Anthony Joshua versus Wladimir Klitschko is one of the most eagerly anticipated heavyweight boxing bouts of the modern era.
This Saturday night, in front of a sold out Wembley Stadium, the two giants go to war.
This is the tale of a young, up-and-coming, explosive prospect in Joshua, taking on the skilled veteran who has dominated the division for over a decade, Klitschko.
AJ has a sparklingly clean professional record of 18 wins and no losses, with every single one of those victories coming by way of knockout. He has never been taken past the seventh round and currently holds the title of IBF heavyweight championship of the world.
Critics of the Olympic gold medallist with Great Britain in 2012 claim he has not been truly tested yet and his perfect record is padded. Without doubt, Saturday night will be Joshua’s toughest task to date.
Klitschko, on the other hand, is a 41-year-old well oiled machine, as seasoned as they come in the boxing game. Having turned professional in 1996, of his 68 outings Wlad has had his hand raised 64 times, with only four black marks on his record. His most recent display being his most disappointing. A defeat to Tyson Fury in November 2015 is the last time we’ve seen Dr. Steelehammer in action. He intends on avenging that loss with a commanding win on Saturday night.
Build-up to the fight has been cordial, with a clear mutual respect between the fighters. It is generally accepted in the wider boxing community that this fight sells itself. There is no need for trash talk, funny antics, or tables and chairs flying at press conferences to attract attention to what promoter Eddie Hearn is billing as “the biggest fight in British boxing history.”
Joshua is a former sparring partner of his Ukrainian opponent, dating back to AJ’s amateur days when he used to help prepare the man he plans on taking down for title fights just like Saturday night’s. In Sky Sports’ ‘The Gloves Are Off’ preview of the bout, Klitschko stared into the eyes of the Englishman and told him as a teacher would tell his student: “If you win I will congratulate you. When you lose I will help you to come back.”
An unprecedented 90,000 spectators will pack Wembley for the fight, which is available on Sky Box Office. Is Klitschko over the hill and past his best? Will Joshua deliver on his potential on the biggest stage?
Check out this spine-tingling promo video to get you pumped for the monumental event on Saturday night:
Aaron Ward, Pundit Arena