Fury Responds to Klitschko, Shows Respect for Joshua and Wilder
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury has shrugged off Wladimir Klitschko’s claims that he will lose to Anthony Joshua and disappear from boxing “like a fart in the wind”.
Speaking to Michelle Joy Phelps of Behind the Gloves, Fury was unmoved by his former adversary’s words, stating “well that’s typical Wladimir Klitschko, he would never be able to give me the credit that I deserve.”
It’s no secret that Klitschko isn’t a fan of the “Gypsy King”, who constantly tormented him in the build-up to their world title fight nearly three years ago.
Fury rubbed further salt into the wound by comprehensively out-boxing him in Cologne and says “even on the night in Germany he couldn’t make the effort to say he lost to a better man and he did.”
“He didn’t just lose, he got played with. Like I’ve said time and time again, if that’s the so-called super-champion, he got beaten by a fat man so how dare he talk to me like that,” Fury says.
Klitschko says Joshua will beat Fury because he has more desire and discipline than the Manchester native.
However, Fury feels that the Ukrainian is only backing “AJ” because he has a better relationship with him and says the former lineal heavyweight champion is still bitter about losing to him all those years ago.
“I’m sure him and Joshua are chum buddies and they support each other, but in hindsight we know who gave Wladimir the hardest fight,” he says.
“Joshua won by the skin of his teeth and had to climb off the canvas, Wladimir couldn’t land a punch on me in 12 rounds,” according to Fury.
Prior to his hiatus from the sport, Fury had a reputation for trash-talking his opponents and getting under their skin.
However, he has had plenty of nice things to say about Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder recently.
“I think they’re very fine specimens of men, they’re very good looking, they’re very athletic and they’re very good boxers,” he says.
“They’ve come from nothing and I’m so proud that they’ve changed their stars, their family, everything. I’m sure they’re getting everything they’ve ever dreamed of,” Fury says.
He bears no ill-will towards either fighter and hopes that they will be set for life by the time their careers are over.
“People are talking about $50 million, I think they deserve $250 million. Any fighter that gets in there and gets punched in the face for a living deserves a lot more than they ever get,” he says.
“It’s the hardest sport in the world, not just physically and mentally, but also being away from your family, being locked away in training camps,” according to Fury.
“The public don’t understand how much pain, torture and sacrifice is needed to get to that level of success,” Fury says.
Fury believes that Wilder will prevail when they finally face each other in the ring, however, as he holds a speed advantage.
“Wilder’s very quick and very accurate and he’s very dangerous,” he says.
“Anthony is dangerous too, but I just think the speed factor favours Wilder and the fighter who gets there quicker and first will be Wilder for me,” according to Fury.
He has had a tense relationship with Joshua in the past, but Fury insists he is not biased.
“I don’t like either of them more than the other. I know Joshua, I know Wilder, and I’ve met them both face to face. I like them equally,” he says.
“It is a heavyweight bout and anything can happen while they’re in there, but if I was putting 20 quid on it, I’d put it on Wilder to win,”
If the fight materializes, Fury will certainly be watching with interest as he is likely to face one or both men in the future.
Are We Experiencing a Heavyweight Revival?
By: Jose Cuevas
With Anthony Joshua’s victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April of last year boxing fans and pundits argued that this was a major turning point for the fledgling Heavyweight division. Not only was it an exciting fight, but it drew major numbers with around 90,000 people in attendance across the pond in England. Also, when Showtime and HBO are actually sharing the broadcast rights you know it is going to be a monumental fight, given their tumultuous relationship.
One of the other severely underscored elements that made this fight a turning point for the heavyweight division was the fact that Klitschko passed the torch to Joshua. He wasn’t given the torch he took it from Klistchko. Joshua became the man in the Heavyweight division because he won a tough competitive fight against the fighter that ruled the division for so many years. Now there are whispers, or rather blaring horns, of mega fights in the Heavyweight division.
Yes we know about Joshua, but who else?
Deontay Wilder, the New American Hope
Every great fighter needs a foil, a rival, and Joshua has that in Deontay Wilder. Wilder has been annihilating competition ever since becoming a professional boxer. He has explosive power in both hands and overall is just a phenomenal athlete. Whether he has been tested by solid opposition is in question as he has mostly fought boxers who most would qualify as B or even C level fighters. What makes Wilder so exciting is that he’s for one an American Heavyweight, a throwback to when American Heavyweights dominated the division, He is explosive, you shouldn’t blink when he fights as the knockout can come at any minute and they are usually vicious….look at what he did to Artur Szpilka, Lastly, who shows enough wrinkles in his game that one can see him having possible issues when matching up with other fighters in the division.
Again looking at the fight with Artur Szpilka, in that fight Wilder looked a bit perplexed as Szpilka was outboxing him in some portions of the fight. With Stiverne in their first meeting he fought well, but seemed limited in his attack options relying on the 1 – 2 far too often. It helps to have the wingspan and incredible power he has, but I know fans and pundits alike can see this being an issue against other fighters in the division. However, I don’t for a second believe that Wilder is afraid of anyone in the division, which makes the Heavyweight division incredibly exciting to watch as fighters at the top level with some noticeable wrinkles can make for some phenomenal fights.
To Wilder’s credit he is yearning for a career defining fight, or at least a fight that will test him and in return shut the naysayers up. He has tried to secured bouts against Alexander Povetkin that have been called off due to positive PED results on behalf of Povetkin. He also tried to step in the ring with the incredibly dangerous Luis Ortiz who also failed a drug test, however the fight is again on for March 3rd. Maybe fighters failing PED tests is a testament to how feared Wilder is in the division, just some food for thought….
Luis Ortiz- The boogeyman of the division
Ortiz is a sensational fighter with power that rivals Wilder’s. The interesting thing about Ortiz is that he is also a product of the Cuban Amateur system. The Cuban system emphasizes racking up points while minimizing confrontation. A style illustrated by Erislandy Lara and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Some would even argue that it is “boring” as the fights usually involve a Cuban fighter pot shotting and running laps around the ring. Ortiz has been able to use his Cuban heritage to be a technical boxer in the ring while homing onto an opponent and crushing them with great power.
It’s scary to also see his counter-punching ability. He is phenomenal at catching punches and shooting his own. His record is 28-0 with 24 Kos an impressive record indeed. His career has definitely been stymied by the ridiculous nature of boxing politics where some promoters refuse to work with others to the point that dream fights don’t happen or happen too late. Now he seems to be in the clear and is set to fight Deontay Wilder on the 3rd of March.
