Pro sports betting predictions

Anthony joshua v wladimir klitschko april mega fight can be first of many for aj

I've just booked our summer holiday. Two weeks, sunshine, a few good books, the occasional dip in the pool to cool off, and some nice fish meals in the evening. Even though it is still six months away, I can't help but be a bit excited about it.

I imagine Anthony Joshua must be having much the same feelings about fighting Wladimir Klitschko. He's already been made [1.55] favourite in the early market to retain his IBF title and add the vacant WBA Super title to go with it.

It's booked, sorted. Wembley stadium, April 29th, a crowd of 80,000 to roar him on. The trouble is that much like my holiday it is still months away, and that time delay is arguably the biggest unknown about what will happen come fight night.

Klitschko looked great when he got into the ring at the Manchester Arena shortly after Joshua had put away Eric Molina. He stared the champion down while Eddie Hearn gleefully announced that contracts for the fight were signed. He'll be doing his bit again this week when they hold the official press conference to confirm the contest.

But by the time they come to get in the ring Klitschko will have gone past his 41st birthday. What's more, it will be his first fight for 17 months since the night that Tyson Fury took away all his titles.

Klitschko has never had that long a period of inactivity before. From when he first won a world title by outpointing Chris Byrd in 2000 he went through 32 fights in the following 15 years. The longest spell he ever had without a contest was 11 months between September 2010 and July 2011. Line them up and knock them down.

But since being humbled by Fury he's had a succession of false starts. The rematch got called off twice, then a niggling calf injury stopped his first attempt to fight Joshua.

So will a long lay-off and the chance to let his body recover from the constant training, sparring and fighting have helped him? Or will he arrive at Wembley ring-rusty and lacking sharpness?

Those are crucial things for Joshua and his team to assess, because this contest has to be the gateway for more mega fights for the British star. If he can fill Wembley once he can do it again, aiming to unify titles against the likes of WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

And then, of course, there is still the spectre of Tyson Fury who has told friends that, when he has his head right from the troubles that forced him to give up the titles he so spectacularly won against Klitschko, he wants to return to the ring and win them back there.

For Joshua this is a massive step forward. It is the fight that ends the sniping criticism that even though he wears a world heavyweight championship crown he's never really fought anybody.

There are many things you can buy for yourself and your loved ones during your trip to Mexico City. Combine sightseeing with shopping stops at local markets such as La Lagunilla, Mercado de Curiosidades, Mercado Insurgentes, Ciudadela Crafts Market, Bazar del Sabado, Mercado de Artesanias and find the best recuerdos (souvenirs) in Mexico City!

The hype will start this week. The tickets will sell out in a heartbeat. And then much like for my holiday the waiting will begin.

Timeform shortlist down royal, tuesday january 31


1.10 Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Rated Novice Chase 2m50y

Timeform Top Rated:

142 1. LAID BACK LUKE Ms Sheila Lavery R. C. Colgan

141p 2. A GREAT VIEW Denis W. Cullen M. P. Walsh

141p 4. DOUBLE SCORES Gordon Elliott D. J. Mullins

Analyst's Verdict:

Laid Back Luke has taken pretty well to chasing in recent weeks, getting off the mark at Fairyhouse 16 days ago, and is taken to defy a penalty. A Great View and Double Scores are capable of better at some point over fences.

1.40 Down Royal Handicap Chase 2m50y

Timeform Top Rated:

134p 3. CILLIAN'S RETURN A. J. Martin Donagh Meyler (3)

128 2. HOLEINTHEWALL BAR Gordon Elliott Denis O'Regan

122 1. TAVERN TIMES Thomas Mullins M. P. Fogarty

Analyst's Verdict:

Cillian's Return is just the type to take off now handicapping over fences, and he's well treated based on his hurdles form. In the hope he's strong in the betting, he is preferred to Holeinthewall Bar, who will be popular representing Gordon Elliott.

2.15 St. Patrick's Punter Pack Handicap Chase 3m

Timeform Top Rated:

133 8. I'M AN IZZ WIZZ Liam Lennon G. N. Fox

131 4. CAPTURE THE DRAMA Aengus King A. Ring (3)

131 9. WITNESS OF FASHION Patrick Rooney D. E. Mullins

Analyst's Verdict:

The lightly raced I'm An Izz Wizz produced his best effort to date when finding only one too good at Punchestown recently, and he gets the narrow vote to confirm that improvement now. Capture The Drama and White Arm may well emerge as the chief threats.

2.50 Sean Graham Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle 2m

Timeform Top Rated:

124p 1. MONBEG CHIT CHAT Henry de Bromhead D. J. Mullins

115 14. CHESAPEAKE Gordon Elliott Denis O'Regan

114 3. WELL JOEY Mrs Prunella Dobbs Sean Flanagan

Analyst's Verdict:

Monbeg Chit Chat left his debut well behind when third at Gowran recently and sets a clear standard on that form. Chesapeake is next best ahead of Comber Mill.

3.25 Silks@DownRoyal Rated Novice Hurdle 2m3f120y

Timeform Top Rated:

131 3. CHARLIE STOUT Shane Nolan P. E. Corbett (3)

130 2. CADEAU DU BRESIL Gordon Elliott Daryl Jacob

129 1. KALOPSIA Joseph Patrick O'Brien J. J. Slevin (5)

Analyst's Verdict:

Cadeau du Bresil continues to go the right way and has a good a chance as any, with Charlie Stout and Aretesone others to consider in a tightly-knit affair.

3.55 Bet With The Tote Handicap Hurdle 2m3f120y

Timeform Top Rated:

127 14. CASTLEHUME Gordon Elliott Davy Russell

126 15. SWIFT John W. Nicholson M. A. Enright

125 6. PRINCE KUP E. J. O'Grady P. Townend

Analyst's Verdict:

Benny In Milan, having upped his game last time, appeals as the type that could go on improving now his attentions are turned to handicaps, the way in which he travels giving the impression that this bigger field/stronger pace will be ideal for him. Castlehume will prove better than a 100 horse in time, so he enters calculations along with the in-form Camlann.

4.25 Dark Horse Wine Bar At Down Royal I.N.H. Flat 2m

Timeform Top Rated:

103 2. INDRIK Joseph Patrick O'Brien Miss S. O'Brien (5)

99 10. OUR VALENTINA Stuart Crawford Mr N. McParlan (3)

97p 9. TRAINWRECK Henry de Bromhead Mr D. Roche (5)

Analyst's Verdict:

Last Minute Man has all the credentials of a winning newcomer as a son of Yeats who is related to several bumper winners, cost plenty as a 3-y-o and is with a top stable, so a chance is taken on him to get the better of the improving Indrik and the promising Trainwreck, who shaped as if there was plenty of latent ability when fourth at Limerick last month.

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