It took me a while, but I finally got to watch Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko. I already had a lot to say about it when I got wind of the results, but I had to see the whole boxing match for myself before I even think about writing this. After over a decade of stagnation, the heavyweight division is exciting again. This is the first step to Anthony Joshua’s rising star, and all he has to do is to fight Deontay Wilder (or maybe a hopefully rejuvenated Tyson Fury) and get a big deal with a brand to become a household name.
Just think of the heavyweight division right now — we could have an undisputed champion that people around the world know the name of again, unlike during the Klitschkos’ heydays. We have Anthony Joshua taking out a Klitschko, Tyson Fury’s weirdness and depressive swings, Deontay Wilder’s power and aggression despite sub-par technique, and Luis Ortiz quietly sitting by a corner in a menacing way. I don’t know much about the rest of the division, but its aces are quite something.
But in the meantime, let’s look at this much-anticipated Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko matchup.
Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko Analysis
The story of Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko was about Joshua’s right uppercut against Klitschko’s right straight in this 11-round war. It was a very entertaining fight and I think no one should ever knock Anthony Joshua for taking that long to beat a 41-year-old man because Wladimir Klitschko was never one to waver on his regimen, so he was certainly no ordinary middle-aged man. Perhaps he was indeed over-the-hill, but a young Evander Holyfield did go all the way to the judges with a 42-year-old George Foreman back in 1991 as well.
There were a lot of neat things going on in this match, mainly how Klitschko hit pretty well with his straight punches and Joshua landing his left hook and right uppercut with awkward enough timings to throw his opponent off. The first few rounds were basically jab fencing; both having fairly similar body types and reach, so they had to find their range. Klitschko stuck with his signature straight punches while Joshua seemed to find success with hooks and uppercuts to the head and body whenever he gets in.
That’s what it looked to me at least, and I don’t know if that’s what everyone else had been seeing.
The knockdowns were quite telling. Joshua got the knockdown in the 5th with a barrage, while Klitschko got him back in the 6th with a stiff right hand down the pipe. Joshua started to falter after knocking Klitschko down the first time, seemingly punching himself out, thus losing much of the snap in his punches and the skip in his step. However, he still had more than enough to put the Russian away later in the 11th.
BY GAWD THE UPPERCUT pic.twitter.com/ZApzInz1AG— Harry (@wroetoshaw) April 29, 2017
That was one of the best right uppercuts I’ve recently seen in boxing. Sure, there’s the legendary Mike Tyson uppercut that sent Jose Ribalta’s head into space, and there’s a special place for that. But for me, this one is just a notch below the walking uppercut George Foreman used to knock out George Cooney way back when. That’s a right uppercut that makes me want to get my fat ass off my chair to practice for 3 minutes before I start dry heaving again.
Joshua did seem to be close to dry heaving as well, but he was still athletic enough to get the job done in the later rounds and make himself the holder of three title belts. It’s a well-deserved victory and the definite end of an era that may have been long coming.
In my own personal opinion, I don’t expect much from his future competition. Tyson Fury is trying to come back after a two-year aftermath of a major depressive episode, while Deontay Wilder is just not half the boxer Anthony Joshua is as far as technique is concerned. The man I think could give his talents a real test is King Kong, but the Cuban southpaw is barely in the post-fight hype, only in the periphery with Wilder and Fury hogging most of the line to get to promoter Eddie Hearns’ baby boy.
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