Joseph Parker vs Faiga Opelu Betting Odds and Prediction

By Boxing

Joseph Parker vs Faiga Opelu Preview May 24th, 2023 

Former WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker of New Zealand returns to the ring this Wednesday, May 24th in Melbourne, Australia when he takes on Faiga Opelu of Samoa in a 10-round tilt. Thye fight can be seen live on Main Event pay-per-view down under. Parker last fought in January when he beat Jack Massey by a 10-round unanimous decision. Opelu was in the ring in March when he fought to a three-round technical draw with Kris Terzievski in a shot at Terzievski’s Australian heavyweight title and the vacant Commonwealth Crown. Opelu dropped his opponent in the third round but fell on Terzievski’s ankle and injured it. The doctor then ruled Terzievski couldn’t continue.

Parker vs Opelu Betting Odds

Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook (full review here).

  • Faiga Opelu +700
  • Joseph Parker -1250

My Pick

The 31-year-old Parker enters the bout with a mark of 31-3 with 21 Ko’s. He won the regular WBO title in December, 2016 by beating Andy Ruiz Jr. by majority decision but lost it via unanimous decision to Anthony Joshua in March, 2018 in a unification bout. His second defeat was a controversial 12-round unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte in August, 2018 for the vacant WBO International and the WBC Silver Heavyweight Titles and his third and last loss was to Joe Joyce last September when he was stopped in the 11th round of a slugfest for the vacant interim WBO Crown.

Parker has good power in his punches with a current knockout ratio of 61.8 per cent but has gone the distance in nine of his last 13 fights with all three of his losses coming in his last 10 outings. Earlier in his career, Parker’s power was his strong point but he’s had to depend on his boxing skills and hand speed more often in the past few years. He went the distance five times in a row from 2016 to 2018 against Whyte, Joshua, Hughie Fury, Razvan Cojanu and Ruiz before stopping Alexander Flores, Alex Leapai and Shawndell Winters all in a row between December, 2018 and February, 2020.

Since then, he’s beaten Junior Fa and Dereck Chisora (twice) by decisions before falling to Joyce and rebounding with his win over Jack Massey. Parker needs to improve his stamina so he can fight the full three minutes of every round if he’s forced to. He landed several bombs against Joyce last year but was worn down and out of gas when stopped with just five minutes to go in the fight. Parker won the WBO Oriental Heavyweight Championship by stopping Brian Minto in seven rounds in 2014 and has won several other regional heavyweight titles in his part of the world including the WBO Oriental Title and the OPBF Crown.

He also has wins over Alexander Dimitrenko, Carlos Takam, Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, Kali Meehan, Bowie Tupou, Jason Pettaway, Frans Botha and Sherman Williams. Parker turned pro in 2005 after an excellent amateur career and has 222 rounds under his belt since. He also has decent size for a modern-day heavyweight at 6-feet-4-inches with a 76-inch reach. Parker’s not the most athletic and mobile boxer in the ring though and generally has trouble against fleet-footed and mobile opponents.

He also leaves himself open for counter shots but doesn’t mind taking one or two punches to land one of his own. His chin has been pretty reliable so far after being tested quite often even though he was halted by Joyce. Parker needs to instill a killer instinct as he staggered Joyce on several occasions and waited far too long to go after Dillian Whyte as he virtually had him out on his feet just as the bell rang and paid the price for not letting his hands go earlier.

As for the 29-year-old Opelu, the Samoan fights out of Australia and makes the ring walk with a mark of 15-3-2 with 11 Ko’s and has boxed 67 rounds since making his pro debut in 2017. He had a pretty good amateur career and boxed in the 2016 New Zealand National Amateur Championships and Australian Golden Gloves Tournament. He reportedly stands 6-feet-tall with a 73-inch reach, which would see him give up four inches in height and three inches in reach to Parker. As far as power is concerned, Opelu’s current knockout ratio comes in at 55 per cent.

The first defeat Opelu suffered came at the hands of Christian Ndzie Tsoye by way of a three-round split decision in 2018. He as stopped in seven rounds in October, 2020 by Justis Huni and lost his Australian Heavyweight title in the process in his first defence. He had won the vacant crown in November, 2019 by stopping Kris Terzievski after the fifth round. Opelu was also stopped by veteran and former WBA Heavyweight Champion Lucas Browne in the seventh round in December, 2021.

Along with settling for a technical draw with Terzievski in his last outing, Opelu fought to a four-round draw with Mou Mou Atak in March, 2019. his biggest wins have been against Terzievski, Julius Long, Patrick Thunder (twice), Patrick Eneanya, Hunter Sam and Hemi Ahio. Although Opelu has enough power to give anybody trouble, he doesn’t own the greatest chin in the heavyweight division.


Parker’s a solid heavyweight contender and basically has all of the advantages over Opelu in this fight other than age. However, he struggles against lower-grade opponents and seems to save his best performances for the upper-echelon heavyweights as he did against Ruiz, Joshua, Chisora, Whyte and Joyce, even though he didn’t win all those fights. Parker has been hanging around with Tyson Fury in England quite a bit recently but needs to make sure he’s focused on this fight and wins it convincingly to earn a shot at Fury or any other big-name heavyweight. As long as Parker lets his hands go I’m expecting him to earn another win here.

Parker’s experience and power should be the difference.

Play Parker -1250 @

Check out my recent boxing betting picks to see my current form.

Leave a Comment