3 World Titles are on the line in the Fight Of The Year as undefeated Brit Anthony Joshua takes on one of the greatest boxers in Heavyweight history in the form of Wladimir Klitschko in front of a sellout 90,000 fans at Wembley Arena.
It’s no secret that the British press like to build up boxing matches as the biggest thing going, but in this case they are not short of the mark.
The event on April 29th will host the biggest crowd on British soil in over 75 years, but it’s not hard to see why, with 2 of the hottest properties in world boxing.
AJ is a former Olympic Gold Medalist at the 2012 games, and since turning professional in 2013 has picked up the British, Commonwealth and now IBF World Titles – only the legendary Joe Frazier before him can claim to hold an Olympic Title and World Heavyweight Title at the same time.
He is on 18 wins with 18 knockouts, with only two boxers getting beyond the 3rd round - admittedly the quality of his opponents has come into question, but after next Saturday that can’t be labelled at him.
Ukrainian Dr Steelhammer is a shoe-in for a boxing Hall Of Fame spot. Also an Olympic Gold Medalist (back in 1996) he has fought and beaten some of the best in the business, and went 11 years from 2004 till 2015 undefeated until he was beaten in a shock upset by the Brit Tyson Fury. That took his record to 64-4 with 53 knockouts.
Two things that can be levelled against him though is his age (41 compared to Joshua’s 27), and his poor performance in his last fight against Fury.
It really is a fight pitting experience against youth.
This fight isn’t just for AJ’s IBF World Heavyweight Title, but also for the WBA, and IBO Titles too, both of which were held by Fury before he vacated them last year.
And for once this fight is being promoted purely on the boxing spectacle, which makes for a pleasant change. There’s no animosity between the two. No bad words, or scuffles in the build up to it. In fact there is a huge amount of respect between the two.
The undercard is looking strong too with three British young Olympians to the card in Lawrence Okolie, Josh Kelly and Joe Cordina, and 2012 gold medalist Luke Campbell has a huge step up against former world champion Darleys Perez in a title eliminator to face WBA King Jorge Linares.
Also on the card, under the guidance of new coach Freddy Roach, is former WBA world champ Scott Quigg. Scott looked red hot in his return to the ring in December but now he is back in the deep end against tough Romanian Viorel Simion. Simion is ranked No 4 with the IBF, who have now ordered that the fight be an official eliminator to champion Lee Selby.
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