There has been a lot written and said about the upcoming Anthony Joshua Vs Wladimir Klitschko fight. Some have said this is a “passing of the torch” fight, others that Joshua will finally become the name he should be, some have even suggested that this is when Klitschko cements his ATG status.
In this article some of the writers and contributors of this website British Boxers, give their predictions on the outcome and break down how they envisage the fight panning out. see below
How do YOU see the fight going? Vote here:
— British Boxing (@britishboxers) April 25, 2017
I am worried that this could be Klitschko’s last big hoorah!
A year before Anthony Joshua won his Olympic gold medal in 2012, the boxing club I was involved with in Chester, with Dave Evans and Mark Shepard, brought him over to box one of our lads. What a lovely lad he was too, very respectful and some fighter. I was very impressed with him and also his cousin, who unfortunately had to pack in the boxing with eye trouble. Some time later when Anthony heard I was battling cancer, he was kind enough to send me out a signed glove and went out of his way to wish me well.
I really hope he can pull it off, I will be rooting for him, but unfortunately, I’m not so sure! I am now at an age where it isn’t worth pulling any punches or kidding my better judgement when analysing a fight, so as an unbiased pundit, sentiment and personal feelings aside, I am worried that this could be Klitschko’s last big hoorah!
With heavyweights anything can go! Many think this is a foregone conclusion in Joshua’s favour, the bookies included, and I know they are seldom wrong. But I just have a feeling that the experienced Klitschko could turn back the clocks one last time.
The thing is Joshua hasn’t experienced a long fight, he hasn’t done the championship rounds, I know he hasn’t had to, which is testament to his power, but it may also hint, he hasn’t had the level of opposition to test him fully. If Klitschko can fiddle his way through the first half of the contest then he could take Joshua into the unknown, which is a very dangerous place to be against someone who has been there many times before.
Part of me still thinks Joshua could and obviously I hope he can pull it off, but I’ll be honest with you, I just have a sneaky feeling that if Klitschko is up for it and he doesn’t grow old over night, we all do you know! Then his experience could be the telling factor. I know he struggled against Fury in his last fight, but styles make fights. A could beat B, B beats C, but C annihilates A, thats boxing for you.
This is no forgone conclusion by any means, it is a close one to call, you could throw a coin, anything can happen. But If Joshua doesn’t get Klitschko out of there before round 8 then I see him struggling to negotiate past Klitschko’s defence and could become frustrated and walk onto the former champions jabs and right hands, that slow his attacks down, allowing Klitschko to get into his Klitschko rhythm.
I hope I am wrong but I see Klitschko rolling back the years.
Prediction: Klitschko on points.
By Tommy Dix – http://www.britishboxers.co.uk/author/tommy-dixs/
Klitschko isn’t the dominating fighter of old but I wonder if he is still able to be an old, dominating fighter.
I’ve played this fight out in my mind over and over and I can see two wildly different outcomes. Around half of the time, a static Joshua is subjected to round after round of a thumping jab before crumbling to a fight ending left hook. The rest of the time, Joshua’s willingness to let his fast hands go overwhelms the aging Klitschko.
Joshua has never had to slip a jab. He’s never had to deal with an opponent capable of stopping him fighting – either by using their range and boxing brain or by holding and neutralising – and he has never had to take a power punch from a world class heavyweight. A failure to answer even one of those questions could lead to a drubbing this weekend.
Klitschko isn’t the dominating fighter of old but I wonder if he is still able to be an old, dominating fighter. When weighing up his chances in this fight, the manner in which he dealt with Bryant Jennings concerns me more than the way he was unable to nail down the dancing Tyson Fury. Jennings was a meat and potatoes heavyweight but Klitschko seemed to have lost his appetite that night.
I’m not discounting the very real possibility that as Joshua and Klitschko stand at the centre of the boxing world on Saturday night, the chasm in experience and ability becomes quickly apparent and the evening turns into a painful and frustrating night for Joshua as he is pinned at range and pinged with a jab, but I’m leaning towards a different outcome.
