UA-59049186-1 Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko: A Heavyweight Fight Worth a Damn - Good if it Goes

Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko: A Heavyweight Fight Worth a Damn

Klitschko Joshua

Anthony Joshua 18-0(18 KO) vs Wladimir Klitschko 64-4(53 KO)

Odds: Joshua -265, Wlad +225

This fight MATTERS. It matters because Anthony Joshua is 18-0 with 18 KO’s. It matters because Wladimir Klitschko has had a stellar career, ruling the heavyweight division for the past decade (before the Fury fight). Anthony Joshua has a shot to rule the Heavyweight division and become the next big star that gets fans worldwide glued to the screen. Heavyweight boxing tends to do that even when the smaller fighters are better.  People have just always tended liking seeing huge dudes knock each other out, even if very sloppily. But no more, let’s get to it.

Wladimir Klitschko has had a storied career regardless what you truly feel about the opposition he faced or the era he competed in. He’s beaten names such as Alexander Povetkin, David Haye and Ruslan Chagaev during his 10 year run in the division. That all came to an end, though, in his 2015 loss to the enigmatic Tyson Fury. The fight was one of the worst title fights the Heavyweight division had seen in a while with both men refusing to really engage. Fury looked the better being on his backfoot and boxing Wlad while Wlad looked older and not at all willing to pull the trigger on his punches. So, it’s been almost 2 full years since Wlad has even been back in the ring since the 2nd Fury fight debacles(Fury stripped, suspended for Coke).

Anthony Joshua has steamrolled through his career with brutal efficiency. Eighteen knockouts in 18 fights for the highest knockout percentage in boxing currently. He dispatched of then undefeated fellow British foe, Dillian Whyte, then won the IBF title from undefeated American, Charles Martin. Afterwards he beat another undefeated American in Dominic Breazale. His last fight was against an overmatched Eric Molina with another brutal stoppage. The only slip up we can say was in the 2nd round against Dillian Whyte in which Joshua was rocked and hurt very badly. Other than that, Joshua has pretty much been smooth sailing since entering the professional ranks.

The criticism of Wlad is that he has employed an ugly style of boxing as well as tending to break the rules as much as he can with his “Jab and Grab” style. This was heavily on display in his fight against Alexander Povetkin where he “clinched” almost 200 times and the ref didn’t even bother to warn him. For Joshua, it’s the opponents, or lack of opponent diversity in his short career. We also don’t know how he’ll truly respond against a top flight opponent who will offer him different looks and can truly match with him skillwise.

Wlad is 41 years old and didn’t exactly look great against Bryant Jennings and certainly didn’t look good against Fury. But we know how skilled he is a boxer with his long jab and with the power to match. His footwork is also excellent and he’s shown to be a really good mover when he wants. At 6’6″ and 240 lbs. with a 81″ reach, he has dominated with the combination of skills and athletic gifts.

The problem really is that Joshua is also 6’6″ at 250 lbs. with an 81″ reach. With Joshua it’s pretty basic what he does. He uses his powerful long jab(similar to Wlad) to set up his power right hand. Rinse, repeat. Here and there he may offer up a hook or a nice uppercut, such as the one that brutalized Eric Molina late last year. Joshua certainly looks the part, a muscular behemoth, but he also has shown stiffness that comes with all the workouts and muscles he has. Certainly much less mobile and fluid than Wlad.

I think this comes down to experience vs youth. I’m leaning Joshua here because Wlad has been off for 2 years and his style of jab and grab won’t work on an opponent as big and strong as he is. Wlad has also seemed very tentative with his punches lately. I expect Joshua to continue to be patient in the ring and have a cerebral approach in there. If Wlad can take him deep in the fight, will Joshua’s stamina hold up?

I’m going with Joshua by KO/TKO. If you notice, I barely discussed Wlad’s multiple knockout losses over 10 years ago but I feel his chin is definitely questionable.

Joshua wins Inside the Distance set at -159. 

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