Anthony Joshua has a big date on April 29th. As does boxing. Joshua is already regarded as one of boxing’s brightest new stars, he is already a tremendous draw in London-where the bout is taking place-however, how he performs against Wladimir Klitschko will start a new chapter for the undefeated knockout artist.
Boxing is healthiest- and let me define healthy as crossing over to the mainstream in the United States- when the heavyweight division has bite, or there are crossover stars such as Hagler, Duran, Chavez, Mayweather and the like, in the mix. Joshua has that rare chance to be both. Not since Mike Tyson has boxing had such an appealing heavyweight. He owns a perfect knockout record, has charisma and is comfortable with a microphone in his face. A promotor’s dream.
There is one thing standing in front of Joshua’s way of becoming a huge breakout start: Wladimir Klitschko. No, do not laugh. When we look back at Joshua’s career this fight will be key to his legacy. Will it be his Trevor Berbick moment? Or will the once giant of the heavyweight division spoil the party? All logic points to the young Joshua being too much for the ageing Klitschko. But this is boxing, and logic often does not make the cut.
Wladimir will come into the ring with attributes and experience that will be foreign to Joshua. Not even close. Wladimir still knows how to control distance; still, possess a killer right hand. Joshua cannot, and should not, try and fight Wladimir the same way Tyson Fury did. Joshua needs to be aggressive and touch that brittle chin of the Ukrainian. He must be spectacular. A strategy he might have to pay a price for to succeed. Everyone can envision what happens if Joshua touches Wladimir. But what will happen if he cannot; if Wlad frustrates Joshua? Better still what if Joshua gets touched by Wlad? Questions that make this a very intriguing fight.
The Wembley Stadium crowd will be rocking, and the world will be watching. Will we have a star or a setback?