I think Joshua will be able to use his speed and aggressiveness to force a wary Klitschko backwards. It may look like Hasim Rahman’s spectacular knockout of Lennox Lewis or we may see an upright Klitschko saved by the referee as his head is rocked around from a fast combination but I think Joshua will win by stoppage, somewhere around the sixth. I just hope he is forced to answer those three important questions along the way.
My Prediction: Joshua by stoppage midway point.
By John Evans – @John_Evans79
Can youth overcome experience?
When Olympic Gold medalist Anthony Joshua made his pro debut in October 2013, fellow Olympic champion Wladimir Klitschko had already been a professional for 17 years, his experience is obviously his main attribute going into the fight. But listening to the 41 year old in the build up to the fight, it appears Klitschko doesn’t just have experience on his side, he still has burning ambition, together with the honed style that has stood him in good stead for the large majority of his career as champion, against the conventional heavyweights who tried to dethrone him over a 15 year period as world champion.
The heavyweight who did take his titles eventually, was the far from conventional Tyson Fury, someone he couldn’t impose his tried and tested blue print on and reversed the roles. But if Klitschko can get into his old routine and still has the nak of drowning out a fight, dominating from the outside with his jab and then smothering his opponents attacks inside, taking away their balance and power, then AJ could be in for a long frustrating night.
This is Joshua’s first real test in the pros on the very biggest stage and lets hope from a British Boxing perspective, he can rise to the occasion and rubber stamp his credentials as one of the biggest hitting, exciting heavyweight sensations, since Mike Tyson exploded on the scene in the 1980’s.
It feels like the heavyweight division is ready for a big shift and Joshua winning and ending the old masters career would be just that, is it meant to be? All eras end and new ones begin, the question is how much has Klitschko got left and just how good can Joshua be and become? Can Klitschko stand up to AJ’s raw unrelenting power and keep him off for twelve rounds? Can Joshua negate Klitschko’s jab and ring savvy to get inside and land cleanly? Will youth overcome experience? The fight will answer all the questions on Saturday night, we can’t wait. – Prediction: Joshua points.
By Chris Maylett
Is it that much of a “big deal fight”?
Yes, of course it is. It is for The IBF, IBO and WBA “Super” Titles. Basically the winner can and most likely will call himself “the man”. Lineal title will still sit with Tyson Fury however, that will be passed to one of these two fairly quickly I feel. The days of Tyson Fury holding a HW belt are long gone in my opinion. That is a whole other topic though and one for another day…
The build up to this fight hasn’t been one of hatred, bullshit, piss and wind as we so often get (Haye Vs Bellew comes to mind). This fight hasn’t needed it. Both Klitschko and Joshua respect each other, the viewing public respect them and the boxing world as a whole is excited by this fight.
Interestingly on the “Gloves Is Off” show on SKY, shown the other night Joshua described himself as a Klitschko clone. I’m not so sure, there are similarities, that is for sure however Joshua still hasn’t learnt to move his feet, his head, or to move anything other than in a straight line. Klitschko once had these problems, changed his tact when needed and then ruled for 10 years. Can Joshua do the same? The legend Emanuel Steward helped Wlad, can Rob McCracken do the same for Joshua’s weaknesses? Time will tell. I’m not sure he can though…
[sam id=”1″ codes=”true”]
I asked at the beginning will this be a test of boxing skill and ability, in answer to that question, I don’t think so. It will be like a game of aggressive chess. Klitschko will have learnt from being out thought and out boxed by Fury. Joshua will go looking for the KO as that’s what he does. Will one give up enough to the other in order to secure their aim?
Klitschko – “IF you beat me I will congratulate you, WHEN I win, I will help you to come back”
Enjoy the fight.
Prediction is a Klitschko win via points, or possibly even a late stoppage. Yep, going against the grain here however, that’s really my gut feeling.
