Anthony Joshua, the owner of the IBF Heavyweight title, is looking to become the first great British Heavyweight since the likes of Lennox Lewis. Joshua has been ushering in a new era in a heavyweight division that has been virtually dominated over the last century by one man, Wladimir Klitschko.
Tonight, Wembley Stadium in London England will serve host to a historic night in the world of boxing. Shock waves are sure to be sent through the sport’s stratosphere as Joshua goes toe to toe with arguably the best heavyweight of this century in Klitschko.
These two behemoths of the heavyweight division will be delivering the highest anticipated heavyweight fight in known memory in front of an enormous crowd. The roughly 90,000 spectators expected, will set a boxing record for the illustrious Wembley Stadium.
Joshua (18-0 18 KO’S) stands an imposing 6 feet and 6 inches tall with an intimidating physique. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist has not circled the ring with a fighter the caliber of Klitschko thus far in his professional career.
Do not let the lack of resume fool you, Joshua displays a combination of size, speed and power that the heavyweight division has never seen. He throws powerful yet precise shots, devastating his opponents from the opening gate until they hit the canvas.
In his fight with then IBF Heavyweight champion Charles Martin, Joshua disposed of Martin in the second round, making a champion look like a novice. Then Joshua dismantled undefeated contender Dominic Breazeale, making a terrific prospect on the rise look like an amateur sparring partner.
Joshua, despite his meteoric rise to success, knows that Klitschko is a different type of animal. “All I can talk about is what I do in the ring,” Joshua said. “I know my opponent and what he is capable of.”
Klitschko, 41, has been the heavyweight division’s biggest attraction for nearly twenty years. The aging Ukrainians reign of dominance has been something to behold over the years as he has held and defended just about every title there is in the division.
Using his cerebral style of fighting, Klitschko isn’t the most electrifying fighter that you will see but what he does exceptionally well is pick apart his opponents with his typically superior reach of 81 inches. Long constant jabs and sheer patience wear down his opponents physically and mentally. This is a style that he has perfected and is something Joshua has not seen before from an opponent.
Boasting an incredible record of 64 wins and 4 losses with 53 knockouts, Klitschko’s last defeat in the ring was surprisingly in his last fight roughly eighteen months ago against Tyson Fury in a seemingly lackluster bout. This had many experts and spectators assuming that age had finally caught up to Klitschko.
Thoughts have risen that the near twenty-year period of dominance is over, but Klitschko would beg to differ. Over his 18-month layoff from his last fight, Klitschko has had time to get his body and mind in tune. Word from his camp is that he looks better than ever, is in terrific shape, and the mental games that came from the loss to Fury have had time to subside.
Klitschko is fully aware that although Joshua hasn’t fought his caliber of opponents, he is the most dangerous and skilled fighter he has faced in years.
Klitschko stated, “Is it a degradation that I am actually a challenger and underdog in this fight after 27 years in sport, I don’t think so.”
The Heavyweight division in boxing is finally back on the map, with Joshua ushering in a new era of young and highly talented prospects against the man who has been the face and dominant figure of the division for over 20 some-odd-years.
Klitschko started his boxing career the year Anthony Joshua was born 27 years ago. Is this the fight that breaks the cycle and opens up the division, or is this the fight that shows father time is only a myth?