It is safe to say, Joshua versus Klitschko surpassed the massive pre-fight hype. The bout quickly escalated from a cautious feeling out process to an all-out war. Joshua versus Klitschko will no doubt go down as one of the great heavyweight championship fights. So let’s break down that burnburner fight.
There was a moment in the first round where I thought AJ looked laboured. However, it soon became apparent that Joshua was progressively building up the pace as the rounds went on. This was a genius way for Joshua to use his youth to his advantage. It was perhaps a way to lure Klitschko into a false sense of security as well.
Wladimir’s awkward rangey style caused disruption for Joshua in the beginning but his success increased the more he let his hands go. His youth and explosiveness negated Klitschko’s power. The fifth round was thrilling in itself with both warriors swinging for the fences. They were both exhausted and on wobbly legs. With that being said, AK appeared to get the best of that round. This round perfectly illustrated the theatre of a big fight, goosebumps drama!
Wladimir had a lot of big moments in the fight, hurting AJ badly in the sixth round. It was the first time we had seen AJ floored, let alone close to being stopped. Wladimir clearly entered this fight feeling like he had a lot to prove. The loss to Tyson Fury left many wondering if he still had the ability to compete with younger heavyweights. He answered his critics here, leaving no speculation about his power and chin.
The following rounds were a slog for Anthony Joshua. He seemed to pull back from exchanging. He later confirmed, in the post fight press conference, that he was conserving energy. He took a lot of punishment in these rounds and had to show a lot of heart. Deontay Wilder was on commentary loving the a crazy action that was taking place in the ring. He was clearly thinking: “Good, good, tear each other to pieces”.
In an incredible, career making moment, Anthony composed himself by the twelfth round and got the finish: we finally saw the AJ we are used to as he stormed in with frenzied flurries. We saw a familiar scene: Joshua with his opponent against the ropes, the referee jumping in to save him.
This was a great fight that I will certainly re-watch again and again. AJ became a star and cemented his place at the top of the mountain. Klitschko, lost no stock in the bout. If that bout was the swansong of Wladimir Klitschko, it is an fitting way to go. Who will Joshua take on next? There are some big fights out there for for him including the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Regardless of who he faces next we can say one thing for sure, his fame will continue to grow