By John Hoolan – @TheBoxingMadMan
— British Boxing (@britishboxers) April 25, 2017
I’ll keep this simple
When this fight was first announced I was happy, one because Joshua has taken a clear step up in combative levels and secondly, it shows that Klitschko, famed for his safety first approach, was willing to put it all on the line against a young gun, an unknown quantity who is developing a reputation as a dangerous power puncher.
I’ll keep this simple because for me there is a fairly simple outcome. I have bags of respect for Klitschko, a seasoned and well respected veteran of the heavy weight division, but I don’t think he can hang with Joshua. If you look back through Klitschko’s defeats, they have come against aggressive combination punchers, fighters that are willing to throw and not have the pace of fight dictated to them by the jab of Klitschko. Men that can move laterally and aren’t afraid to step into range to deliver their own power.
There is also a serious question mark over his chin. Although his defence and ring positioning have improved dramatically since working with the late great Manny Steward, it’s difficult to get away from the fact that he seems to crumble when tagged. In his fights with Lamont Brewster and Corrie Sanders in particular, he looked novice like and unable to weather an onslaught. Joshua although he has never campaigned in the upper echelons of the heavyweight division, was caught by Dillian Whyte, a clean and crisp left hook. Amidst the excitement all I saw was a calm Joshua weather the storm professionally and go on to stop the dangerous opponent after a minor scare.
I see Joshua being too fresh, too aggressive and most of all too heavy handed for Klitchsko. I don’t like the big man from Ukraine’s chances of going the distance.
Prediction; Joshua KO rounds 5/6
By Aky Karim – @AkyKarim8416
Anything can happen!
I’ve gone back and forth about twenty times on this one! I wonder, as many people do, about Joshua’s chin (as yet largely untested save for the time Dillian Whyte tagged A.J) and his stamina; how will it hold up in the late rounds? Also, is this fight too early for Joshua? As for Klitschko, will he let his hands go in this fight (he certainly did not against Tyson Fury, a less dangerous puncher than Joshua).
Klitschko looks to be in superb condition, however, and he appears so relaxed and confident. I do fear, though, a messy fight, with plenty of wrestling and clinching; especially from Klitschko (why is he going to change now!). I think It will be a battle of jabs, right hands, and physical strength early on; with little action in the opening rounds. I think, as long as he doesn’t come apart late on through fatigue, Joshua wins a decision. Klitschko is not a pressure fighter, so I think AJ will come through as long as he relaxes and doesn’t get caught by anything big early on.
That said, with two huge punchers anything can happen.
Prediction: Joshua via close decision in a decent, if not great fight.
By James Slater – @jimslater1971
I see Joshua overwhelming the elder statesman
My main concerns for Klitschko in this fight is his reflexes and his punch output. Father Time gets us all at some point in our lives and for a fighter his reflexes are everything, and normally one of the last things to fail them.
Klitschko’ physical condition and mindset are tip top but he’s going to have to be aggressive in this fight like he was against Kubrat Pulev for example. His notorious grabbing tactics might get punched out of him (to the body) in this fight if he tries it.
Joshua is not a superior fighter than Wlad just yet but the speed, the power and the willingness to take it to Klitschko, as he has done with all his opponents, means I can only see Joshua winning this fight and in emphatic fashion. The first few rounds will be a respectful event but after that the R word will be out of the window.
I see Joshua overwhelming the elder statesman in the mid rounds before stopping him around the eighth.
By Shaun Brown – @sbrown2pt0
I think ring experience will shine
I have personally gone back and forth a little in deciding with how I think this battle will end, It’s definitely a tough one to call!
I think Joshua will discard his usual front-footed, all guns blazing, approach for this fight, at least for the first 2 rounds or so. Instead, I think rounds 1-3 will be pretty even points wise. Klitscho is a very skilled and somewhat ‘safe’ boxer in his style, so he is likely to be the most back-footed of the two.
I think about round 4 AJ will start to pile on the pressure whilst looking for a big KO punch, but I don’t think he will find the opportunity.
