Joshua-Klitschko: Nothing Left To Do…But Fight
By: Sean Crose
It’s been talked about. Discussed. Dissected. Obsessed over. Now boxing’s first true blue superfight since 2015s disappointing Mayweather-Pacquiao throwdown is upon us…and there’s nothing left to do but let the fighters fight. It’s strange to imagine, but in a few hours the Joshua-Klitschko heavyweight title fight will be over, done and in the record books. Close to a hundred thousand people will file out of Wembley Stadium, the international media will fly home and boxing will move on, whether it be to a rematch between the two combatants or some other inevitable big thing down the road.
I tend to find the day before a superfight rather strange. It’s almost as if the hype has burned me out and I need to step back and recoup before the actual festivities begin. Hopefully the world will never be served the endless appetizers it was before Floyd fought Manny (Meredith Viera throwing less than gripping questions at Floyd in what amounted to a fluff interview? Really?), but the rollout to a fight such as Saturday’s is a lot to absorb, nonetheless. Why? Because fights like Joshua-Klitschko are a big deal (though, sadly, not in the United States), and everyone wants a piece of a big deal.
What did Joshua and Klitschko look like in their final workouts? How was the staredown at the weigh in? What’s the atmosphere like in London? Inquiring minds truly want to know such things. After a while, though, it becomes clear all that’s left to do is watch two men trade punches. It’s almost like a blockbuster movie. After all the hype, you just want to see the damned thing and hope it will be good. And so now boxing fans will sit. And wait. And hope time flies quickly enough so that soon they will be hearing the opening bell. And then, no more than forty-five minutes later…
Of course, the one really good thing about Joshua-Klitschko (and something that separates it from Mayweather-Pacquiao) is that there’s a clear future for both fighters after this bout continues. In other words, there’s other big fights down the road. After Floyd got his arm raised in victory in May of 2015, there was essentially nothing more to the story. When Anthony and Wlad step out of the ring on Saturday, there will be new issues that are going to need to be addressed. Will they fight again, for instance? Or will the winner fight Deontay Wilder? And what about Tyson Fury? Will he come back? Let’s not forget about Luis Ortiz.
Perhaps that’s the most important thing to keep in mind just before a superfight…that there will be other superfights, and that the one we’re about to watch is, really, just one in a long line. That’s something the people behind Mayweather-Pacquiao got wrong. Then again, the people behind Joshua-Klitschko don’t have the luxury of making that kind of mistake. Wilder, for instance, will be watching the fight live and in person.
No doubt he’ll have a lot to say about it.