IBF & WBA Heavyweight Title Unification Bout
Anthony Joshua vs “Dr Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko
The biggest Heavyweight fight in British Boxing is finally upon us. There’s been a tonne of respect between both men in the build up to this fight. Both boxers are Olympic Gold Medallists. AJ is like the leader of the new generation of fighters whereas Wladimir is like the old guard in a sense he’s the veteran, the legend and the standard bearer in the sport. It’s youth vs experience in the most anticipated fight in heavyweight boxing history and it’s live from Wembley Stadium in front of a record breaking 90,000 audience.
Over to the smooth voice that is Master of Ceremonies, Michael Buffer. Both men make the long walks to the ring, Dr Steelhammer is out first, as the challenger for the first time in 17 years and to my great surprise, Klitschko came out to a chorus of boos. Then the defending Champion, the pride of Britain Anthony Joshua entered the arena and the stadium erupted, a thunderous ovation for the hometown boy.
12 Rounds Of Boxing.
Both men start this megafight rather tentatively. AJ seems to get the better of the round as he connects with more of the punches in the round. Klitschko still managed to stalk his opponent around the ring pressing him back, but AJ never let it faze him. A quiet round for both men but AJ found his range early. Round 1 to AJ.
A faster start to this round with both men connecting early. The two heavyweights traded blows as they went back and forth but AJ again seemed to connect with more shots. Klitschko stood up to everything though showing he could take AJ’s biggest hits in these early stages. An even round but I’m going to have to go with AJ again as he was in control of the round dictating the pace. Round 2 to AJ.
AJ starts the round strong as he begins to break down Klitschko. An easy round for AJ who seems to be settling into the fight nicely. Round 3 to AJ.
Quick start for Klitschko who brings the fight to AJ. The early flurry seems to rock AJ a little but he manages to cope with it and fight his way through the round. AJ came back with a couple big shots of his own but it was more Klitschko’s round for me. Wladimir has locked in on his target now and the two exchange big punches later in the round. Round 4 to Klitschko.
AJ brings the fight in this round managing to knockdown Wladimir. An early burst of power from AJ cut the veteran and got the crowd really riled up for this one. Klitschko holds his own though, he recovers well from the knockdown as he throws big blows of his own. AJ seems to tire in the round after that early burst of power and Wladimir begins to take over as the two warriors go to war. I’m going to have to give this round to Klitschko simply because he got knocked down but he got back up and he took the fight to AJ and put him in some real trouble. Round 5 to Klitschko.
Klitschko’s round for sure this one! AJ began tire due to his early frenzies but also the fact that he’s not often gone to the 6th round. He’s usually in the back working on the pads by now. But Wladimir caught AJ clean in the round and even managed to knockdown AJ. Klitschko clearly smelt blood in this round as he closed in after the knockdown. Somehow Joshua came through the round but this was most certainly a Wladimir Klitschko round. Round 6 to Klitschko.
A slow start following the last 2 explosive rounds but Klitschko still stalks his prey around the ring. Joshua was clearly rocked by the knockdown as he didn’t even let many punches go in this round he was just trying to survive it seems and recoup the energy he wasted earlier in the bout. Klitschko got the better of this round but it didn’t take too much to be honest, AJ offered nothing. Round 7 to Klitschko.
Unfamiliar territory for Joshua in this round as it was the first time ever he’d been taken this far. Although I felt AJ coped well he looked a lot fresher and managed to get some punches off but Klitschko was one step ahead. He pressed Joshua all the way to the ropes, a very smart round from the veteran. Round 8 to Klitschko.
Klitschko is out fast for this round as he was all the rest. Clearly trying to capitalise on the earlier rounds that unsettled Joshua. AJ was tired and it didn’t take a genius to see that, Wladimir had most of the round in his favour. AJ tried to fight back late in the round but it wasn’t enough for me to win the round. Round 9 to Klitschko.
Joshua looked fully recovered in this round. The punches were flowing a lot more freely than previous and he was a bit more alive with his movement. Wladimir looked to have got the better of this round, there was a lot of holding and clinching. From my view though it seemed that Klitschko boxed the better round even though AJ connected with the biggest shot of the round. Round 10 to Klitschko.
An explosive and eventful round to say the least. With Joshua down on just about everyone’s cards including my own, he needed something special. And special is exactly what Britain’s Gold Medal Winner gave us. He absolutely blew Wladimir away in this round with some massive shots right from the bell. He rocked Klitschko early in the round and didn’t let up. Joshua was tiring and presumably had nothing left. He hit a huge uppercut and knocked down Klitschko and Joshua just let rip after this he knocked him down a second time almost immediately after. Another onslaught prompted the referee to get involved and stop the fight. Anthony Joshua wins via TKO.
A sensational performance from both men, who expected the 41 year old experienced veteran to bounce around like he did and even last as long as he did. Klitschko took some bombs from AJ tonight and it wasn’t until late in the 11th that Klitschko couldn’t continue. It’s also worth noting that Wladimir Klitschko was booed into arena but he was celebrated and cheered by the end of the night, he earned the respect of 90,000 tonight with that performance.
If this was Klitschko’s last fight, who knows? But if it is he can hold his head high he went out fighting like a true champion and a true warrior. It was an epic heavyweight clash tonight, it lived up to and surpassed all the hype these two warriors brought it all tonight and left it all in the ring. The veteran dragged Joshua into unfamiliar territory, the later rounds where he’d never been before but it was tremendous heart and determination that willed Anthony Joshua to victory.
Both men deserve a lot of credit for their performances tonight and they can both be proud of the spectacle they put on for the fans. I must say though in my opinion, Klitschko would’ve won the fight if it went to a points decision so this stoppage was even more special in the sense that AJ rescued this from the the jaws of defeat.
Anthony Joshua’s perfect record now stands at 19-0-0 with 19 wins by way of Knockout. Anthony Joshua is now the Unified Heavyweight Champion of the world.