There is only one problem that comes to mind when you think of Ortiz, his age. He is 38 and is creeping on 40. At that age boxers slow down and don’t have the same prowess they did in their twenties or early thirties. Wilder may expose Ortiz given Wilder’s athleticism and youth, but don’t count Ortiz out…but just know father time is undefeated.
Tyson Fury- The outlaw of the division
Fury is an interesting character in and out of the ring. He rose to prominence after snapping Wladimir Klistchko’s winning streak and stranglehold on the Heavyweight division, in turn winning all major belts except the WBC crown held by Deontay Wilder. However, it seems like the brightness of the lights got to him as he went on a downward spiral that resulted in him losing all of his belts due to battling his own personal demons.
He seems committed to returning to the ring and reclaiming what he never lost in the ring. Fury’s fight with Klistchko was a dud by most accounts, however he did the trick. If Fury returns to the ring expect him to give Ortiz, Wilder, or Joshua a tough fight. The biggest piece to this puzzle is if Fury can get back into top ring shape and remain focus on the sport of boxing.
He has long range, good power, and is ridiculously tall for a heavyweight. These factors give him an advantage over any fighter on this list as he knows how to use his size advantage over his opponents. He frustrated Klitschko who frequently relied on using his size to wear out and beat his opponents. The heavyweight division is one where a size advantage can mean a lot, given that all of the fighters in the division are strong and dangerous.
The matchups and theatrics
Any possible match up with the fighters on this list will make for a great fight…not just because of their skill level, but because of the charisma and bombast all these fighters have. Can you imagine the press conferences between Wilder and Fury? Or what about Fury and Joshua? Or the fight everyone wants Wilder vs Joshua? This is something that has been missing in the Heavyweight division for a while. And while it’s the skill of the fighters that brings people to the fights, some pre-fight shenanigans always help create interest in the fight.
Match them up how you like as the Heavyweight division is getting hot again. There are other up and coming heavyweights like Jarrell Miller and Dillian Whyte who are making a buzz. It’s a great time to be a boxing fan as boxing in general is enjoying a renaissance. From the lower weight classes up to heavyweight new stars are emerging and they are making for exciting fights. As always, all we can do is hope that the complications of boxing politics don’t limit who can fight who in an era where there is so much depth in the sport of boxing.
Ranking Wladimir Klitschko
By: Matt O’Brien
With the recent announcement that Wladimir Klitschko is officially retiring, a page was turned to end an era of heavyweight boxing. And while many would have gladly viewed a return of last April’s gripping contest with Anthony Joshua, few would have predicted a different result. At 41 years of age and following such a tremendous effort, now would seem the perfect moment for the Ukrainian to call time on his illustrious career. Which begs the question: where does his legacy rank in the annals of heavyweight history?
The stats alone are enough to ensure that the former champ will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame at the first opportunity. An Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion, “Dr. Steelhammer” won the second highest number of heavyweight title fights in history (25), had the second longest title reign ever (9 years, 7 months and 7 days) and made the third highest number of consecutive defenses (18). Even considering the proliferation of modern “world” title belts, any conversation about heavyweight championship history that doesn’t mention Wladimir’s achievements is therefore incomplete.
That said, greatness is predicated on more than statistics. If it weren’t, historical behemoths like Sonny Liston (with a single successful title defense to his name) would barely merit a mention. In other words, Klitschko’s career-record entitles him to a fair hearing in the discussion of boxing’s greatest big men, but it doesn’t guarantee him a place in the upper echelon of their ranks.
Other, more subjective questions to consider include how Wladimir matches up with previous greats physically, skill-wise and in terms of the opposition he faced. Then there’s the question of what impact he had on the sport and society more generally. Legends, after all, are borne of character as well as conquest.
Head-to-head, Wladimir’s size and stature suggest that he would have been too much to handle for the majority of the pre-1960’s heavyweights. If we were to transport him back to the 1950s in a time machine to face Rocky Marciano, for example, he’d enter the ring over 50lbs heavier, stand 8 inches taller and enjoy a 13-inch reach advantage. On paper, it just doesn’t seem like a fair fight. This argument can be replicated for many of the ancient greats (Dempsey, Tunney, Fitzsimmons, Corbett et al) if it pleases you, though increases in the average build of modern heavyweights, advances in sports science and the corresponding effect on physique, strength and conditioning are only part of the story.
Many would argue that, more importantly, in terms of ring craft and the pool of competition against which their skills are honed, it is the modern giants that fare worse. Klitschko’s so-called “jab and grab” style was effective, though often uneasy on the eye and lacked the punch variety and finesse of his predecessors. It led him to an impressive number of defenses, albeit against a string of mediocre opposition. Indeed, the question of which fighter Wladimir’s single greatest victory came against turns up a relatively poor list of options: David Haye? Samuel Peter? Chris Byrd? Kubrat Pulev? Alexander Povetkin? (Choose any you want, the point is none of them constitute a truly great rival).
Perhaps denigrating Wladimir’s achievements too much based on the quality of his opposition is overly harsh, though. A fighter can only best the competition available to them, and that is something he did consistently – and conclusively – over a period of time rarely witnessed before. So while you won’t find a Frazier or Foreman-esque name on Klitschko’s record, there’s a plethora of challengers who were properly ranked as the best contenders in the world at the time he faced them, and he dominated them all.
Well, almost all of them. Wladimir tasted his share of defeat, and the manner of his earlier career losses in particular puts a serious dent in his résumé. Whether the result of inexperience, exhaustion, fragility or a combination of these factors, knockout defeats to Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster do not sit well when you are comparing yourself to the toughest men in history.
Of course, no boxer enjoys getting hit in the face, but Klitschko’s palpable aversion to punishment stood out more than most. The Ukrainian giant appeared nervous to the point of being allergic to punches at times in the ring, resulting in what could sometimes be a maddening reluctance to let go with his hands. One can only imagine the intimidation that could be inflicted before the first bell even sounded by a menacing figure such as a prime Mike Tyson or Sonny Liston. It does not take much of a leap from here to argue that the smaller men of past years would not have been at such a disadvantage, after all.
