Anthony Joshua (21-0 20Kos) takes on fellow Olympic Gold medallist Alexander Povetkin (34-1 24Kos). This time in front of an expected 80,000 people in AJ’s forth stadium fight.
He took on Wladimir Klitschko last April at Wembley, where he returns now. Three out of four of the World Heavyweight belts are held by Joshua, The IBF belt (International Boxing Federation) he picked up against Charles Martin in 2016, WBA (World Boxing Association) was on that unforgettable night at Wembley and the WBO (World Boxing Organisation) in Cardiff, Millennium Stadium against Joseph Parker earlier this year.
Everyone on these islands knows Anthony Joshua’s name, as he is quickly becoming the poster boy of boxing, not just in the UK, but the world. His dominance in the Heavyweight division is apparent when you look at the numbers. Before this fight was agreed, AJ was frustrated by talks with Deontay Wilder (40-0 39Kos), who battles it out with Tyson Fury (27-0 19Kos) later this year. Joshua was forced to take on his Mandatory in the Russian because of talks breaking down. Only Wilder, with the WBC (World Boxing Council) belt, Fury with lineal status of the man-who-beat-the-man, and Povetkin stand in Joshua’s way of World Heavyweight dominance.
We all know Joshua. So, who is Alexander Povetkin?
Povetkin is arguably number three in the world, at worst Top Five. He is a former Champion, losing his title and suffering his only defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. He has gone onto 8 victories since then, 6 of those Kos, one being Carlos Takam who AJ also beat last year. Povetkin looks to knock out his second British fighter this year, after beating David Price on the Joshua-Parker undercard, with that win setting himself up for the AJ this Saturday.
What kind of fight is it going to be?
An issue that Joshua has brought up himself, is the matter of size. Heavyweights in the 21st Century are a lot bigger than previous eras. Just looking at Fury and Wilder, both 6’8 and 6’9, the Heavyweight landscape is indeed that of giants.
AJ stands at 6’6, with Povetkin at 6’2, with AJ having nearly 20cm reach advantage, 208cm to Povetkin’s 191cm. The dimensions are very much in the Champion’s favour, but the challenger is used to these bigger men and just re-watching Joshua-Takam, who is 6’1, would almost suggest AJ could have a problem with smaller guys- especially when they hit as hard as Povetkin.
I would expect AJ to jab for the first half of the fight, picking his shots, trying to break the smaller man down. AJ should use his size and reach to keep Povetkin at bay, not allowing him into the pocket to trade too much. Then, in the latter rounds I can see Joshua looking to get him out of there to give the fans a KO, possibly being the first to stop the Russian. However, at 38 it is Povetkin’s last roll of the dice to become Heavyweight Champion and with his boxing pedigree, I do not think it will be easy. I can see AJ struggling but overall getting the win in a great fight in London, the capital of Boxing.
By James Evans