World Boxing News takes a look at the best round of boxing so far in 2017.
The session happened in probably the most exciting session of heavyweight competition in recent memory as Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko traded leather at Wembley Stadium in London.
Four rounds of feeling each other out came to life in the fifth as ‘AJ’ immediately jumped on Klitschko with bad intentions. It was clear Joshua’s corner had geed up their man and told him to go for the jugular from the first second of round five.
This was a serious change from the earlier tactics of keeping Klitschko at bay with his jab as the 2012 Olympic gold medallist sensed a turn in the tide. Klitschko tried to hold on and run for cover, although Joshua was all over him in a relentless assault – culminating in the opening of a cut.
Two more punches, one a clipping left hand, rocked Klitschko and there was only one way the Ukrainian was ending up – down on the canvas. All good and well for Joshua and did the job he and his corner were seeking, but they really needed to keep Klitschko down as the Briton had now punched himself out with over two minutes left
All good and well for Joshua and did the job he and his corner were seeking, but in reality, they needed to keep Klitschko down as the Briton had by now punched himself out with over two minutes left of the round.
Klitschko’s experience in this instance was invaluable as the 41 year-old covered up, held and did whatever was necessary to stay in the fight. Instinctively, Klitschko came back with his own bombs which had far more effect due to Joshua’s tiredness from throwing so many hard shots.
Joshua’s recklessness meant a major blow was able to land around the one minute ten second mark of the round, one of Klitschko’s sweetest left hands of the fight, and the champion was badly hurt. With legs gone and eyes glazed, Joshua was in big trouble as the fight swung in Klitschko’s direction.
Had Klitschko not been recovering from being hurt himself, the contest could have been over with one composed combination from the ex-divisional ruler.
Over halfway through the session and it was now Klitschko aiming to land that killer blow to end the argument as Joshua’s punches no longer had the desired effect. A huge right, followed by another solid left had Joshua all over the place and the bell couldn’t come soon enough for the home fighter.
Around the two minute mark and Joshua leaned down to duck a potential right hand, but Klitschko turned it into an uppercut which put the younger boxer in even more trouble towards the ropes.
Joshua proved he had the heart, and to some extent the chin, as he somehow saw out the round and headed into an even more dangerous sixth.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay