Sizing Up Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
“Ask no questions, and you’ll hear no lies” – James Joyce
After seemingly eternal years without a bonafide Heavyweight champion of the world, the sport seems well on its way to having an oversized figurehead once more.
While Tyson Fury certainly still has claim to the title of “Lineal Heavyweight Champion,” he is hardly the world’s champion–an idol that transcends the sport and is an international superstar.
It can be argued the world hasn’t had one since Lennox Lewis ended his reign, but in the past few years it seems that there is someone who has the ability and marketability to change that: Anthony Joshua.
Joshua–who is lambasted by hardcore fans for being a brand, and lauded by the casuals for being a knockout machine–sells out arenas all over the UK without a single major name on his resume. This, of course, is going to rapidly change when he stares down former lineal champion, Wladimir Klitschko come April.
It’s a fight straight from the bowels of Hollywood cliches, pitting the old master against the young superstar for the effective glory of boxing’s most storied division, but from a sporting perspective it’s legitimately one of the most interesting fights to be made due to the sheer amount of questions that will be answered come the first round.
Does Joshua have a chin? Is Wlad simply too old? Can Joshua even last 12 whole rounds, or will he gas out?
It’s the type of fight that is next to impossible to make an accurate prediction for. Klitschko has been and can be knocked out, Joshua has been chinned by merely moderate puncher, Dillian Whyte.
Klitschko was largely outboxed by Fury, Joshua has never faced someone with even remotely better boxing skills than an average gatekeeper.
When all’s said and done, this fight is going to come down to a single question: who is going to land flush first?
These are two monstrous punchers with questionable chins who rely heavily on the old one-two to take care of business. Either man is liable to be knocked out, and this scribe doesn’t believe the loser of this bout will see the final bell.
Should Joshua win, it’s easy to see a world where boxing finds itself starting to crawl back into the relative mainstream. He’s young, handsome, marketable, and above all, a killer.
Fights with Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz, and yes even Tyson Fury would await.
Welcome back, Heavyweights. We’ve missed you.
Header photo by Matchroom Boxing