Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko betting tips, odds and preview

DOES it get any bigger than this? Two heavyweight giants at a 90,000 seat stadium in a fight the whole world will be watching. Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley asks all the right sort of questions. The world’s leading opinion Boxing News and former light welterweight champion of the world Ricky Hatton give their verdict exclusively for betsafe.

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Joshua has 18 knockouts in 18 fights with only two going beyond 3 rounds! Betsafe have boosted a Joshua win in rounds 1-4 to a massive 11/2!

How did we get here?

Only a few years ago, in 2014, Wladimir Klitschko was the imperious king of the heavyweight division. As he prepared for Kubrat Pulev, whom Klitschko would knock out inside five rounds, Anthony Joshua joined his training camp. 

The two had respect for each other, Klitschko had been at the ExCel to see him win his Olympic gold and even though he was yet to become British champion Joshua was generating real excitement as a professional. They sparred then and the thought of them fighting was a distant prospect.

Over the next couple of years Klitschko was outfoxed by Tyson Fury and lost his three world titles. As those two agreed to a rematch, the IBF heavyweight title belt was stripped from the Ukrainian. Eventually a beleaguered Fury would step away from the sport, scattering the remaining two world crowns.

Racing to world level Anthony Joshua snapped up the IBF title against Charles Martin. With the WBA title also being put up for this match-up the Joshua-Klitschko mega-fight was made, now with Anthony the champion and Wladimir his challenger.

Is Klitschko too old?

In the build up to this Wladimir has conducted himself like the elder statesman he is. Speaking with confidence and seemingly at ease in front of the cameras and press conferences, these high profile pre-fight events are all routine for him. He has seen it all in his long career. Klitschko has amassed 68 professional prizefights, after winning his own Olympic gold medal. He is 41 years old, an age when most fighters have retired. He did look old in his last fight. He couldn’t catch up with Tyson Fury, he couldn’t get his punches off. Was this down to Fury’s efforts? Or was it due to age wearying Klitschko?

Fury fully deserves credit and respect, he did something no one had expected of him. He made full use of his long levers, he obliged Klitschko to move round the ring, but kept the champion at bay. Tyson didn’t throw many punches himself, but his constant feints kept Wladimir on guard and off his game. Fury in short bamboozled Klitschko. And that must hurt the great Ukrainian’s pride acutely.

His advanced years however can’t be ignored. Fury did pose a problem with his style and sheer physical dimensions that befuddled Wladimir. But Klitschko had not been in good form before this. After the Pulev fight he was expected to handle Bryant Jennings with ease in 2015. Yet he didn’t. Klitschko laboured in Madison Square Garden. Jennings managed bob his way on to the inside.

At his best Klitschko had the timing and footwork to keep his opponents on the end of his long, punishing punches. That seemed to desert him against Jennings and as his jab failed to find the mark against Fury the rest of his game crumbled.

JOSHUA V KLITSCHKO BOOST 11/2!

Joshua has 18 knockouts in 18 fights with only two going beyond 3 rounds! Betsafe have boosted a Joshua win in rounds 1-4 to a massive 11/2!

Is Joshua too young?

But with Klitschko’s age comes his greatest asset. Experience. Joshua can’t match him on that score. Klitschko had been a world champion for longer than the Briton has even been in the sport. Anthony was an international novice when he won his Olympics and as a professional he’s fought no one like Klitschko. 

Normally a boxer would want more than 20 pro contests before venturing into world level. Not only has Joshua had a mere 18 pro bouts but he has had very few professional rounds, just 44 before taking on Klitschko. Wladimir in contrast has had 358 rounds.

Klitschko could be banking on ‘old manning’ Joshua, using his honed ring craft as well as his ability to clinch, hold and mess around an opponent. He could be the one to confuse, tire and outfox Joshua, even though Anthony is the younger, strong man.

For Joshua setting the pace will be vital. He can work at higher rate, throw the greater volume of shots per round. That could prevent Klitschko settling into a rhythm, rediscovering his confidence and mesmerising the young champion.

What they say?

Anthony Joshua

“I think that timing is everything,” Anthony Joshua said. “I needed someone who could potentially challenge me. I say potentially because you never know. I need this type of competition to show the world what I’m about, the potential is real.

“It’s my time,” he warned Klitschko. “I don’t think you’ll find a weakness.”

Anthony Joshua

Wladimir Klitschko

“I’ve been fighting guys that had a great record of knockouts, the Samuel Peter fight, he was totally hyped up as the next champion. I was dead man walking, that’s literally what I was called,” Wladimir Klitschko said. “I was on the floor multiple times during this fight and nobody thought this was going the distance. So you never know.“If you win I will congratulate you. When you lose I will help you to come back.”

Wladimir Klitschko

Joshua v Klitschko: Who will win?

The ultimate question of course. You could make a convincing case for almost any outcome. Klitschko could be able to move Joshua where he wants him, make the young champion think and tire him. Perhaps it’s not a ‘passing of the torch’ type of situation. It could, like Mayweather-Canelo, be too much too soon. Klitschko’s power won’t have deserted him and it’s unlikely Joshua will take the same approach as Fury. Joshua is aggressive in style and doesn’t like to hang back. In this instance that could make it easier for Klitschko to find and exploit openings.

Equally Klitschko’s age and relative decline could see him overworked by the younger man, but his experience could keep him in the fight and enable him to evade a conclusive finish. But one thing Joshua knows is how to deliver is a knockout. His technique is good. He has talent. If he can establish his jab over Klitschko’s, which he certainly can do – his jab is quality, just like Wladimir’s but might be quicker and it is heavy – he can set up his booming right. There were hints against Fury that Klitschko grew uncomfortable when caught. Joshua can follow up a single connection with rapid, devastating flurries. Winning the first round and setting the tone will be crucial but if Joshua maintains his ferocity, he can win in the second half of the fight.

JOSHUA V KLITSCHKO BOOST 11/2!

Joshua has 18 knockouts in 18 fights with only two going beyond 3 rounds! Betsafe have boosted a Joshua win in rounds 1-4 to a massive 11/2!

About Matt Christie

Matt Christie is the editor of Boxing News, the oldest boxing publication in the world. Established in 1909, Boxing News’ reputation as the market authority comes from over 100 years of experience in the hardest game.