For if we allow that “Iron” Mike, at 5’10” and with a 10-inch reach disadvantage, could impose himself on the much bigger Wladimir, then why not the smaller heavyweights of yesteryear, too? As the saying goes, sometimes it is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. And for all his impressive physical attributes, if Klitschko lacked one thing it was the size of the dog inside of him.
It is ironic, in this sense, that the mettle he was criticized for lacking throughout his career was the same attribute he seemed to discover in his final outing, at 40 years of age and with 90,000 Englishmen baying for his blood.
Wladimir’s valiant effort against the undefeated and highly favoured Joshua, in which he seemed to shed a lifetime’s worth of doubt about his chin, has led to the kind of adoration in defeat and retirement that he sorely lacked during his long and often dreary title reign. Dramatic and fiercely contested, his stoppage after eleven back-and-forth rounds was everything that his decade-long reign as champion was not. If only he had been able to summon an extra ounce of killer instinct in that sixth round, perhaps he would now be retiring as a three-time world champion. Alas, breaking so many habits in one night was too much to ask.
If Klitschko’s dominance inside of the ring rarely made for compelling viewing, outside of it he always carried himself like a true champion. When he told Tyson Fury to “fuck off” ahead of their planned rematch, the words sounded so unnatural that they were funny rather than profane. Trash talk was rarely needed or utilized, and though he lacked the charisma of a champion like Muhammad Ali, the magnetism of a fighter like Mike Tyson or the prominence in the public consciousness of men like Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, he was a consummate professional and represented the sport of boxing with grace and dignity. In a market where slurs and insults function as the standard currency, Klitschko was a refreshingly polite role model.
“My HEART is at PEACE as I pass the torch to @anthonyjoshua – the next generation. Good luck little bro, I’m proud of you!”
His recently posted retirement message was the kind of gentlemanly and sportsmanlike gesture that defined his character, though sadly it was not entirely accurate. It’s fair to say that the Joshua fight did bear many of the typical hallmarks of a “passing of the torch” type fight, but the elephant in the room was a whacky Englishman by the name of Tyson Fury, whose slide into drugs and depression does not change the fact that Wladimir, for all his honest intentions, no longer held the torch by the time he lost to AJ. The heavyweight lineage had already changed hands in Germany a year and a half earlier, the old champion seemingly psyched-out before being bamboozled over twelve cagey rounds by the unpredictable “Gypsy King”.
Though he never got chance to put things right in a rematch, ultimately Klitschko did earn some redemption in defeat to Joshua. He went out on his shield, proved he was capable of withstanding more punishment than was believed, and gave far more of himself in the ring than he had against Fury. So, now all is said and done, where should Klitschko stand in the all-time heavyweight pantheon?
His final effort certainly does his legacy no harm, though even a glorious victory would not have been enough to elevate him alongside the two greatest heavyweights of all time, Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis. The tier just below these two immortals, typically including Jack Johnson, Larry Holmes and (more debatably) Rocky Marciano, is also well out of reach, I think.
A case could be made for him sitting somewhere within the second half of the top ten, amongst names like George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, Jack Dempsey – or perhaps Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, depending on your preference. This would also be overly generous though, in my opinion. The paucity of impressive names on Wladimir’s record combined with the nature of his defeats and overly cautious style again precludes him from such a high ranking.
Putting him just outside of this field – into territory including fighters such as Gene Tunney, James Jeffries, Riddick Bowe, Jersey Joe Walcott and his brother Vitali – seems a more reasonable placement. If he were to be seated in the higher reaches of this tier, you wouldn’t hear much of an argument from me.
All in all, despite his flaws Wladimir was still a great heavyweight champion. He carried himself with class, carved out a record that will stand the test of time, and earned the right to be called the best of his era. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Klitschko retires – what next for Anthony Joshua?
By: Thomas Nicholls
Anthony Joshua’s much anticipated rematch with Wladimir Klitschko is OFF as the legendary Ukrainian has called time on a prestigious 64-fight career.
Since winning a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympic games in 1996, Klitschko has established himself as one of the all-time Heavyweight greats.
Retiring with an admirable record of 53 KO wins in 64 bouts, Klitschko burst onto the heavyweight scene with older brother Vitali in the mid to late 90’s, bulldozing his way through his first 24 opponents before a shock defeat against much unfancied Ross Purity in Wladimir’s hometown of Kiev in December 1998.
Amidst the renaissance for Klitschko, he captured his first world title in October 2000, beating America’s Chris Byrd via Unanimous Decision. Klitschko set his sights on unifying the division and was on course to fulfill his ambition until another shock defeat to South Africa’s Corrie Sanders. Another rebuilding process was underway yet just three fights later he was stopped once more, this time it was Lamon Brewster who had Klitschko on the canvas. A career which held such promise was in turmoil. Klitschko was at his lowest ebb.
It was back to drawing board for “Dr Steelhammer”, under the tutorship of the late Emanuel Steward and they had found the winning formula. A much lamented “Jab & Grab” style, as effectively crafted as it was uneasy on the eye, Klitschko was formidable.
By 2010, Klitschko’s resurgence had seen him capture the IBO, IBF & WBO versions of the Heavyweight crown, pummeling his way through Tony Thompson, Ruslan Chagaev and Samuel Peter in the process. Up next was WBA belt holder David Haye, Hamburg was the venue and many had tipped the Londoner to expose the vulnerability of Klitschko’s chin. For all of Haye’s promotion and promise, he failed to land a glove on the champion.
Klitschko had conquered the Heavyweight division, he would defend his four world titles against Wach, Povetkin & Pulev in spectacular fashion before being outfoxed by a gamely Tyson Fury.
As Klitschko seeked redemption and in what was his final fight, he captured the admiration of the millions that had their focus on Wembley Stadium in April 2017. Klitschko engaged in a titanic battle with “little bro” Anthony Joshua, sending the Brit to the canvas with a huge right hand in the sixth round. Joshua, with youth on his side, had showed exceptional powers of recovery and seeked and destroyed a tiring Klitschko in round 11. Klitschko, at 41, showed wonderful heart and courage to rise from the canvas twice to fight on, but his time was up.
Klitschko’s retirement spells the end of a remarkable career and of course the possibility of a rematch with Joshua, who is now seeking his next opponent.
Yesterday, the WBA ordered Anthony Joshua to defend his WBA heavyweight title against mandatory challenger, Luis Ortiz.
The governing body released a statement telling both parties they have 30 days to come to an agreement, or the fight will go to purse bids.
IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev seemed set to fight “AJ”, but the WBA had previously confirmed in January that Ortiz would face the Wembley winner.
Eddie Hearn has recently spoke of his desire to take the Joshua roadshow to the states, as a fight with Deontay Wilder gathers momentum, besides the “Bronze Bomber” there isn’t a host of stand-out candidates that have the ability to dethrone the British champ.
Other prospects that will have Joshua in their sights are of course Dillian Whyte, the winner of Parker vs Fury and Jarrell Miller – it’s hard to see Joshua being dethroned any time soon.
Joshua has the heavyweight division at his mercy, as did Klitschko for many years, the torch has been passed and Joshua is the new era.
Wladimir Klitschko: A Man Who Represented His Sport In Respectable Fashion
By: Sean Crose
And so Wladimir Klitschko, one of the longest reigning heavyweight champions in history, has decided to retire. Good for him. We should wish him all the best. He was, make no mistake about it, a credit to his sport. While Klitschko was never able to engross all of western society the way Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Lewis or Jack Dempsey had before him, he was able to show that a gentleman could also be a tough guy. That’s saying something – especially right now, at this point in boxing history. The fact that Klitschko is retiring in the leadup to the insanely hyped and sadly beloved Mayweather-McGregor matchup signifies, in a way, exactly where we are in the road.
While Klitschko believed a champion should represent his sport in respectable fashion, Mayweather and McGregor engage in gutter speak for the roar of the crowd. While Klitschko believed that practicing an incredibly violent sport didn’t mean you had to act like a narcissistic headcase outside of it, Mayweather and McGregor recently turned their seemingly endless press tour into a cross between a circus act and a bad LSD trip. Whatever his flaws may be, a parent might actually point to Klitschko as a source of inspiration. Anyone who wants their kid to act like Mayweather or McGregor needs a psych evaluation. Now, though, Klitschko is gone, leaving the fight world with a loud mouthed Irishman who acts unhinged and a gleeful American hedonist who looks forward to making some serious “easy money.”
Only there’s more to it than that.
There are, believe it or not, fighters out there who act like, you know, adults. Canelo Alvarez is one. His future opponent, Gennady Golovkin, is another, Shawn Porter certainly appears to be role model material. Last weekend’s big winner, Mikey Garcia, clearly treats his work, life and public image responsibly. There are others in boxing who could be on this list, as well. Count on it. They simply don’t get the attention Mayweather and McGregor do. And that’s partly understandable. For part of boxing is salesmanship. What boxing shouldn’t be, however, is bottom of the barrel, base entertainment. Sadly, that’s where some think it is at the moment – at the bottom of the barrel – thanks to two less than sportsmanlike characters and the legions who adore watching them.
The point of this piece isn’t to be Puritanical, however. It’s to point out the fact that fighters don’t have to behave in an antisocial manner in order to be successful. The truth is that Klitschko might have earned more fans had he been a bit more colorful – not idiotic, just more colorful. That wasn’t the man’s personality, though, and I’ve got to respect him for it. Better Klitschko, in my humble opinion, than the Pop Culture Event Of The Summer we’re heading towards. Is it August 27th yet?
Wladimir Klitschko Announces Retirement
By: Sean Crose
Wladimir Klitschko, the former longtime heavyweight champion who recently engaged in an all out war with current heavyweight king Anthony Joshua has announced his retirement. Klitschko, who failed in his attempt to regain his crown in front of 90,000 fans in London last spring was expected to rematch Joshua in Las Vegas in November. In a bit of a surprise, however the Ukranian decided enough was enough.
Klitschko, one of the longest reigning heavyweight champions in history, never caught on with American fans due to his methodical ring style. Still, his many knockout wins spoke for themselves and his respectful personality earned Klitchko much respect in return. In an era of Mayweather-McGregor, the gentleman warrior will surely be missed.
Wladimir Klitschko: “I deliberately took a few weeks to make my decision, to make sure I had enough distance from the fight at Wembley Stadium. As an amateur and a professional boxer, I have achieved everything I dreamed of, and now I want to start my second career after sports. I would have never imagined that I would have such a long and incredibly successful boxing career. I´m very thankful for this. Thanks to everyone who has always supported me. Especially my family, my team and my many fans.”
“Pencilled in” – Joshua v Klitschko II set for Las Vegas
By: Thomas Nicholls
Anthony Joshua is set to fight Wladimir Klitschko at the T-Mobile Arena on November 11.
Joshua stopped Klitschko in the eleventh round of their colossal battle at Wembley Stadium back in April. A fight that broke British records in grossing revenue and attendance and now they are set to do it all over again.
As the Joshua brand goes from strength to strength, his promoter and marketing mastermind, Eddie Hearn has been keen to showcase the star outside of the UK.
Initially, it seemed they were taking the fight to the Far East, then there were whispers of a showdown in Nigeria, but now it seems the fight is set to take place in Boxing boulevard – Las Vegas.
Both Hearn and Joshua have been touring the US and theNevada city and the Matchroom boss reveals that he has held talks with representatives of MGM and the T-Mobile Arena as he looks to try and seal the rematch.
Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, Hearn said: “I’ve been in Vegas with AJ, officially applying for my Nevada boxing license to promote there and that went well.
“I met with the MGM and met with the T-Mobile Arena, Vegas is the front runner and November 11 is the date that is pencilled in.
“It will probably take a couple of weeks to get everything over the line, but I believe Klitschko will take this fight and believe Vegas will be the one.
“AJ has been over there for about 10 days and has enjoyed himself and got to know the area a little bit.
“The amount of British fight fans that would travel there, it will be a momentous occasion and one that we will savour for a long time so fingers crossed it’s a party in Las Vegas on November 11.”
United Kingdom Boxing Round Up
By: Thomas Nicholls
As the British Boxing scene continues to grow from strength to strength, this new weekly feature will highlight all the news, views and fight previews from the Great British circuit. Enjoy!
On Saturday night, the enigmatic Chris Eubank Jr defended his IBO Super-Middleweight crown against German veteran “King” Arthur Abraham at the SSE Arena in London. Many had foreseen the outcome of the fight as the cocky, charismatic Eubank dominated his way to a landslide points decision as the weary Abraham had no answer for the Brit’s speed and punch volume.
