By Abdulkabir Olatunji |
The world will have a big heavyweight boxing fight that is worth the hype tonight at Wembley stadium in London with International Boxing Federation (IBF) Champion, Anthony Joshua taking on former champion, Wladimir Klitschko in a title bout.
In a division that has really failed to capture the imagination of boxing fans in recent years, this fight might just be the tonic that the division and boxing in general needs.
AJ, as Joshua is fondly called by his fans has an 18-0 record all completed via Knock-out at 27 seems to be in the best shape of his life and will feel confident that he can beat Klitschko who he worked with as a sparring partner in the past. His greatest asset is his punching power which all of his opponents so far have failed to cope with.
However, Dr. Steelhammer as Wladimir Klitschko is called is a different quality of opposition to what Joshua has faced so far, he has fought in 28 heavyweight title fights, more than any heavyweight champion in history and 12 boxers who previously had unbeaten records like Joshua lost to him. He is also a very powerful boxer and is well-respected as a heavy hitter with a cerebral approach to boxing; his 64-4 record speaks for itself.
So, why do I think Joshua will win? He is not unfamiliar with Klitschko. In late 2014, when Klitschko was preparing for his fight against Kubrat Pulev, he brought in AJ as one of his sparring partners and the experience of being with Klitschko while he was at his prime should be invaluable in tonight’s fight. Looking at other factors, AJ is younger and more athletic, this should help him evade Klitschko’s jabs, straight right hand and left hook which form a great part of his arsenal.
However, the factor that probably will guarantee a Joshua win is the British crowd in Wembley supporting their boy against one of the greatest boxers of all time, urging him on even in difficult times in the fight, Klitschko has 27 years’ experience in the ring but no one has faced such a big hostile crowd before in boxing, it is likely to affect him.
This fight should be tough and close but AJ is expected to win the biggest fight of his professional career and secure his place in the history of the sport.