Sunday, April 30, 2017
Joshua Stops Klitschko-Boxing Challenge
In one of the best heavyweight fights in years.Anthony Joshua rallied from behind (on my card,at least) to stop Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round at London's Wembley Stadium to retain the IBF heavyweight title and add the vacant WBA belt as well.
Joshua knocked down Klitschko twice in the 11th after starting the round with an uppercut that would have finished most fighters,but didn't drop Klitschko,however that punch sent the fight Joshua's way.
Joshua seemed to be on his way to a earlier knockout when he sent Klitschko to the floor in the fifth,but a overconfident Joshua allowed Klitschko to recover and by the end of the round,it was the Ukrainian that was landing more punches and seemed to be the fresher combatant,
That theory proved true,when it was Joshua that went crashing to the floor in the following round six from a Klitschko right,but Klitschko didn't go all out for the kill and allowed a staggering and stung Joshua to survive.
The fight was a strong action fight,which was unusual for Klitschko,who based his career on boring,yet efficient victories and had the 90,000 person crowd screaming with delight for most of the bout.
I had Klitschko ahead 95-93 (6-4 in rounds) after ten,but had Klitschko survived the eleventh,Joshua would have certainly been ahead with a 10-7 eleventh round.
The fighters are contractually committed to a rematch,but I'm not sure that is a great idea.
This gallant effort by Klitschko might turn out to be the final top effort that he has in him and even though he was ahead on my card (and one official card) after ten,the knockdowns would have certainly cost him a decision and I'm not sure a rematch has a chance of swinging back his way.
A rematch would draw money and interest,but I have a feeling that it has little chance of approaching this fight.
Klitschko would be well suited to use this fight as his swan song.
As for Joshua,he has options in the event of the rematch not happening.
The big fight would be against the conqueror of Klitschko in the troubled Tyson Fury,which would be for the lineal title (since Fury won it from Klitschko),would draw another huge crowd and make massive money.
The problem is that Fury is unreliable and even if the fight is made,it has a decent chance of never taking place.
WBC champ Deontay Wilder would make sense as two former Olympians with punching power and questionable chins might make a great fight and unify three of the titles together.
The problem there is that Wilder prefers to talk about big fights and then fight collections of no-hopers and against the one decent opponent that Wilder faced (Bermane Stiverne),that opponent lasted the distance and Wilder seemed to be happier to box rather than punch.
WBO champion Joseph Parker would have fought Joshua already,as he was the number one contender for Joshua's IBF belt,but after the WBO stripped Tyson Fury,Parker had an easier path to that title (a close decision over Andy Ruiz for the vacant strap) and took it.
Also as bad as the opposition of Deontay Wilder's has been,Parker's has been arguably worse to date.
What might be best for all would be for Wilder and Parker to face off while Joshua fights Fury (or someone else in the very possible event of a Fury dropout).
That would make the winner very valuable with two titles and make an eventual Joshua fight even more of an event.
In the boxing challenge,I earned two points for the Joshua KO with Ramon Malpica getting one for the Joshua win.
I lead the boxing challenge at 53-43.