In victory, Eubank (27) has now confirmed his place in the forthcoming World Boxing Super Series otherwise known as the “Muhammad Ali Trophy”, a mouth-watering eight-man tournament starring some of the main players in the 168lbs division. As third seed, Eubank will have home advantage against unbeaten Turkish prospect Avni Yildirim. Eubank is one of four Britons who will feature in the tournament, alongside Jamie Cox, WBA Super Champion George Groves and pre-tournament favourite, Callum Smith.
Muhammad Ali Trophy Quarter Finals –
George Groves (GB) vs Jamie Cox (GB)
Chris Eubank Jr (GB) vs Avni Yildirim (TUR)
Callum Smith (GB) vs Erik Skoglund (SWE)
Jurgen Braemer (GER) vs Rob Brant (USA)
Elsewhere in the UK, WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders is set to defend his crown against American southpaw, Willie Monroe Jr. Monroe Jr is in the process of resurrecting his career after a defeat to GGG back in May 2015. In the press conference on Monday, Saunders hailed Monroe a “quitter” in reference to his evident surrender against the hard-hitting Kazakh, Golovkin.
Billy Joe Saunders has been concerningly inactive since he was crowned champion in 2015, his solitary defence coming in an unconvincing display against unknown Russian, Artur Akavov. Saunders has frequently vowed to unify the division and promoter Frank Warren has twice come close to finalising a fight with either GGG or Canelo, but Billy Joe’s repeated injury setbacks have for now scuppered those plans. London’s CopperBox arena will play host to the fight with Monroe on September 16.
September is due to be a busy month for Britain’s fighters as the Heavyweight clash between Hughie Fury and Joseph Parker is now back on after a cancellation earlier in year. Originally, the fight was due to take place in New Zealand, but the Manchester Arena is the new venue for the Heavyweight showdown.
Hughie, cousin of Tyson, is a slick point scoring fighter who possesses an impressive 20-0 record at just 22 years old. WBO Champion, Parker will enter the fight as favourite, but the Fury camp are certainly no strangers to the underdog status and they will take courage from Parker’s most recent bout as he failed to topple the uninspiring Romanian, Razvan Cojanu.
Manchester based Hughie has this week claimed that he, for the first time in his career, feels at full fitness. Plagued by health issues throughout his teens, Fury is looking and feeling healthier and is convinced it’s his time to make his mark on the Heavyweight scene and bring the WBO strap back in to the Fury family. “It doesn’t matter where I fight Parker in the world, I know my ability and what I’m capable of achieving and I know I can win the world title.”I don’t like to count my chickens, but the obvious incentive to beat Parker is the big fights out there like a unification against Joshua or Wilder.
“This is what boxing is all about, the best should fight the best and the best fighter will come out on top.”
“Tyson will be coming back and he’ll be out to reclaim his position, we’ll never fight each other, but we’ll rule the division together.”
Meanwhile, we still await confirmation of Wladimir Klitschko triggering his rematch clause with Anthony Joshua, but Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom staff were in Vegas last week looking at potential venues for the fight. Let’s hope we have an announcement in the coming weeks!
Is Joshua-Klitschko II On The Way?
Is Joshua-Klitschko II On The Way?
By: Sean Crose
Last month, fight fans were treated to what was arguably the best heavyweight title fight in the past two decades. For Anthony Joshua gained heavyweight supremacy by besting aging icon Wladimir Klitschko in a terrific back and forth battle that had both men hitting the mat before Joshua finally blasted his way to victory in the 11th round. Not only was the bout itself thrilling, it was held before close to a hundred thousand fans in London’s Wembley stadium. The mood surrounding the event was absolutely electric and – for once – the match itself delivered.
Soon afterward, almost immediately so, talking heads started proclaiming loudly that boxing was finally back. Hopefully, that proves to be true. But Klitschko may be coming back, as well. The man had a rematch clause in his contract for the first Joshua fight and now Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn feels like Klitschko will act upon it. This may disappoint some fans, who want to see Joshua move on to bigger and better things after finally disposing of Klitschklo in a thorough manner several weeks ago. Still, Klitschko is legally free to do what he wants. And, being a legit sportsman with a sense of honor, he would surprise few if he were to choose to give Joshua another crack.
The question, of course, is would Klitschko have much of a chance of winning a rematch? In all honesty, it might be hard for some to see how he would. The man gave Joshua everything he had the first time. Many are even saying it was Klitschko’s best performance in years – if not ever. Yet he still came up short. What could he do to improve upon the last performance? People also need to remember the fact that Klitschko is no longer a young man. He’s in his forties now and, like it or not, age does matter.
Regardless, Joshua-Klitschko II would be a must see event, even if it would prove incapable of matching the thrill of the first go-round. Klitschko, who has long been accused of being boring, was exciting enough the last time to indicate a second bout wouldn’t be sleep inducing (would he carry out the same strategy against Joshua again, though?). Add in the fact that it’s two big men fighting for big stakes and the bout becomes all the harder to resist.
And then there’s the rising star of Joshua, who is quite possibly the most exciting heavyweight since Tyson. In fact, he may be on the verge of becoming an international draw regardless of who he fights. That’s something the heavyweight division hasn’t seen in ages.
Never Mind The Post-Fight Hype, Joshua-Klitschko Was A Big Deal. Here’s Why.
Never Mind The Post-Fight Hype, Joshua-Klitschko Was A Big Deal. Here’s Why.
By: Sean Crose
Some people are driven insane by the kind of hyperbole that surrounds any major event. For instance, I get put off by fellow Star Wars nuts who simply praise all things Star Wars to the Yavin 4 moon, regardless of quality (Rogue One wasn’t all that great, people!). With that in mind, I can understand why some are already getting annoyed by the breathless accolades Saturday’s Joshua-Klitschko extravaganza has been receiving. Still, there’s something equally off-putting to me about those deflating types who are always apt to shrug at something others genuinely love and admire. I know such people, and I sometimes wonder if their chronic dismissiveneness is, in fact, some kind of strange psychological power play. Sure enough, a few of these naysayers appear to be weighing in on Joshua-Klitschko, as well.
Let’s take a step back and try to view things objectively, then. On the surface, Anthony Joshua stopped Wladimir Klitschko in front of almost six figures worth of people in a back and forth heavyweight title fight. That’s it. Or is it? Was there really more to the bout than what was on the surface? Are those breathless masses right in this case? Upon consideration, I think they actually are. All the praise may get a bit much to swallow at times, but hey, this was one of those events that earned the loud chorus of cheers it’s receiving. If people are going to go bonkers for something, at least this time it’s for something worthwhile.
