Bookies are running scared of Joe Rea in the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights on Saturday night live on Sky Sports 1HD.
Rea says that a strict training regime under new trainer Kevin Maree has him in the best shape of his life, sparring with the likes of Kenny Anderson, Tony Bellew and Joe Selkirk as he bids to claim the title in 24th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight man, one night tournament.
The 28 year old faces Simon O’Donnell in the fourth quarter final in the King’s Hall in Belfast and he was as big as 25/1 with some bookmakers and punters piled into him to win the event, taking his price down closer to the 5/2 he started at with official sponsors Betfair.
“My price is going to keep falling because I’ve got a lot of fans who believe in me,” said Rea. “My training has been great, teaming up with Kevin Maree has changed everything and it’s a new Joe Rea in the King’s Hall on Saturday night.
“I haven’t looked at the betting much really as I’ve been focussing on the job in hand, but people told me that I was a big price and I will be going out there to make some people a nice few quid, as I am here to win this.”
The winner of Rea and O’Donnell will face either Darren Cruise or JJ McDonagh in the second semi final, with bookies’ favourite Eamonn O’Kane kicking off the night against Anthony Fitzgerald in the opening quarter final, for the right to face either Ciaran Healy or Ryan Greene in the first semi final.
On the stacked bill in Belfast, Paul McCloskey faces ‘Chop Chop’ DeMarcus Corley after the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights in a 12 round welterweight clash as Dudey aims to get back into World title contention, and former British featherweight champion Martin Lindsay kicks off the night against Mickey Coveney.
Outright odds with Betfair (correct at 5pm):
Eamonn O’Kane 11/8
Anthony Fitzgerald 5/1
JJ McDonagh 5/1
Joe Rea 13/2
Simon O’Donnell 7/1
Ryan Greene 12/1
Darren Cruise 33/1
Ciaran Healy 66/1
Any other fighter 29/1
QF1: Eamonn O’Kane 8/13 v Anthony Fitzgerald 7/5
QF2: Ciaran Healy 3/1 v Ryan Greene 1/3
QF3: Darren Cruise 15/8 v JJ McDonagh 40/85
QF4: Simon O’Donnell evens v Joe Rea 4/5