Anthony Joshua to make history
Frank Monkhouse | 29 April 2017
AJ to triumph in Saturday’s cross-roads fight
Anthony Joshua ducks between the ropes at Wembley stadium in front of a sell-out crowd on Saturday knowing that he’ll not only decide his own future, but that of the entire heavyweight division for years to come.
Win and Joshua would’ve arrived at the top, cemented himself as the man to beat, the man to lead the sport into a new era. Lose, well fight fans could be hit with another few years of Klitschko dominance, the very reason many have become bored of the game’s top division.
Plenty of power on show
Saturday’s battle for the WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles represents a real step-up in class for the fighting pride of Watford. He brings with him a perfect 18 fight career record, with each of those wins coming inside the distance. A 100 per cent knockout average, staggering, pun intended. He has never been beyond seven rounds, taken there twice, by rival Dillian Whyte and Dominic Breazeale. Both brave men, but neither heard an eighth bell, other than the ringing in their ears.
With stats like that it’s little surprise to see Coral traders offer no more than 2/7 on this one not going the difference. This is a meeting of two big hitters, Wlad himself bringing a 78 per cent KO ratio. Patriotic punters will want a piece of our 4/6 on Joshua to win by KO/TKO, while victory by any method is deemed a 2/5 favourite.
Klitschko to use his experience
That’s a brave stance by the market, Klitschko is no mere opponent, despite the pre-fight betting, and will go down in the history books as an all-time great. He has done things in the sport his opponent may never achieve.
The underdog is as experienced as they come, with a CV reading 64 wins against four defeats. He has been involved in more title fights than Joshua has had bouts all in, by a comfortable margin, contesting 358 professional rounds to the locals’ 44. Wow! You’re not involved at the top end of boxing for that long without learning a thing or two, and Klitschko will know just how to approach this one.
Over 7.5 rounds the smart play
The man in the away corner will be virtually friendless on the night, a strange concept to such a popular man, but his team will know all too well that Anthony’s inexperience must be used against him. He has never gone the distance in a fight and his stamina is yet to be fully tested by an elite level opponent.
With that in mind I expect Dr Steelhammer to use every minute of his history to stay out of trouble. He is a patient, cautious fighter who won’t be dragged in to a war, that’s Joshua’s fight. Therefore, the fight going beyond 7.5 rounds at 4/5 looks pick of the night, while value hunters can try their luck on Joshua to win in rounds 7-12 at 5/2.