For starters, Joshua-Klitschko was held in front of ninety thousand people. That’s ninety thousand. Sure, that in and of itself might not be that impressive in the larger scheme of things (Didn’t Dempsey fight in front of bigger crowds on several occasions?), but Saturday’s live audience at London’s Wembley Stadium was absolutely electric. Watching the bout live on Showtime, it was literally hard to hear ring announcer Michael Buffer speak into a microphone over the uproarious crowd. That says something, and what it says is this fight brought with it more energy than most of us have seen in years. The crowd at Wembley was pumped up to epic proportions. Never mind boxing, I’ve never, to my knowledge, felt that kind of vibe through the television for a sporting event of any kind.
And that’s saying something.
Yet Joshua-Klitschko was also an electric fight. Seriously. This one played out like a super sized version of the first Leonard-Hearns throwdown, with one man dominating, then another, for round after round, until Joshua found the strength within himself to finish his masterful opponent off for good. That sort of thing, simply put, is good boxing. No, it’s great boxing. People will be talking about this bout – not the hype – the bout itself, for years to come. And with good reason. It may not have been as shocking as Tyson-Douglas, but it was enormously entertaining, perhaps the best heavyweight title fight in the past 25 years.
And that’s saying something, too.
What made the bout even more intriguing, however, was the knowledge that there were still questions to be answered afterwards. When Mayweather beat Pacquiao, the story was essentially over. Yet this particular story can go in a million different directions – and it’s not self-contained like the Floyd-Manny throwdown was. Will there be a rematch? Will Joshua get his match with a cleaned up Tyson Fury? Will the thunderously hard hitting Deontay Wilder end up stealing the heavyweight crown when the dust finally settles? And what of Joseph Parker? And what of Luis Ortiz? And what of…
Make no mistake about it, we live in an age where the volume is always turned up to full blast. On this particular occasion, however, the music is simply good enough to warrant it.
WBA/IBF World Heavyweight Championship Round by Round Results: Joshua Stops Klitschko in Instant Classic
WBA/IBF World Heavyweight Championship Round by Round Results: Joshua Stops Klitschko in Instant Classic
By: William Holmes
Wembley Stadium in London, England was the host site for tonight’s highly anticipated heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua.
Showtime televised the bout live from England and HBO televised the replay on the same day.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports
For the first time in twelve years Wladimir Klitschko was the underdog in a fight. The crowd at Wembley Stadium was lively, loud, and ready for a good fight.
Wladimir Klitschko entered the ring first as the challenger underneath a backdrop of 90,000 cell phone lights. Anthony Joshua entered second to a loud and boisterous crowd.
Nataliya Klitschko performed the Ukranian national anthem and Louisa Johnson sung the British National Anthem.
Anthony Joshua (18-0) and Wladimir Klitschko (64-4) fought to unify the WBA and IBF titles.
Klitschko comes forward with a range finding jab while Sohua keeps his hands high and looks for a counter. Joshua lands a check left hook to the chin of Klitschko. Joshua is short with a two punch combination. Joshua lands a good jab to the body. Klitschko throws a left hook that’s partially blocked. Klitschko is keeping at a safe distance from the power shots of Joshua. Klitschko lands a good quick jab. Joshua lands a left hook to the body. Joshua lands a short jab. Joshua lands a good right to the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a left to the body and has a follow up right partially blocked. Klitschko lands a good stiff jab. Klitschko lands a reaching jab.
Klitschko lands a sharp straight right hand on the chin of Joshua. Joshua lands a short jab and misses with a two punch combination. Joshua lands a quick jab. Klitschko looks light on his feet. Klitschko snaps out a
quick jab. Joshua lands a short jab and punches the shoulder of Klitschko. Joshua lands a clean right hand to the chin of Klitschko. Joshua sticks a jab in the chest of Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a straight counter right. Joshua misses with a lead left hook. Close round.
10-9 Klitschko; 19-19
Joshua is short with several shots and gets a little wild. Joshua misses with another hard straight right. Klitschko misses high with a right cross. Joshua barely misses a huge uppercut and then lands a few hooks to the body. Klitschko clinches when Joshua gets in tight. Joshua is short with a double jab. Joshua misses a left hook and a two punch combination. Klitschko lands a lead left hook. Joshua lands a god jab to the nose of Klitschko.
10-9 Joshua; 29-28 Joshua
Klitschko lands a stinging straight right hand and follows it up with another straight right. Joshua lands a hook to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands two jabs to the face of Joshua. Joshua lands a sharp straight right hand. Joshua lands a jab to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a lead left hook and a straight right cross. Joshua lands a right to the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a quick jab and later follows with a counter right hook. Joshua lands a stiff jab. Close round.
10-9 Joshua; 39-37 Joshua
Joshua comes out firing and lands several hard punches and combinations. Klitschko tries to hold on and looks a little wobbly. Joshua lands a hard combination including a stiff uppercut and Klitschko goes down. Klitschko has a mouse underneath his eye. Joshua comes forward and lands a left hook. Klitschko trying to hang on and survive. Klitschko misses a wild right hook. Klitschko has a bad cut over his left eye. Klitschko misses with a wild left hook. Klitschko lands a straight right to the chin of Joshua. Joshua looks tired. Klitschko lands a straight right and a left hook. Klitschko lands a straight right followed by a left hook. Klitschko lands a right uppercut and Joshua looks hurt. Klitschko lands a two punch combination on Joshua. Both guys look exhausted and are holding on. Klitschko lands a right cross and Joshua holds on. Klitschko lands a hard right uppercut and a left hook. Great round, Klitschko was coming on strong late.
10-8 Joshua; 49-45 Joshua
Both boxers look alert after the hellacious fifth round. Klitschko lands a good right hand on Joshua. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Joshua spit out his mouthpiece and the fight is briefly stopped. Klitschko lands a jab and Joshua lands a right hook to the body. Klitschko lands a thunderous straight right hand and Joshua goes down! Joshua gets up before the count of ten. Joshua looks badly hurt. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Klitschko lands two short right hooks. Klitschko presses Joshua back to the corner and lands a hook and a right cross. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Klitschko lands a short jab. Another quick jab lands for Klitschko. Joshua holds on. Joshua lands a short jab. Great round.
