Heavyweight boxing isn’t quite dead yet ...
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko went to war inside Wembley Stadium in London, England, last night (Sat., April 29, 2017), trading knockdowns until reaching a dramatic conclusion in the eleventh round.
After some tense opening rounds that saw Joshua come up short with murderous punches while Klitschko worked tentatively behind his jab, a stinging right hand from Klitschko in the fourth changed the tempo, forcing Joshua to clinch and muzzling his output. Just as Klitschko appeared to be regaining control, however, a vicious flurry in the fifth sent him to the canvas for the first time in more than one decade.
There would be no classic Klitschko meltdown, however, as he stormed back and dominated the rest of the round before dropping Joshua with a monster right hand. Now firmly in command, Klitschko worked a visibly-fading Joshua with constant jabs and the occasional thumping right hand. Save for a brief resurgence in the ninth, it looked as though Joshua would remain at his mercy until either he saw either the canvas or the judges.
Then, during a wild exchange in the eleventh, Joshua landed about as perfect a right uppercut as you can throw. A follow-up flurry sent Klitschko down again, leaving him pawing at the ropes to try to drag himself back to his feet. Another uppercut slipped through after he beat the count for knockdown number three, after which Joshua pinned him in the corner to force the referee into action.
Klitschko entered this fight with questions surrounding his age and ability to pull the trigger. Joshua entered this fight with questions surrounding his gas tank, chin and ability to fight back from adversity. Both men answered marvelously. This was a truly great Heavyweight fight, the sort we just don’t see anymore. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
For round-by-round coverage of the fight, click here.