A monumental night awaits Britain’s world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, as he puts his IBF title on the line in a Wembley clash with Wladimir Klitschko.
The Watford-born title holder will also contest for the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO crowns as he collides with the division’s former dominant force in front of a mammoth 90,000 fans in London.
On April 29th, Joshua has the chance to take his already impressive career to the next level with a potential victory over one of the most illustrious names in heavyweight boxing history. The 27-year-old has rallied to 18 straight wins by knockout since bursting onto the professional scene.
Such a devastating streak followed an impressive amateur background, after ‘AJ’ captured a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games on home soil. But he next comes up against another former gold medallist in the form of Klitschko.
The legendary ‘Dr Steelhammer’ prevailed as an amateur back in the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Later that same year he turned pro and began on his path towards becoming one of the all-time heavyweight greats.
It was in October 2000, eight months after the turn of the Millennium, that the hard-hitting Ukrainian earned his first ever world title success. A unanimous decision triumph over American opponent Chris Byrd saw him reign supreme and start his eventual dominance of the division.
While Klitschko was lifting his inaugural world crown, imminent opponent Joshua was only ten years of age. But 17 years later, the pair will collide in what could see a high-profile passing of the heavyweight baton for the coming years.
It’s the much more youthful Joshua that will take to the ring at Wembley as the odds-on 2/5 favourite in the boxing odds on Paddy Power, ahead of this potentially enthralling match-up on British territory.
The pair have plenty of history together, with Joshua having previously been brought in to Klitschko’s training camp as a sparring partner during the earlier stages of his professional career. It was during the latter’s preparation for his bout against Kubrat Pulev back in 2014 that such a scenario took place, while ‘AJ’ only had a few pro fights under his belt.
With Joshua now set to collide with arguably the best heavyweight champion of this generation, it proves how far the Briton has come in such a short space of time in the paid ranks. Coming from being Klitschko’s sparring partner to colliding with the Ukrainian in front of a record crowd at Wembley could ultimately see him begin his own division dominance.
Many have been critical of Joshua’s rise to stardom, with many of his foes so far having been clearly inferior, including former IBF title holder Charles Martin. But a win over ‘Dr Steelhammer’ would surely sink any critics or doubters that still linger over him.
It’s seemingly a great time to take on such a massive task too, with Klitschko having been out of action since his defeat at the hands of Tyson Fury back in December 2015 in Germany.
In what will be Klitschko’s 69th outing of a truly illustrious career, Joshua will aim to earn the most impressive victory of his own, one which could potentially see him shoot to supremacy in the heavyweight division.