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18 AUGUST 2017

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SecondsOut Team Picks: Joshua Vs Klitschko


Anthony Joshua defends his IBF heavyweight crown against former champion Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Staduim in London, England on Saturday night and SecondsOut’s writers once again put their reputations on the line to predict the outcome of one of the most evenly balanced contests of 2017.

 

 

Youth Vs Experience is a cliché that has been severely overused in the lead up to Joshua Vs Klitschko but I can’t think of a fight over the last few years where this so relevant and could decide the outcome of a bout. This really is a 50-50 fight. Do you go with the experience of Klitschko who has had more world title fights than Joshua has had fights? Of do you go for the incredibly strong, power punching and agile fighter that is Joshua?

 

What make this fight so intriguing for me is that we just do not know what a 41 year old Wladimir Klitschko has left in the tank after 21 years of pro boxing and being out of the ring for 17 months following defeat to Tyson Fury. Has he still got the ambition to become champion again? Personally I think he has. I think he is driven by the fact not only does he want his belts back but desperately wants to join the very small club occupied by those that have become three time world heavyweight champions. And just for the record Klitschko weighed in Friday his lightest since defending his title against Sultan Ibragimov in 2018. Many people are writing off Klitschko purely because of the loss to Fury but lets not forget Fury is a totally different fighter to Joshua. Fury executed a perfect game plan by boxing and moving which is the way to beat a static upright straight punching and Robotic Klitschko.

 

You could say Joshua is made for the Klitschko style as he does walk on in straight lines firing off those big punches. Question is will Joshua maintain that same style of elect to move more and provide more angles? Will Klitschko be able to take the constant onslaught of power punches raining in on him with incredible speed?

 

I have changed my mind many times this week about the outcome because I can see Joshua handing out a controlled and sustained beating for half a dozen rounds before Klitschko retires on his stool but equally also envisage Klitschko doing what he does best by jabbing Joshua’s head off and clutching his way to late stoppage win after executing a perfectly aimed straight right hand. Which do I go for? I’m going for the youth of Joshua combined with a perfectly executed game plan to break Klitschko down around the 7-7 round mark

 

 

Joshua tko 6-7

Clive Bernath

Editor In Chief

London

England

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It has taken me a long time to accept Wladimir Klitschko as a heavyweight champion for the ages. However, now that Wlad is the elder statesman of boxing, I can’t help but like him and wish him well. As contender and champion, Klitshcko has always represented the sport well. His exchanges with Joshua have been nothing but professional. The Joshua-Klitschko bout is not quite the changing of the guard we dreamed of, but it is a match-up between the last great champion and the greatest hope for the next. Joshua has the look, but also the substance. He mixes his combinations well and prepares his body for his line of work. A dominant Joshua victory would be excellent for the sport. A blowout would be sad, but could be viewed as a necessary evil. A friendly exchange between the two would be harmful and given their mutual respective is not impossible to imagine as the most likely outcome. However, once option not really being floated around is the competitive fight, which forces Joshua to dig deep in the manner of say Bowe vs Holyfield. That’s what boxing could really use. I expect Joshua to jump off to an early lead, but box wisely and not try to embarrass the elder statesman. Klitschko’s inability to fight while be pressed back will be his undoing. Joshua will win conclusively as the British champion drops the Ukraine boxer three times in a single round somewhere around the fifth.

 

Joshua tko 5

Derek Bonnett

Oxford, Connecticut

USA

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Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko make for an exciting heavyweight fight. Joshua is the young gun looking to make his mark in the sport as the premier heavyweight in the world. He has his work cut out for him as the division looks to be heating up a bit more than recent years. Wladimir Klitschko was the man for years in this division. He now looks to rebound from his loss to Tyson Fury by regaining multiple titles and momentum that carried him to the top and earning a spot in the record books. Joshua will come out strong but slightly more paced for the distance than usual. I think he will jump on Klitschko in spurts and box smart in between. Klitschko will have to weather the storm and look to drag Joshua into the late rounds and take him out. I think it will be competitive and exciting with Joshua pulling off a decision victory in the end.

 

Joshua pts 12

Derek Gionta

Pittsburgh, PA

USA

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Youth vs. experience, that’s what we have when Anthony Joshua faces a solid Wladimir Klitschko. In a division that has faded over the years, this fight brings back the excitement to the heavyweight division. Let’s face the facts, Klitschko is well passed his prime and his better days are behind him, but this beast still has plenty left in his game and is capable of beating any heavyweight out there. This is going to be an exciting fight to watch, both fighters have extreme power and can easily do damage. The question is, who will step-up? Joshua is unbeaten as a pro, his last few fights have been against worthy opponents. I like Joshua’s style, he is a smart, forward moving fighter who can take a fighter out of his element. But Joshua will need to do many things when he trades punches with the legend. He will need to fight Klitschko at a safe range and work behind the jab, staying constantly in motion because any punch thrown by Klitschko could easily have you tasting the canvas. For Klitschko, he must take control early, but most importantly, throw punches. Klitschko has to fight if he wants to win, Joshua is just way too dangerous of a fighter to take lightly. The real winner is the boxing fan, this will be an epic event. So, who will win in the ring? I see a hungrier Anthony Joshua edging out a decision for this fight. If Klitschko were in his prime, I would easily give him a win by knockout, but that isn’t the case now, I think Klitschko will retire after this fight and go down as one the greatest.

 

Joshua pts 12

Ron Valderrama

Phoenix, Arizona

USA

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Over 90,000 boxing fans will fill Wembley Stadium to see a proper passing of the heavyweight torch.

