UK betting giant William Hill is banking on brand exposure through boxing as it signed a deal with Matchroom Boxing to sponsor the IBF world heavyweight fight.
Undefeated boxers Charles “Prince” Martin and Anthony Joshua are set to face on April 9th at the O2 Arena in London, which will be screened on Live Sky Sport Box Office. The match is touted as one of the biggest sporting events this spring.
“Martin v Joshua is going to be a mega heavyweight title showdown and we’re delighted to have a real heavyweight global brand like William Hill on board,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “I think it’s 50/50 fight. I normally agree with the bookies odds – but I think this fight will be a lot closer than William Hill have it.”
Martin travels to England for the first defense of the title that he landed in Brooklyn in January against Vyacheslav Glazkov. He also holds a 23-1-0 record with 21 wins by KO. Joshua, the 2012 Olympic champion in the super heavyweight division, is looking to extend his 15-0 record and win his first world title.
“Anthony Joshua is big box office in this neck of the woods and we’re expecting to see the TV viewing figures and ticket sales records smashed for this fight. AJ is a big favorite with us to claim the world title but the odds will probably be more pro-Martin on the other side of the pond,” said Alex O’Shaughnessy, chief marketing officer at William Hill.
“Fighting for the Heavyweight World title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional,” said Joshua. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to turn that dream in to reality. Having the chance to fight for it in my home town at The O2 and live on Sky Sports is unbelievably exciting. Charles Martin is a great fighter and a hungry competitor so I am going to have to produce the performance of my career to claim that belt.”
Willian Hill has set Joshua, the challenger, as the favorite to win the match at 1/7 while Martin is rated a 9/2 shot to defend his belt, with the draw at 33/1.
This is not Hills’ first foray into the professional boxing arena as it sponsored the Bad Intentions night of boxing event—a match between Joshua and Dillian Whyte—on December 12th. The company has also announced that it will be sponsoring World Super-Bantamweight unification clash between Carl Frampton MBE and Scott Quigg on February 27.