10-8 Klitschko; 57-55 Joshua
Both boxers look alert at the start of the seventh round. Klitschko pressing forward though and looks a little more awake. Klitschko lands a sharp jab and is controlling the action. Klitschko lands a left hook to the head of Joshua. Klitschko looks patient. Klitschko lands a good jab. Klitschko lands another jab. Joshua is jawing at Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a sweeping left hook. Klitschko lands a short left hook. Klitschko lands another jab. Klitschko misses with a straight right and Joshua holds on. Klitschko bangs a left hook off the high guard of Joshua. Joshua lands a hook to the body.
10-9 Klitschko; 66-65 Joshua
Joshua didn’t take a lot of damage in the last round, but has never gone past the seventh before today. Klitschko lands two punches out of three while coming forward. Klitschko lands a reaching jab. Klitschko misses a missle of a straight right hand. Joshua comes forward with a double jab but touches air. Klitschko misses with another wild right. Joshua barely misses a straight right hand. Klitschko lands two jabs. Klitschko lands another jab. Joshua lands a jab but Klitschko answers with a stiff jab. Joshua throws a hook to the body and then ties up. Klitschko lands another jab. The pace favors Klitschko.
10-9 Klitschko; 75-75
Klitschko lands a right hook upstsairs and Joshua lands two hooks to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands a short left hook but eats two more body shots. They tied up after Klitschko throws two jabs. Klitschko lands a jab but Joshua lands a short left hook. Joshua lands a hard left jab and follows it with a short right hook. Joshua misses a lead left hook. Klitschko lands a quick jab on Joshua. Joshua lands a hard shot to the body. Klitschko is controlling the distance but appears a little hesitant to throw. Joshua lands a short right hand and two hooks to the body.
10-9 Joshua; 85-84 Joshua
Joshua opens up with a two punch combination. Joshua is short with a right cross to the body. Joshua gets tagged with a quick jab. Joshua digs a hook into the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a short inside uppercut. Joshua throws a two punch combination upstairs and clips Klitschko. Joshua lands a hook to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands a good jab. Klitschko misses with a straight right. Joshua lands a jab upstairs. Joshua lands another short jab on Klitschko. Klitschko’s right hand is not finding it’s target. Klitschko lands a good straight right hand. Klitschko lands another good straight right as the round comes to an end. Could have scored it for either boxer.
10-9 Klitschko; 94-94
Joshua comes out firing and has Klitschko looking a little wobbly. Joshua is throwing bombs at Klitschko. Joshua throws a reaching jab. Klitschko lands a quick jab. Klitschko lands a straight right and Klitschko looks like he’s in bad shape. Joshua lands a straight right on Klitschko . Joshua lands a short left hook. Joshua lands a thunderous right uppercut on Klitschko and follows it with a left hook. Klitschko is wobbly and gets up before the count of ten. Josha tags Klitschko with another combination and Klitschko goes down again. Klitschko looks like he’s badly hurt. Joshua is chasing Klitschko around the ring and is firing off punches before the referee jumps in and stops the fight.
Anthony Joshua Wins Thriller by TKO at 2:25 of the eleventh round.
Joshua-Klitschko: Nothing Left To Do…But Fight
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.
WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title Fight Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title Fight Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
By: William Holmes
On Saturday afternoon one of the biggest heavyweight bouts in recent memory will take place at the famous Wembley Stadium in London, England.
This is such a major event that Wembley Stadium is expecting a record setting crowd of 90,000 fans in attendance. It is so big that Showtime will air the fight live at 4:15 p.m. live while HBO will televise the replay at 11:00 p.m. on same day tape delay.
It’s rare to see two of the biggest broadcasters of boxing agreeing to televise the same fight.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime
Both boxers appear to realize the magnitude of the vent at the most recent press conference. Joshua stated, “ Even though this is such a great event, I always try to strip it down to what it really is and just focus that it’s just me and this man coming to blows and the best man will win. I’m not only prepared physically but mentally as well for any battle.”
Klitschko recognizes that many count him out as an old faded champion and stated, “ Can you imagine my next opponent is going to fight a guy whose age is exactly the number of how long he has been in boxing- 27 years? Can you image that? It’s a pretty amazing task. Is it a degradation that I’m actually a challenger and underdog in this fight after 27 years in the sport? I don’t think so. I think it’s great”.
This is a huge bout, and will help determine if Anthony Joshua is the current kingpin of the heavyweight division and the reign of Klitschko is over, or if Klitschko’s time at the top is still ongoing.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s heavyweight title fight.
Anthony Joshua (18-0) vs. Wladimir Klitschko (64-4); WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title
This bout is between the next great big thing in the heavyweight division and a man who reigned over the heavyweight division from 2000-2015.
Both Joshua and Klitschko obtained the highest accolade one could achieve as an amateur boxer. Klitschko won the Gold Medal in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games for the Ukraine in the super heavyweight division and Joshua won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for Great Britain in the super heavyweight division.
Both Joshua and Klitschko are very large heavyweights. Both stand at 6’6” and Joshua will have a slight one inch reach advantage, but both men have a reach of over 80”.
Klitschko’s age is his biggest liability. He’s forty one years old and is fourteen years older than Joshua. Joshua’s biggest liability is his relative lack of experience in big fights. He’s only fought eighteen times and has never faced an opponent the caliber of Klitschko.
Klitschko’s inactivity may also hurt him. He fought zero times in 2016, partially due to a calf injury, and only fought twice in 2015. Joshua on the other hand has been very active and fought five times in 2015 and three times in 2016.
Klitschko has been absolutely dominant the past decade and has defeated almost every big name in the heavyweight division in that time frame. He has defeated the likes of Bryant Jennings, Kubrat Pulev, Alexander Povetkin, Mariusz Wach, Tony Thompson, David Haye, Samuel Peter, Eddie Chambers, Ruslan Chagaev, Hasim Rahman, Sultan Ibragimov, Lamon Brewster, Calvin Brock, and Chris Byrd.
Joshua doesn’t have the extensive list of defeated contenders on his resume as Klitschko, but he has still defeated some very good opponents. He has defeated the likes of Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.
Joshua has the clear edge in power as he has stopped every single opponent he has faced as a professional. Klitschko has stopped fifty three of his opponents but has been stopped three times in his career.
