer that nickname) has spent plenty of time around various Klitschko training camps so may have spent time with a higher calibre of fighter but I'm not sure how well that will prepare him for a professional fight with Joshua. Basically, we have two hard hitting but untested heavyweights, one of whom seems further along the road to being the finished article than the other. For that reason, I pick Joshua and, as I don't see the fight going beyond the midway point, I'll pick him to win by knockout inside four.
My hope is that Whyte goes down swinging and at least manages to test Joshua's chin. Big Anthony does hold his left hand low sometimes..........
I see Chris Eubank’s battle with Spike O'Sullivan descending into a one-sided beatdown. Spike is wholehearted and heavy hitting but needs to set his feet to let his shots go. Eubank should have way too much speed of hand and foot for the Irishman and I can see him producing something of a clinic. Eubank inside seven. - John Evans.
Whyte appears to be a live ‘dog against Joshua. He’s tough, game and mentally, looks in the right place to provide Joshua with his first real fight in the pros. Joshua should have too much for him regardless. He’s the one who’s made the greater strides since they last met. Whyte could ruffle the big man’s feathers a bit, though.
I’m on the same page as John [Evans] with regard to Eubank vs O’Sullivan. Junior looks physically bigger than “Spike”, and while I’m loathe to go all-in on Eubank after his showing against Saunders (who I thought he would beat handily), he has a chance to look impressive on Saturday. - Andrew Harrison.
The acid test for any fighter used to bowling over his opposition is what happens when they finally face an opponent with the tools to fight fire with fire. While I'd like to imagine that Whyte can be that opponent for Anthony Joshua, I just can't make a case for the likeable Jamaican born Londoner winning this fight. It's a tired cliche but as we see time and time again boxing is about levels and for me Joshua is a good few levels about Whyte in terms of talent. We saw it recently with Callum Smith's blow out of Rocky Fielding and I think we will see something similar in this fight. Whyte will need to engage Joshua at some point and that will spell disaster for Whyte as early as the third round, maybe even earlier
Spike O'Sullivan has the best chance to upset the odds on Saturday night but only a puncher’s chance. Eubank has a more developed skill set in his locker and this will see him overwhelm Spike sometime during the middle rounds. - Danny Winterbottom.
Maybe I'm drinking the Anthony Joshua Kool-Aid, but I'm unable to envision a way for Dillian Whyte to come away victorious. Joshua is the far more technical boxer and he's adjusted well to the professional ranks. Outside of power and a gritty toughness, I don't know what Whyte really has to offer. I expect Joshua to find a way to finish this fight before the middle rounds.
I find the Chris Eubank vs. Spike O'Sullivan fight to be more attractive. O'Sullivan's power and boxing ability is underrated and I think he'll be a compelling test for Eubank, who I don't believe has the same knockout ability. I expect Eubank to take a decision, but O'Sullivan could walk away with much higher profile than he has now. - Shawn A Smith.
Within this question resides the inherent unpredictability and brilliance of boxing, for both Whyte and O’Sullivan have just enough of a ‘puncher’s chance’ to make Saturday’s bill a must-see. We haven’t seen Anthony Joshua’s chin properly tested in the pro ranks and, if the heavy-handed Whyte detonates a perfectly timed punch, who knows what happens? Eubank took a few bombs from Billy Joe Saunders pretty well, which indicates he may have inherited his father’s ‘bomb shelter of a cranium’ (as someone once described it), however, O’Sullivan probably punches harder than Saunders and that could be dangerous for Eubank if he decides to showboat with his hands down. Favouritism should prevail but although two upsets would astonish me, one wouldn’t. - Luke Williams.
This Saturday's Sky Box Office event is being sold on the pretence that these two fights are evenly matched contests and, while they may interest the casual viewer, I don't see that being the case.
Starting with Joshua vs Whyte, looking at both boxers’ record there isn't actually much between them. Without being too dismissive, Whyte has barely boxed above fodder level. His win over Brian Minto being the standout. Joshua's record looks better on paper with names like Sprott, Skelton and Johnson but none of them were anywhere near their prime. Discarding the records, we can only go on what we see and the facts are Whyte has zero physical advantages in this contest and does nothing better than Joshua so I expect Joshua to win in four.
Eubank vs O'Sullivan is a slightly more even contest, but is again being built on nothing much more than a social media rivalry. Eubank has proven more in two fights (narrow loss to Saunders and stoppage win over Chudinov) than O'Sullivan has in 23 fights. Again, I'm going on the attributes of each fighter and for me it's Eubank in eight. - Callum Rudge.
The Joshua-Whyte contest has that little air of "je ne sais quoi" because of their history - yet I see Joshua dishing-out a good hiding and taking the belts home within three rounds.... I just hope Whyte can extend things somewhat.
I think O'Sullivan will hang tough and Eubank will get some rounds in - but no, I don't think he can stop Eubank's continued rise. - Colin Harris.
I’m not suggesting that Eubank isn’t somebody worth watching, but I’ve met a couple of females who find him quite appealing, and I think there are one or two in the boxing media giddy on the hype-train with their own CEJ man-crush.
He’s fought two guys who would ‘fight back’ and lost to one on the bigger stage. He looks great on the pads and going forward, but he was accused of being amateur for much of the Saunders fight, and really had to work to beat Chudinov.
O’Sullivan is not as slick as Saunders, but he likely hits harder, so it won’t be a case of Eubank walking down a timid opponent to then use as a heavy bag. The fight should be competitive, but won’t go the distance. The anticipation and needle makes this one extremely appealing.
With regards to the main event, other than the lingering question of what happens to Joshua when somebody hits his chin, it is difficult to see his momentum stopping because of Whyte. Again, great needle match-up, but Joshua is the bigger, faster and better athlete. Expect another early night for AJ. - TKO Radio.