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Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko prediction, full fight preview

Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko Weigh-in Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

I know not what foul, eldritch magics they had to use, but K2 Promotions and Matchroom Boxing have put together an excellent Heavyweight boxing match in 2017. Indeed, today (Sat., April 29, 2017) England’s great Heavyweight hope, Anthony Joshua, takes on the division’s former emperor, Wladimir Klitschko, inside Wembley Stadium in London, England. The card, which will air live on Showtime starting at 4:15 p.m., will also feature local favorites Scott Quigg and Luke Campbell, as well as beloved Irish star Katie Taylor.

But you’re here for the main event. Not to worry ... we’ve got the goods.

Name: Anthony Joshua
Age: 27
Record: 18-0, 18 KO
Last Five Fights: Eric Molina (TKO-3), Dominic Breazeale (TKO-7), Charles Martin (KO-2), Dillian Whyte (TKO-7), Gary Cornish (TKO-1)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): None


Name: Wladimir Klitschko
Age: 41
Record: 64-4, 53 KO
Last Five Fights: Tyson Fury (UD Loss), Bryant Jennings (UD), Kubrat Pulev (KO-5), Alex Leapai (TKO-5), Alexander Povetkin (UD)
Significant Victories (Other than those mentioned above): Tony Thompson (x2), David Haye, Samuel Peter (x2), Calvin Brock, Chris Byrd


The key factor that has me leaning toward “Dr. Steelhammer,” which Scott Christ mentioned in his own preview of the fight, is that Klitschko has faced Joshua-esque opponents before. None had his blend of size, strength and power, but his general archetype and overall skill level are old hat to the venerable Ukrainian.

The same cannot be said for Joshua. He’s proven himself against sluggers and men he can physically overpower, but Klitschko’s overall talent blows his previous competition out of the water. No amount of Dillian Whytes and Dominic Breazeales can prepare someone for Klitschko’s sharp jab and startling power.

Worse, Klitschko’s grueling clinch could drag heretofore unseen fatigue out of the heavily muscled Joshua, who has never gone past seven rounds. He’s not a mover like Tyson Fury, not someone who can give Wlad the confusing looks and odd angles that muzzled his right hand in his last fight.

Of course, none of that matters if he can’t execute. Klitschko is over 40 years old and hasn’t fought in more than one year thanks to Fury screwing him around during rematch negotiations and even I — the most diehard Klitschko fanboy on this site — admit that he looked atrocious there. There’s also, of course, the matter of Klitschko’s chin. Though it hasn’t failed him since his first fight with Sam Peter in 2005, its history and Klitschko’s own tendency to clinch excessively when inside the opponent’s range suggest that it remains a liability. Joshua can absolutely knockout just about any man on the planet and steering clear of that power may demand a level of finesse that Klitschko’s body can no longer produce.

Still, though it may be more sentiment than cold, hard logic, I can’t help but pick Klitschko. I expect him to wear down Joshua with jabs, clinches before finishing him off late with either a right cross or that ultra-tight left hook he’s been fond of recently.

Prediction: Klitschko by eighth-round knockout

Remember, MMAmania will have LIVE coverage this Saturday, starting with the Showtime broadcast at 4:15 p.m. ET.

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