Klitschko’s two biggest concerns appear to be fighting a tall boxer as was evident in his fight with Tyson Fury, and fighting a hard puncher as evident in his three knockout losses.
Joshua is just as tall as Klitschko and has plenty of power.
Don’t forget Joshua will be fighting in front of his countrymen.
All signs point to Anthony Joshua winning on Saturday and ushering in a new era of heavyweight boxing.
Why Is America Missing Out On Joshua-Klitschko?
Why Is America Missing Out On Joshua-Klitschko?
By: Sean Crose
A public workout was held Wednesday. In Wembley Stadium. In front of a significant, loud and very energetic crowd. With Michael Buffer introdrucing the fighters before they actually, you know, worked out. This, friends, was something special. And little wonder. For the first time since Mayweather-Pacuiao, the days are winding down to a legitimate superbout. For, in case you haven’t heard, rising British Star Anthony Joshua will be throwing down against former longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday in a battle for heavyweight supremacy. They fact that the two men will be fighting in front of 90,000 people – that’s 90,000 people – gives some indication as to just how big this match is.
While the fight is indeed finding itself onto sports’ pages in the states, it leaves this Yank feeling a bit sad that Joshua-Klitschko isn’t getting the attention it deserves here. Not sad for the fighters. Not sad for boxing. Sad for my countrymen. No kidding, I feel a bit down about this. For one of the single biggest sporting events of 2017 – if not THE single biggest – is happening this very weekend and few Americans are even aware of it. Oh, the fight will be there for us Amerians to watch – live on Showtime and later Saturday night on HBO – but how many of us will even know it’s on? And why are so many of us missing out on a major international sporting event?
First off, it helps if we face facts here. Boxing isn’t that big in the states anymore. Not when the name of Floyd Mayweather isn’t somehow involved. Boxing has done much of this to itself, of course, thanks to ridiculous management and a plethora of poorly judged fights. The American media has much to do with it, as well, however. The truth is, those who are supposed to get “the scoop” aren’t interested in the scoop when it comes to professional boxing (unless, again, Mayweather is involved). It’s hard for people to know about a major fight if the general media isn’t really discussing it…or it isn’t informing people of the sheer scope of the event.
Yet it’s not just the media who is to blame here. Americans interested in boxing can be an oddly indifferent bunch. “They both suck,” an individual training a young man on the pads in a local gym told me today. He was speaking, of course, about Joshua and Klitschko. Without giving another second of his time, the giver of that flip comment went back to work. Perhaps he just didn’t want a pain in the ass reporter in the gym…but I know of others with their fingers on the pulse who aren’t exactly jumping up and down over this bout, either. Is it because an American fighter isn’t involved? Maybe, but Alabama native Deontay Wilder is waiting in the wings with what seems to be intense interest. Wouldn’t that make American fans at least somewhat intrigued? Apparently not all of them. Unfortunately, America’s jaded boxing fans may have become way too hard to impress…suffice to say, we can forget about word of mouth spreading any kind of interest in this weekend’s bout.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of this weekend’s American television broadcasts Showtime has been doing a wonderful job with it’s boxing programing lately (while HBO seems too disinterested in boxing to even let subscribers know how disinterested it is), but this fight would have been perfectly suited to air on network television Saturday afternoon. It would then have gotten stray eyeballs from general sports, fans who would undoubtedly be impressed by the sheer size of Saturday’s event (it’s hard to keep 90,000 people from being noticed) and hopefully from the action inside the ring itself (both fighters can hit, after all). Sadly, though, the world’s newest superbout will be aired on the channels that give us “Shameless” and “Game of Thrones.” People will tune in, of course, but not as many as could or should have.
If anything, Joshua-Klitschko shows that boxing is far from dead. Too bad the American public isn’t being given the chance to realize it.
Anthony Joshua is on the Precipice of a New Era for Heavyweight Championship
Anthony Joshua is on the Precipice of a New Era for Heavyweight Championship
By: Matthew N. Becher
Anthony Joshua has all the goods. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist, undefeated professional with all of his wins (18) coming by way of the Knockout. He is handsome, well-spoken and generally liked by all that see him. This Saturday, as he takes on Wladamir Klitschko in front of a record crowd of 90,000 at the famed Wembley Stadium, Joshua will have the chance to not only unify the heavyweight division, by defending his IBF title and pick up the WBA belt that was vacated by Tyson Fury, but he will also be able to begin a new era in the Heavyweight division. An era that has long been stagnated by the nearly decade reign by Klitschko. A reign that has turned off many fans of the most prestige’s title in all of sports. Joshua is on the doorstep to changing all of that.
In the last 10 years alone, we have had a total of 14 different Heavyweight champions. Here is the List of names; Shannon Briggs, Ruslan Chagaev, Sultan Ibragimov, Wladamir Klitschko, Samuel Peter, Nikolai Valuev, Vitali Klitschko, David Haye, Bername Stiverne, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Charles Martin, Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker.
If you were to ask a casual fan, they would not be able to recognize more then 2-3 names on that list. Most diehard fans would like to forget the likes of Ibragimov, Peter, Valuev and Stiverne.
The Heavyweights usually run the show in boxing. They generate the hype, the glitz, the glamour. They get the magazine covers, the late night talk show interviews, they are internationally recognized. Unfortunately that has not been the case for this era. From the times of Liston, Ali, Frazier and Foreman, to the days of Tyson, Holyfield, and Lennox Lewis the Heavyweights have taken a complete nose dive from the top of the sports world. This has to do with an abundance of sanctioned belts to the reign of both Wladamir and Vitali Klitschko, whose styles were less than fan friendly.
With the mega fight between Joshua and Klitschko taking place this weekend, the young champion Joshua has a tremendous chance to start a new reign at the top of the Division. With the likes of Wilder of the United States, Tyson Fury of the UK and a possible handful of other young talents, the big men will have a chance to battle for all time legendary status.
With Joshua attempting to slay the old King that is the 41 yr. old Klitschko, this new era could become a reality this Saturday in London.
Do not get me wrong here, Klitschko is very much still a possibility to win this fight and add another chapter to his hall of fame, legendary career, but what I am saying, is that this could just as well start a bigger dynamic if Anthony Joshua can prove that he is just as good as we may believe he is.
Saturday night live on Showtime 5pm/ET and a replay on HBO 10pm/ET we will see just how good the young lion from England can be. History will be made either way, and a new era of the Heavyweight throne will be decided.