 

It is hard to believe that it was 15 years ago when a young Klitschko seemed destined to conquer the heavyweight division and become a world-wide icon. He had size, power, and athleticism to go along with an Olympic Gold Medal. Then he suffered shocking losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, and his chin would be questioned forever more. As we know, Klitschko picked up the pieces and dominated the division for a decade, but his safety first, jab and grab style turned off many fans worldwide, and the belts seemed to be held hostage.

 

A loss to a gypsy in an all-time awful fight, and suddenly the belts in the sports glamour division were available for the next star to save the sport, while taking the throne.

 

Anthony Joshua has size, speed, athleticism, and an Olympic Gold Medal. All he needs to do is defeat an old lion, and the crown is his.

 

This fight reminds me a lot of the Klitschko vs Sam Peter fight. I think Wlad will be cautious early, buzzed, and dropped before he’s able to get into a rhythm. At that point, I believe his experience will take over, and he’ll be able to survive behind his jab. Soon he will frustrate Joshua, who will eventually begin to tire. However, Wlad will regret waiting too long to let his hands go, and Joshua will survive with a close decision. I like Joshua 115-112.

 

Joshua w pts 12

Jason Pribila

Bethlehem, USA

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For Wladimir Klitschko, this is more of an ending than a crossroads moment. Perhaps either way and regardless of the outcome, he should call it a day. He has absolutely nothing left to prove, although a victory over an up-and-coming superstar would set things for him as they were, which is to suggest that his nonsensical performance against Tyson Fury could be forgiven. The potential rowdiness of the crowd at Wembley, the magnitude of the event and the significance of the bout will be nothing new to Klitschko.

 

Furthermore, he’s seen just about every style under the sun in terms of all the fighters he’s faced over his twenty-plus year career. He’s a professional’s professional, which is evident by the fact that he treats his job as a boxer as frankly, a job. The life of a heavyweight at times comes with the temptation of one’s surroundings and the realization that the scale can bend to their liking because after all, there’s no limits.

 

Anthony Joshua has a decorated amateur career but he hasn’t faced the likes of Klitschko and he’s yet to even cross the English Channel to showcase his talent. Granted, he’s incredibly strong, quick and powerful. His perfect record back this up. 18 wins, all by knockout. His boxing ledger isn’t exactly a "who’s who" of the division, but that’s not his fault. Much as was the case for a number of years, Wlad Klitschko could only fight who was put in front of him and it wasn’t his problem that the division was so scarce of competition. All things considered, Joshua is in over his head. He’s never fought a man like "Dr. Steelhammer".

 

Klitschko must use angles because he has neither height nor reach advantage over Joshua. If there is to be a knockout on the part of the his British opponent, it will have to come early. Klitschko’s jab can keep Joshua at a distance. Hopefully, there’s not much clinching and inactivity. This doesn’t seem to fit the M.O. of this fight. Wlad wins one for the 40-plus crowd by fighting smart and using effective guesswork. Either that or he’s gassed before the fight hits double digit rounds.

 

Klitschko w pts 12

Marc Livitz

Austin, Texas.

USA

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There’s the well-worn expression “a puncher’s chance”, and certainly Joshua has one. Klitschko is a major question mark; what’s left of him after the weird Fury loss and a year and a half inactivity? How much of him is left as a boxer and how much of him is now a promoter? There are enough significant uncertainties here to make the outcome an interesting crapshoot. But if Joshua wins, it will be more because Klitschko beat himself; i.e., there just isn’t enough of him left. Joshua is used to fighting smaller opponents, loops punches, and is not a great finisher. He certainly has nowhere near the technical experience, nor familiarity with distance. Either an exhausted Joshua gets stopped late or Klitschko wins a somewhat boring, grind-out decision.

 

Klitschko w pts 12

  1. R. Jowett

Norisstown

PA

USA

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I fully expect to be in the minority with my prediction and could be made to look foolish on Sunday morning but I think Klitschko has one big surprise left in him and we’ll see it on Saturday night. I have no idea what happened when Wlad fought Tyson Fury but I think too much is being made of one fight. Perhaps Fury was in his foe’s head, he certainly bamboozled Klitschko, but this is a completely different scenario. Joshua hasn’t showed me that he has the head movement or ability to move forward in anything but straight lines, both of which are tailor made for the Klitschko attack. Sure AJ possesses power but so does Wlad and if Dillian Whyte can stiffen Joshua’s legs then Wladimir will do a damn sight worse, if he lands. It’s such an intriguing fight, one that I’m extremely excited for, and my prediction has changed several times over the months but I’m now nailing my colours to the mast. I think Klitschko will drag the fight deep, wear Joshua down with his jab and his holding tactics, and he will force the stoppage between 9-12.

 

Klitschko tko 9-12

Steve Bateson

Kirkby Lonsdale,

England

 

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It’s been a long reign for Dr. Sledgehammer but after his last lackluster fight with Tyson Fury I don’t think he can get himself motivated to take on a young lion like Joshua. Yes Klitschko looks to be in awesome shape and he has a lot of experience. Joshua is strong and is almost the same size as Klitschko but he is hungrier. I see the fight starting slow with Klitschko’s style he will throw his one-two then hold, eventually Joshua will catch him with a booming right and it should end the great run of a good champion and hopefully set up a fight with WBC title holder Deontay Wilder.

 

Joshua tko 6

Andy Rivera

Albuquerque

New Mexico

USA

 

I tend to think, that Vladimir Klitscko has a very decent chance to beat Joshua, Vladimir is Dr Stealhammer for a good reason, his experience will play the key role in this fight. He is going to drain and rock Joshua despite the odds.

 

Klitschko Ko 8

Dmytro Mossienko

Kiev

Ukraine

 

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Joshua = 6

Klitschko= 4

Draw= 0




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