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Joshua V. Klitschko: Clash of the Titans?


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“The thought of him (Anthony Joshua) against Wladimir Klitschko, it’s a great, great thought.” Eddie Hearn (Anthony Joshua’s manager) told Sky Sports News.

“It’s a fight that he really fancies,” added the experienced boxing promoter.

Wladimir Klitschko was set to take on Tyson Fury in a long anticipated re-match for the WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight Championship belts. However the match has been postponed for a second time and speculation both from the media and those closely involved with professional boxing seems to suggest that ‘Fury-Klitschko II’ is never going to happen. 

If Joshua does fight Klitschko this could well be the key question - will the ageing heavyweight look ‘experienced’ in the ring? Or simply ‘old’? Klitschko, known to some as ‘Dr Steelhammer’, is considered one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. At a towering 6ft 6in and with 53 knockouts under his belt, (in his 68-fight career,) the Ukrainian is immensely powerful and, at this stage in his career, at age 40, immensely experienced.

Anthony Joshua’s path through the professional ranks has, so far, been an easy one for him. Without dis-respecting any of his opponents, (who all earned their places in the ring with him in one way or another) Joshua was leagues ahead in his last two bouts: firstly taking the IBF Heavyweight World Championship belt from a lacklustre Charles Martin and then defending his title against a more resilient but ultimately un-impressive Dominic Breazeale. Dominic ‘Trouble’ Breazeale was absolutely no trouble for AJ and many fans want to see the hard-hitting Watford-born heavyweight take on a more impressive mark next time out.

This fight, if it goes ahead, represents the biggest risk of Anthony Joshua’s career so far. A title defence against Klitschko, 40 years old or not, would be no easy thing and Joshua’s record holds no precedent for the Ukrainian.

When it comes to the tape- both fighters are 6ft 6in tall with practically the same reach, so there’s no immediate range advantage for either boxer. Both are hard hitters and deal primarily in knock-out wins.

While, in the event of the fight, most would make Joshua favourite - his 17-fight record left Eddie Hearn commenting to Sky Sports News that if Klitschko were to be his next opponent it could be “one or two fights too early” for team AJ.

One thing’s for certain though: if this fight gets arranged it will be massive. Young up-and-coming champions taking on ageing masters is often a rite of passage in boxing; Joe Calzaghe’s defeat of the legendary Roy Jones Jr. in New York is a prime example of the phenomena. If Anthony Joshua fights and beats Wladimir Klitschko it will be a massive statement of intent from a fighter whose rise has already been meteoric.

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