Different boxer same story, Joshua will show Klitschko stayed too long

Different boxer same story, Joshua will show Klitschko stayed too long

April 25, 2017 3:04 AM


The heavyweight division will be on display this Saturday night when Wembley Stadium in London, England plays host to this highly anticipated bout.

One of the greatest heavyweight fighters in boxing history returns to the ring after suffering his first defeat in over a decade. Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO’s) is already in the history books as the second longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time. He’s competed in more title fights (29) than any other heavyweight, and on Saturday “Dr. Steel Hammer” will do so again.

His opponent Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KO’s) is the current IBF heavyweight title holder and though he didn’t start training in the sport until the age of 18, he’s already experienced a lot of success. He represented England in the 2012 Olympics and brought home a gold medal after beating multiple world champions, then captured the British heavyweight strap.

The betting market currently has Joshua listed as a -250 favorite with the take-back on the challenger Klitschko at +220. The over/under for “total rounds” as we go to print is 8.5 with the over slightly shaded. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the odds on Joshua drop as we approach fight night and casual fans begin making their way to the betting window. Granted, the venue makes him the “home team” but around the globe Klitschko has the much bigger name and he should attract plenty of action.

Bottom line, I believe enough value is being offered to warrant a wager and come fight night I expect to have multiple bet tickets in my pocket… here’s why.

Having covered the fight game as long as I have, there’s one common mistake I keep seeing many of the sport’s greatest continue to make. They stay in the game even when their body can no longer do what their brain wants done. Simply put, they still possess all of the experience gained through the years but are unable to use it as effectively as before. Eventually it leads to being branded with the cliché, “he got old overnight.”

That’s exactly what we witnessed when Klitschko lost for the first time in over 12 years, to Tyson Fury. Sure, Fury is a very unorthodox fighter and can be a nightmare to prepare for because of it.

I believe those are all excuses that a younger version of Wladimir Klitschko would’ve been able to overcome. But today’s version just didn’t have any answers and more importantly, wasn’t able to let his hands go – always one of the most telling signs of an aging fighter.

Many fight fans will be surprised at just how skilled Joshua truly is. He’s got an extremely impressive amateur background that has provided the foundation needed to be more than simply a big puncher. Joshua is more than a knock-out artist trying to land that one big punch. Instead, he’s got the type of skill set that is necessary to deal with the ring IQ of Klitschko.

Joshua has the tools needed to become elite and dominate the heavyweight division for a long time.