By William Trillo
As far as heavyweight title fights go in this day and age, the battle of Goliath’s in England is the most exciting thing to come around the turnpike since the days of Ali, Forman, Frazier and Norton. Don’t come to me with your opinion on what is going on Stateside. Deontay Wider is single handedly dragging the heavyweight division down here in the USA. That is a fact and it is indisputable. Yet, across the pond we should be treated to a very compelling title fight. For Wladimir Klitschko, this is his last hurrah, look for him to go out in a blaze of glory. For the Champion Anthony Joshua, a victory will truly signify the changing of the guard and set him atop the heavyweight ranks.
Personally, I see Wlad giving us the best we have seen from him in quite some time. That being said, I doubt it will be enough and I expect him to be stopped somewhere around 6 or 7.
Although it looks like McGarry and I expect the same outcome there is little else we agree on regarding this battle.
Let’s see which one of us ends up looking like the proverbial blind squirrel in the forest.
Dear Mr. Trillo,
On Saturday night, 90,000 people are going to cram into London’s Wembley Stadium. They have bought tickets to a boxing extravaganza, billed as the biggest heavyweight fight of the decade. Those 90,000 people have all been conned. They have paid extortionate prices – thanks in part to the promoter’s indecently close relationship with ticket re-seller Stubhub – for a dreadful mismatch as the main event, and a couple of so-so world title eliminators on the undercard. A few promising novices will also get a chance to fight in a half-empty. huge venue.
That main event consists of IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua defending his title against Wladimir Klitschko. Somehow, the WBA has been persuaded to allow the pair to also fight for their “super” version of the world title.
Joshua has knocked out every one of his 18 opponents since turning pro, and the only opponent to give him any trouble was an out-of-shape Dillian Whyte, who managed to make things interesting for a couple of rounds. Since then, the IBF champion has shown he can take a more patient approach against better opposition if he feels the other guy needs to be broken down before getting knocked out. What makes him such a formidable fighter is his ability to walk through almost anything his opponents have thrown at him and then deliver devastating punches with either hand.
There’s still quite a lot we don’t know about how Anthony Joshua would react to being in a competitive contest that lasted more than seven or eight rounds, but there are only a handful of boxers right now who might have a chance of lasting that long.
In the other corner is Wladimir Klitschko – the closest there has ever been to a world champion who is also a coward. The Ukrainian has size, strength, punching power and technical skills to rival almost any heavyweight in history, but he has no courage whatsoever. In short, he’s a highly accomplished bully who has been rather fortunate to ply his trade at a time when big, skillful heavyweights were extremely rare. In his most recent bout nearly 18 months ago, Klitschko surrendered his titles while barely throwing a meaningful punch over the course of 12 rounds against Tyson Fury. Now, instead of having his licence revoked for contravening the Trades Descriptions Act, he gets a shot at regaining a couple of his titles and a multi million pound payday.
If Klitschko were to win on Saturday night, we face the prospect of a “unification” fight against Fres Oquendo, followed by defences against the likes of Christian Hammer and Robert Helenius. In other words, Klitschko will line up bums that even Deontay Wilder would be too embarrassed to allow as challengers to his version of the world title. This could go on for years, just like it did before Tyson Fury got half the job done a year and a half ago.
On the undercard, 2012 Olympic lightweight champion Luke Campbell will face Darleys Perez in a WBC eliminator and Scott Quigg steps in against Viorel Simion in an IBF featherweight title eliminator.
Joshua brutalises Klitschko in a couple of rounds and that’s the last time anyone ever mentions the name Klitschko in connection with boxing. As this contest is between two very big, strong men, there’s always a possibility that the Ukrainian lands a bomb first and Joshua unravels before our very eyes. This prospect is to awful to contemplate as Klitschko will strangle the life out of boxing for another five years if he does land that lucky punch. Fortunately, I suspect his plan is to wait until the second half of the fight in the hope the younger man gets tired and demoralised. That will allow Joshua several rounds of target practice against a big lump who hasn’t won a fight in over two years.
On the undercard, Campbell should beat Perez, probably by stoppage in the second half of his bout. Perez was knocked out by Anthony Crolla and Campbell is much better and a harder puncher. Whether he has what it takes to beat Mikey Garcia remains to be seen.
Former WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg is up against someone I’ve never heard of. All I can assume is promoter Eddie Hearn knows what he’s doing and this will be another routine win for Quigg.
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