Fabio Wardley Vs David Adeleye Tops A Very Tidy Fury Vs Ngannou Undercard

Come for the freak show, stay for the top quality undercard
17:00, 25 Oct 2023

The Sportsman has already dug deep into Tyson Fury’s Saturday bout with Francis Ngannou. There is little more that can be said about the meeting of the WBC heavyweight champion and the UFC titlist-turned-boxing-novice in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

But that questionable headliner is not the only action we’ll see in the Riyadh ring on Saturday. There is a heavyweight-heavy undercard on offer too. Some may scoff at the bizarre nature of the non-title, ten-round main event. But there is worthwhile action to be found underneath.

The juiciest fight on the undercard is one for the traditionalist. The historic British heavyweight championship will be on the line, with Fabio Wardley defending the iconic belt against David Adeleye. There had been talk of the Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt not being at stake, due to the fight being in Saudi Arabia, but the British Boxing Board of Control have now sanctioned the bout.

This one is already threatening fireworks, with the two men clashing on the red carpet at a press conference. The exchange left Wardley nursing cuts, but the bout goes ahead. Even without the pre-fight histrionics, this one looks special. Pairing two undefeated knockout artists who have had just one distance fight each in a combined 27 fights, look for this one to be explosive. Add the British title to the mix and this is a worthy main event on its own.

Another heavyweight star who is no stranger to titles is Joseph Parker. A friend of Tyson Fury and a valued member of ‘The Gypsy King’s camp, the New Zealander is a former WBO heavyweight champion. Parker lost to Joe Joyce in a 2022 thriller, but has rebounded with wins over Jack Massey and Faiga Opelu this year.


Now the 31-year-old continues on the long road back to contention against 23-1 Canadian, Simon Kean. ‘The Grizzly’ has wins over former Anthony Joshua challenger Eric Molina and ex-WBO champion Siarhei Liakhovich. Given how shopworn those two were when Kean beat them though, you’d definitely back Parker to overwhelm him in Riyadh.

From a heavyweight who has held the title to one still looking to reach the top of the mountain. Russia’s Arslanbek Makhmudov has a fearsome 17-0 record with 16 knockouts. Ranked favourably by the governing bodies, he has squashed name fighters like Samuel Peter, Carlos Takam and Mariusz Wach. What he needs now is a true challenge given that, at 34, opportunity isn’t going to come knocking forever. A fight with 18-3-1 Junior Anthony Wright feels like a chance to get Makhmudov some eyeballs on a big event, rather than genuine progress. But if he performs well here, 2024 could be a very big year for ‘The Lion’.

The aforementioned Takam will be in action in Saudi too. The Cameroon-born former title challenger had looked done when Joyce and Makhmudov beat him in back-to-back outings. But a comeback win over Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka in March bought Takam more time. His opponent, DR Congo’s popular Martin Bakole, has a win over Yoka too. The 30-year-old also has advantages in youth and power over the 42-year-old Takam. The mini-comeback Takam launched in March could be short-lived.

The card will also feature an outing for 5-0 amateur standout Moses Itauma, who is matched tough with 10-1 Hungarian Istvan Bernath. Liverpool light middleweight Jack McGann will also continue his education against the durable Alcibiade Duran.

The main event is straight out of the drawer marked “all sizzle no steak”, but the undercard has some prime cuts. As a package, the pay-per-view should provide something for everybody. The strange but mesmerising spectacle in the main event, plus a night of traditional boxing that can rival plenty of cards being staged this year.

fury vs ngannou odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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