While all the talk amongst fight fans centers around the proposed meeting of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, current heavyweight ruler Anthony Joshua is forging ahead with his plans for complete dominance of the sport’s most-interesting division.
The Londoner already has in his possession the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO straps and he’s preparing to make the latest defense of his honors when giving hard-hitting Russian Alexander Povetkin a shot at the big-time. Bookmakers expect AJ to come through that test with ease and the latest boxing odds has him an odds-on favorite.
Handlers are also optimistic, so much so they’ve made arrangements for the champion’s next outing – the Povetkin fight taking place on September 22nd and a bout against an as yet unnamed opponent going ahead on April 13th, Wembley Stadium booked for both.
If Fury and Wilder do come to blows it’s expected Joshua will fight the winner and critics believe either man has enough firepower to give the top-rated fighter problems, but a quick look through his stats suggests he’ll take some shifting.
Here are two performances that prove Joshua is going nowhere…
Dillian Whyte – 12/12/2015
Dillian Whyte had never lost before meeting Anthony Joshua and he has never lost again since, but he ended on the wrong side of the result that night, beaten in seven rounds at the 02 Arena. This certainly wasn’t the champ’s most impressive display, but it showed a different side to him, a boxer who was willing and able to roll up his sleeves and work when dragged into the trenches.
A real grudge match between two Londoners, there was plenty of needle leading up to the first bell and Whyte even had Joshua hurt at one point, but he couldn’t get his man out of there. Joshua dug deep, cleared his head and settled the score with a stunning right uppercut which sent his old foe to the canvas. Brains and brawn. Will we see a rematch in the coming months?
Wladimir Klitschko – 29/04/2017
Joshua’s best performance to date, this fight had it all.
Doubters said the former Olympic gold medalist was relying too heavily on power and when an opponent could take his best he would soon run out of ideas. They also predicted he had no chin and would fold when putting under pressure against a genuine heavyweight. Both were proven to be way off the mark in this Wembley thriller.
Anthony climbed off the canvas for the first time in his career – touching down in the sixth – to drop man mountain Wladimir Klitschko three times, twice in the 11th round before referee David Fields called a halt to proceedings. There was a real feeling of a changing of the guards that night, Klitschko retiring and the Brit taking up the baton.
That win made AJ only the fourth man to halt Dr. Steelhammer in a 69-fight career, first since Lamon Brewster in 2004.