When you look at the heavyweight division these days, there are several players around, from champions to contenders to prospects alike.
But nobody can dispute that it is Anthony Joshua who stands as the biggest star and attraction of the whole lot. Joshua is presently the IBF, WBA, and WBO champion and has scored victories over the likes of Joseph Parker, Dominic Breazeale, Carlos Takam, Alexander Povetkin, and Charles Martin, to name a few.
But if you are pointing to one fight that catapulted his career to super stardom, it would have to be his dramatic 11th round TKO over Wladimir Klitschko in April of 2017. Heading into the fight, Joshua was already a big name, but his gutsy victory over the former long-reigning champion put him on another level. In that fight with Klitschko, in front of a packed house at Wembley Stadium, Joshua overcame adversity and a knockdown before rallying to stop the veteran prizefighter late in the match.
The win was significant because Joshua was able to show many levels to his game, as well as engage in a highly-entertaining fight with Klitschko, who has been in his share of snoozers in the past.
And while Joshua is presently getting ready for a June 1st date against tough Mexican-American brawler Andy Ruiz Jr., there are hints that Klitschko may not be done just yet.
Klitschko, now age 43, since retired from the sport following that defeat, but a recent social media post has people talking.
“Although, I didn’t win the titles on April 29th 2017, for me, it was one of my best days in my long boxing career (so far),” Klitschko said. “Thanks Anthony Joshua for being the perfect opponent and part of my obsession to become a champion again.”
You can’t help but notice how Klitschko says “so far” in his post, perhaps alluding to his desire to again take a crack at either Joshua or one of the other big heavyweight names at the moment. And the fact that Klitschko says he has an “obsession” to be a champion again is pretty straightforward.
But how much does “Dr. Steelhammer” have left at this point, having been away from the sport and now at an advanced age? There’s no denying he has the physical gifts to always be a threat, and perhaps the time away has allowed his body to rest and his mind to refresh.
There is reportedly a big offer on the table for Klitschko to return from DAZN, the same streaming service that will air the Joshua vs. Ruiz fight next month. It’s a reported deal that would obviously include a Joshua fight, as well as seeing Klitschko be an ambassador for the company afterwards.
Trainer Jonathan Banks, who used to train Klitschko for a brief period, recently claimed that he will not return, and he’s a pretty good source to ask.
But this is boxing and you can’t help but wonder what is really going on in Wladimir’s mind. Anything could happen in this sport, as we’ve seen.