Tyson Fury opens as heavy favorite over Anthony Joshua in heavyweight showdown
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Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are reportedly closing in on a two-fight deal, with the first bout likely to happen in summer 2021. While the anticipated matchup is still a year away, sportsbooks have already released odds for the bout, and Fury is a hefty -250 favorite.

Fury (30-0-1), the current WBC and lineal heavyweight champion, is coming off a dominant seventh round TKO win over Deontay Wilder in February. Fury closed as a slight favorite over Wilder after late money came in on the "Gypsy King." Since defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, Fury has been an underdog just once; he was +100 to Wilder in their first meeting that ended in a draw.

Fellow British boxer Joshua (23-1) is the current WBO, WBA, IBO, and IBF heavyweight champion. He opened +175, and while a lot can happen between now and next June, it would mark the first time in Joshua's career he enters a fight as the betting underdog. Joshua avenged his shocking loss to +800 underdog Andy Ruiz Jr. in December, toying with his out-of-shape opponent to earn a unanimous decision victory and regain his heavyweight titles.

It's not surprising to see Fury open as the favorite after the way he mauled Wilder in their second fight. If everything remains status quo, look for these odds to move toward Joshua as the fight gets closer, though. Fury deserves to be favored, but -250 is a little steep against a fighter of Joshua's caliber.

One thing to keep in mind is Wilder still looms large in the heavyweight title picture. Should the "Gypsy King" and Wilder meet in a trilogy fight before next summer, it will certainly impact the odds of a Fury-Joshua showdown, regardless of the outcome. If Joshua and Fury retain their titles over the next year, the two would fight to crown a unified heavyweight champion for the first time in over 20 years.

Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.

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Tyson Fury opens as heavy favorite over Anthony Joshua in heavyweight showdown
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