Boxing fans rejoice; as we finally have a potential Heavyweight fight of the decade; or for just as long as this MEGA main-event, lasts.
Of course the naysayers who sit obliquely (and safely) well beyond the boundaries of the crucible of truth, A.K.A. the fabled squared-circle will wish to pan all of that.
Xperts everywhere however are pointing to this one as the one! As in the biggest, baddest, bestest one for combined heavyweight voltage in a good one and a half decades, possibly going all the way back to Ken Norton vs. Earnie Shavers in the 1970’s, maybe even, ever! As in the all-time high watermark as pure one-shot rock ’em sock ’em power between four arms at >200 lbs. has ever ever been. I for one am not inclined to disagree; nonetheless, the aging ex-champion Wladimir Klitschko vs. the young lion and reigning I.B.F. heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua —in front of 90,000+ spectators at London’s Wembley Stadium is indeed one for the ages. Though who will win at ~4:15pm EST on Saturday live on Showtime and replayed at 11pm on H.b.o.? Read on to find… out!
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua-235
Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Klychko+195
over 8.5 rounds @-115
under 8.5 rounds @-1o5
This one is a 10-7 round in Wlad’s favor, easily, hands-down and effortlessly. As Wlad’ industrializes more title fights (28) than Anthony has total fights (18). Nevertheless, a favorable argument can be just as easily made that each man represents the other mans’ toughest opponent to date over a mutual career span of 86 cumulative fights; and that is indeed saying something folks.
6’6” and 249 lbs. with an 82” reach vs. 6’6” and 245 lbs. with an 81” reach is basically a wash. That’s about as even-steven as it can get —that being objectively said, there is indeed something more primal even carnal about Joshua and more surgical or theoretical about Wlad’. As -and for a change- as neither man will be punching downhill, here; the thicker set right-mass bulk and a greater willingness to actually bomb away courtesy of the same grants Joshua a very very narrow tiebreaker here.
Yes, this one is comparing oranges to oranges or no worse than oranges to tangerines. Both guys have single-shot get you out smash. However, Joshua is not second here even if this one to is very very close. Power is the last thing to go and yet Joshua merits the voltage check-mark for merely letting his hands go –more so than Wald. (though do bear in mind that there are no less than four heavy hitting wrecking-ball mits in this one; as either can end the other guy at any time.)
“Age ain’t nuttin’ but a number…” as the hip-hop lyric (attempts) to teach all of us. Nonetheless, I only know of three things never ever beaten in the history of history itself… Coach God, sex, and father-time. Or to put it another way, is the apprentice about to usurp the wise old master? Could Luke have actually taken, Ben?
To attempt to objectify this even further beyond the obvious of a 27 year old reigning champion defensing against a 41 year old ex-champion; let us consult the medical jacket or dossier of both. Recall that Joshua suffered a back-injury two autumns ago that caused him to pull out of the Kevin Johnson bout in January of 2015. The whispers said it was a semi serious pars stress fracture to one side of his low’ back. That’s not good as back-injuries are like Samsonite, as you tend to keep them for life. Nonetheless, he (Joshua) seems to have recovered well enough and there are no substantial reports of further injury since. Wlad’ on the other hand has been showing his age, or at least signs of wear-n-tear -if not outright beginning to break down- in just the last few years his ownself. Wladimir has documented soleus (calf), pectoral (chest) and biceps (upper-arm) injuries that have delayed or scuppered fights of his very own in the last handful of years. Hate to say it, though the writing is on the date-of-birth wall here gents, as aye, two total dreadnought class guys are prone to significant breakdowns via being oh so totally dreadnought in the first place. Although it is the older battleship has therefore spent noticeably more time sequestered in dry dock of late.
This is not an easy -or at least not an obvious- category to rate; as neither combatant will ever be confused with say Ronald “winky” Wright or Pernell “sweat-pea” Whitaker. Additionally, each guys’ offense is their best defense —albeit in entirely different directions.
Wlad’ -per the late great Manny Stew’- Wlad’ has thoroughly mastered the art of the telephone pole thudding lead-jab as a range-finder and therefore a range-controlling deflector screen as a very substantial tonic to anything incoming on any given night not named Tyson Fury. Anthony on the other hand utilizes twin fistic early saturation bombing tactics to turtle or discourage any domestic 110v return fire as the fight wears on due to his typically enormous commercialized 220v advantage. The rule of thumb here is want to call this category on the level or a draw. Even so; Wlad’s defensive style morally frustrates opponents more and more as the fight wears on, whereas Joshua’s stop-game tends to not allow a fight to actually continue beyond the ~20 minute mark itself. Or in other words, although a Joshua pick is the sexier or higher Q-score pick here, the defensive balance could slowly yet surely begin to swing in the favor of the mentally salty older former champion, the longer this one goes; if it does indeed actually enter the final quadrant of rounds.
Somewhat reminiscent of the Defense category up above; we are not dealing with two granite faced David Tua’s here in this sustainability department. Nevertheless, we are dealing with bold-faced truths vs. training camp and sparing partner whispers…
As Wald’s facial failures are right there all over YouTube big and bold. Corrie Sanders, Lamon Brewster and Sammy Peter all decking Wlad’ and the first two of those three were victorious via completely wrecking poor Wlad’. Likewise, -albeit not to any professional degree; at least not thus far- likewise, Anthony Joshua is widely rumored to be pretty thin in the chin in his own right. As there are more than a few vibes that suggest that he (A.Jay), was kayoed by David Price in training camp and similarly dealt with during amateur sparing prior to turning pro’. So who truly has the thinner beard here is a right tough one to be dead-to-rights sure of… although A.Jay caught Dillian Whyte’s big right hand square on his left-jaw; and lived to tell the tale for it. So I suppose that has to count for something; as Wladimir Klitschko is a top-10 all-time heavyweight who prolly does finish tenth in punch-resistance as that very same all-time top-10 goes.
Not much has been made of the promotion from within H.R. poster boy or Jonathan Banks over in Wlad’s corner because there does not appear to be much to make of Jonathan Banks in the first place. Group Think as it is called in textbook terms seldom -if ever- does any organization any good at all as tried and true ages out and becomes tired and through. Or to put it another way… what exactly was Jonathan Bank’s plan-A vs. the awkward and towering Tyson Fury? Never mind the fact that he was X’s and O’s fully disabled with regard to fashioning any in-game plan-B vs. Fury. As for my three cents in the game of life, Wlad’ is no less than partially on his own here. This however is normally enough when you have been awarded your very own Sports Sciences terminal or Ph.D. degree. Although that looked more like a two-year certificate to me last time out; and this one is not being hosted in K2 Promotions deutschland backyard, courtesy of chummy jerry judges and the ability to pick/determine gloves, ring width, and even the canvas itself are all now visiting team eschewed or forfeit to homecourt Eddie Hearn in jolly ole England. Joshua’s cornerman was recently switched to Carl Froch’s en chárge just last year, as Rob McCracken has stepped in as Anthony’s coach/trainer. Rob of the famed 4,500 calorie per day diet to help fuel his notoriously difficult 3-a-day (morning=cardio/pulmonary, afternoon=strength work, evening=actual, boxing) workout regime. Ergo, if Rob is not yet outright good, he is no less than solid, and Banks is no better than south of that as the away team on Tommy’s turf.
Not many things are intangible when a six and a half foot man who is built like a Mack Truck hits you. However, one fighter is clearly getting better and one fighter is clearly getting worse. The quantitative age gap itself clearly delineates who is still improving (Joshua) and who is in the diminishing as I type twilight of their career (Klitschko). Nevertheless, and to put it another way… Joshua has yet to look bad -in a fight- whereas Wlad’ has not looked good in 896 days or since he last bushwhacked the willing though limited lowercase alpha male otherwise known as Kubrat Pulev —you do the maths.
As the Fury writing may very well have actually been on the Jennings wall and it damn well may have American horror classic, read… “Get Out”! As in get outta boxing -on top- and get while the getting is good. Not to mention the fact that a whopping 17 month layoff of in-ring inactivity may not so much be code for ring-rust as it is code for career oxidation. And make not mistake here gents, that’s a lotta WD-40 for Joshua to apply at age 27, never mind Uncle Wlad’ at age 41.
Still yet, I’ve read more than a few boxing pundits that seem to think that Wlad’ has pretty well schooled Anthony and won the pre-fight warm-up 10-9 straight across on all the applied sports psych scorecards. I’ll put it a different way… I would not necessarily have said that Wlad’ won any of the pre-fight head gamesmanship; so much as I would author that he (W.K.) clearly did not get beat.
As you could see Joshua sitting there in the made for telly face-off having to ruminate in-loud on his responcing to Wlad’; whereas Wald’ was always in full scholarly acumen and total control of his publication(s), and therefore it was Klitschko who was omnipresent on psychological point. Now, and to be fair, when you are describing two rather civil guys whose next smack-chat will be their very first, does that mean that much at the end of the day | or even as much as the biggest possible whacking good Joshua right-hand? Nyet comrades; however, Wlad did land more mental pre-game punches here, and that might just pay cerebral mind-job dividends late in this one, if Wlad’ can only survive the start. And that tipping-point segues me neatly into the fight itself…
Right now, and barring some sorta crippling TKO type injury, or leaky sanguine cut, I see this fight as going one of two ways and the probabilities I assign should convey the strength of the same… although I do wanna codicil things by saying that taking on a total I.C.B.M. challenge such as Anthony Joshua at this, stage, of his career is a hearty, brave and a downright courageous thing. That just may prove to be Wlad’s, undoing…
- 8o% chance Joshua is simply just too much; or Wlad’ is simply just too old, or both –not each. As there is absolutely a substantial chance that Joshua is catching Wlad’ at the perfect storm best possible time of Wladimir’s assuredly hall of fame career. If this proves indeed to be the case, Wlad’ will be knocked out, possibly brutally, and Joshua will have taken one helluva a big name scalp in a serially concussive ESPN/SKY Sport replay highlight reel fashion.
- There is however a 2o% chance that Joshua has come up -through the professional ranks- a bit too fast and that Klitschko is about to give him a case of the pugilistic bends. IF, and this is no small if… IF Wlad’ is still there after Joshua lets his hands go somewhere inside the first stanza of rounds. Further, methinks Wlad’ needs to catch Joshua with something big, early; and then tap that pause button every other round or so after that. As the less impacting D.Whyte managed to stun Joshua and discourage his bombastic offense for the better part of two rounds after landing a less authoritarian less educated shot than that which Wlad’ can still authoür. Therefore Wlad’ must do the same to win a decision or to enjoy a modest closing shot at clipping a tiring Joshua, late. And do mind that there are fresh U.K. reports of Joshua being found to be chinny, in sparing vs. heavyweights plural and vs. one cruiserweight singular; during this very pre-Klitschko camp.
So will Wlad’ ultimately “son” his former sparing-partner protegee? Or will Anthony and father-time ask questions to which Wladimir can no longer, reply? If you ask me –and you did via reading these very words… this fight, same as the Fury one was basically decided in the post-fight analysis otherwise known as the 13th round of the Jennings affair when Wlad’ simply could not pull the finishing trigger vs. the gamey though truly undersized and under-powered 4-speed otherwise known as B.Jennings back in ’14.
I sure hope I am ‘rong here, nevertheless, Wlad’ should have done what big-bro’ (Vitali) did after his very own nearly elderly looking lackluster could not finish performance vs. the middleocore Manuel Charr.
Because when you look yourself in the eye in front of the mirror of complete career candor, and uncensored self-truth, right before facing a hungry young lion; all professional fingers point to that.
As I’m pretty dang nervy that Wlad’ might just be… food.
Entoni Dzhoshua halts comrade Wald‘ inside of 9.5 rounds.