Instead, I think ring experience will shine it’s light and Klitscho, the second longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time will be the one to land a KO bomb and put an end to the fight in round 4 or 5.
Prediction: Klitschko KO
By Josephine McFarlane – @Eelfinn
One thing is for certain though; Anthony Joshua is facing a man many levels above anything he’s faced before.
You’d have to go back to November 2014 to find the last time Wladimir Klitschko came out with a more aggressive mindset. His opponent that night was unbeaten Bulgarian, Kubrat Pulev. The challenger was meant to cause his adversary some problems and a fair few within boxing agreed with this. What happened was anything but – Klitschko knocked him down three times before finishing the bout in the fifth. It was a clinical, destructive, performance.
What we saw was that Wlad could come out to seek and destroy, if he wished. And, in reality, this is what has frustrated many a boxing fan over the years; being reclusive behind a jab and wearing his opponents down before unloading straight right hands, even. This Saturday night, however, he can’t afford to be that way.
At 41 years-old he doesn’t have the same quickness of feet – for a heavyweight at least – that he used to have. In my opinion, Joshua doesn’t have this either but trying to stay from the 27 year-old Briton is not going to be achievable via that tactic, so he has to be more aggressive; setting up right hands early doors with the undoubted quality of the jab. This is not a style he’s adopted consistently since before he was with, the late, great, Emmanuel Steward – but he can adopt it.
[sam id=”1″ codes=”true”]
Another interesting aspect of this fight is that Klitschko is coming off a shocking performance against our own, Tyson Fury. Gun-shy, timid and spectacularly lacklustre are many ways boxing fans would describe the former unified champions wins, this time, it was a defeat. But many underestimate the mobility the ‘Gypsy King’ displayed that night. No Heavyweight at 6’9” – or close to it – can move on the outside like Fury. Sure, the former Olympic gold medallist was timid, but there’s no doubting that his opponents height, and elusiveness, was the defining factor that night; Joshua possesses neither.
Anthony won’t be dancing around the ring, flicking out a jab here and there, taunting his opponent. He’s going to walk forward, slip, and then unload. Does Wlad get backed into a corner, or does he start firing back and use the undoubted power that he naturally has? It makes for an interesting spectacle and one which – as the choice of stadia suggests – is a contest which has captured the imagination of the general public.
One thing is for certain though; Anthony Joshua is facing a man many levels above anything he’s faced before. This is isn’t a Eric Molina, Dillian Whyte or Dominic Breazeale calibre of opponent. This is a man who ruled for ten years before the disappointment in Dusselfdorf. He now has an opportunity to, in his own eyes, redeem himself and, come Saturday night, he might just do that.
By Ashley Macnamara – @ashleymac710
— British Boxing (@britishboxers) 25 April 2017
It could be a hard nights work for AJ.
This fight is a tough one to call. On one hand, everything seems to be in place for a WWE style passing of the torch from the long-time Heavyweight King to the highly touted (and hugely marketable) prospect. But on the other hand, if you were to compare the skills of both, then it seems Wladimir Klitschko has far more ways to win than the far younger Anthony Joshua.
We still don’t know how much has been taken out of Klitschko from the shocking defeat to Tyson Fury, and the lengthy absence from the ring; but we do know that if Wladimir is anything like the wrecking ball that decimated Kubrat Pulev, then it could be a hard nights work for AJ.
I think there is still life left in the old master and it’s going to be an upset in front of the 90,000 in attendance. I think Joshua will be keen to ensure that ‘Doctor Steelhammer’ is unable to get his jab in full flow and will try to pressure his counterpart before being caught by the huge left hand of Klitschko, resulting in a knockout.
I think Wlad wins inside 6 rounds and then rides off into the sunset with his legacy cemented even further.
Prediction: Klitschko inside 6
I really believe that Klitschko has more left in him than people believe
What do you think? Please leave your thoughts and predictions below in the comment section or Tweet us @britishboxers
[sam id=”1″ codes=”true”]