Anthony Joshua will step into the ring for the biggest fight of his Boxing career on Saturday, when he takes on Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley. This championship bout will take place in front of a crowd of 90,000 fans, with millions more watching it on TV. Here’s a guide to what’s set to be the heavyweight fight of the year.
Joshua vs. Klitschko – Is Anthony Joshua Ready for the Fight?
Anthony Joshua heads into Saturday’s fight with an untarnished professional record – he’s won all eighteen fights that he’s had since he turned pro four years ago. The reigning IBF Heavyweight Champion has already successfully defended his title twice, beating Dominic Breazeale in June 2016 and Eric Molina in December 2016.
This weekend, he’ll be attempting to defend it for a third time and claim the WBA “super” title in the process. However, the talented British boxer, who won a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division at the London 2012 Olympics, knows the fight is likely to be a challenging one.
Earlier this week, he told the BBC that Klitschko would be coming into the ring “ready”.
“His mind seems to be in the right place, so I’m in for a tough fight,” he said.
Joshua’s coach, Robert McCracken, told the Daily Telegraph, however, that it was the right time for his fighter to face the Ukrainian in the ring. “It’s a very dangerous fight, but at some point you’ve got to make that move,” he said.
“He’ll be very prepared. It’s a huge, huge challenge fighting Wladimir Klitschko. He’s a great fighter. But Anthony is relishing it as the reigning champion,” McCracken added.
Joshua, who didn’t start boxing until he was 18, has only been knocked out once during his career. That was back in 2011, when Mihai Nistor beat him during the European Amateur Boxing Championships in Turkey. Despite his successful track record, however, he told Sky Sports that he has banned his mum from watching Saturday’s fight.
“My dad can watch it, but not my mum,” he said.
Will Youth or Experience be the Deciding Factor at Wembley?
Joshua’s record is impressive and, at 27, he is 14 years his opponent’s junior, so youth is on his side. However, with age comes experience, and Klitschko certainly has plenty of that.
The Ukrainian has won 64 of his 68 professional bouts, and 53 of those wins were by knockout. A former WBA, IBF and WBO world champion, he also won a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division of the Olympic Games – although he won his medal in Atlanta back in 1996.
Speaking to the BBC this week, Anthony Joshua suggested that, at the age of 41, Klitschko is past his best.
“I do hear it a lot, he’s too old, he’s faded,” he said. “Timing is everything and maybe Father Time has caught up with the former champ.”
Klitschko hasn’t fought since November 2015 either, when Tyson Fury beat him by unanimous decision. However, the Ukrainian is certainly still a threat. Last month, he told Sky Sports that, although he knew that he was the “underdog”, he was excited about the upcoming fight.
“I want to leave the ring as the champion and the winner of this fight – that’s my obsession. I’m obsessed about it,” he said.
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