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Back To Back Heavyweight Weekends at London’s 02 Arena in July

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  • Back To Back Heavyweight Weekends at London’s 02 Arena in July

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    By Miguel Iturrate

    Looking past this weekend's Tyson Fury versus Tom Schwarz fight in Las Vegas, July sees four notable heavyweight fights scheduled in the U.K. Despite Anthony Joshua's "big slip" against Andy Ruiz Jr, the U.K. heavyweight scene is robust and worth taking a look at for the American fans.

    Promoter Frank Warren hits first on July 13th as Queensberry Promotions is in London's O2 Arena. The heavyweight bouts will air on BT Sport and on the ESPN+ app, so check your local listings for start times.

    The evening's feature fight sees 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce (9-0) facing battle-tested American Bryant Jennings (24-3). Jennings (pictured on the right) lost back to back fights in 2015 to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz, falling short twice when he took a step up into a higher level of competition. Afterwards, Jennings reeled off five wins in a row before falling via stoppage to undefeated Oscar Rivas this past January. Jennings is now 34 and he needs a convincing win here if he wants to remain relevant. Some who are more critical of Jennings say his last shot faded with the loss to Rivas and this fight signals Jennings' transition to grabbing paydays against up and comers.

    As for Joyce, the book is still out. Joyce performed as an amateur through his late 20's and he made his pro debut already on the plus side of 30. Joyce is looking to move fast as a pro, and he is coming off a 6th round stoppage over Bermaine Stiverne this past February. Joyce has opened a nearly 4-1 favorite over Jennings for this one. Joyce has weighed in the 260's for recent outings while Jennings will likely hit the scales in the 220's as usual.

    A second eye-catching heavyweight fight sees the vacant British heavyweight title going home with the winner of Nathan Gorman versus Daniel Dubois.

    This is being billed as a grudge match between two undefeated fighters on the rise. Both men do deserve credit for taking the fight. It has been marinating for a longtime, but both men are still prospects and risking a loss this early in a promising career is unusual.

    Nathan Gorman is 22 years old, 16-0 as a pro and counts cousin Tyson Fury as a training partner. Nevertheless, he will enter the fight as an underdog to Dubios (11-0).

    Dubois was slated to represent the U.K. at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the 21 year old elected to turn pro early. The two have been eyeing each other since the amateur ranks and, as pros, they have closely watched each other, notching wins over several common opponents along the way. Promoter Frank Warren has put a good deal into promoting this bout and the winner will take a considerable step forward in the weight class.

    Fast forward to the 20th and Eddie Hearn is back at the O2 with a card headlined by Dillian Whyte versus Oscar Rivas.

    The Colombian Rivas (26-0) is coming off the biggest win of his career when he stopped Bryant Jennings in February. Aside from one fight in France in 2017, Rivas has fought his entire pro career in North America, mainly in Canada. This is his first trip to London and Whyte (25-1) is looking to make a statement. Whyte's lone loss came at the hands of Anthony Joshua, and he has long operated in the ex-champion's shadow. Nevertheless, in Joseph Parker, Lucas Browne, Robert Helenius and Dereck Chisora twice, Whyte has kept a very high level of competition. Now with Joshua fallen, a standout performance against Rivas could give Whyte more of the spotlight he craves.

    The second heavyweight bout on the card sees David Allen (17-4-2) facing off against David Price (24-6). Allen is a favorite of promoter Hearn after stepping in to face Dillian Whyte and Luis Otiz in back to back fights. He has had a couple of losses and a draw since, but he is currently on a four-fight winning streak that includes a hope-buoying KO over Lucas Browne in his last outing.

    As for the six-foot-nine Price, he once won an Olympic Bronze medal, but has lost athleticism as he has aged. Being ponderous and having a glass chin has caused Price to suffer several brutal KOs during his career and one more loss of that nature should lead to serious questions as to whether he should be licensed. That is unlikely to happen as, win or lose, chances are that Price will trudge on.

    Odds Review - Below are the odds for the quartet of bouts as they stand today.

    O2 Arena - London, England - Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Heavyweight 12 rounds -

    Nathan Gorman +230

    Daniel Dubois -290

    Heavyweight 12 rounds -

    Bryant Jennings +275

    Joe Joyce -365

    O2 Arena - London, England - Saturday, July 20, 2019

    Heavyweight 10 rounds -

    David Price +195

    David Allen -255

    Heavyweight 12 rounds -

    Oscar Rivas +450

    Dillian Whyte -675

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel