Joshua returns to Wembley for Povetkin clash

World Boxing News 19/09/2018

Lawrence Lustig

Fifteen months on from that historic success at Wembley Stadium over Wladimir Klitschko, Britain’s Anthony Joshua will return to the scene of that defining career success against Alexander Povetkin.

The now 28-year-old collided with the Ukrainian legend last year in what was ultimately awarded Fight of the Year honours, as he dug deep and lifted himself from the canvas to dramatically knock out Klitschko in front of 90,000 rapturous supporters.

That admirable 11th-round triumph in London saw ‘AJ’ capture the attention of the boxing world and he has since become the face of the sport on home soil, while attracting a global audience similar to that of Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Since then he has added solid French-Cameroonian fighter Carlos Takam and former world title holder Joseph Parker to his hitlist, as he most-recently went the distance for the first time as a professional against the New Zealander in March this year.

Next up is another high-profile outing in the English capital, returning to Wembley after a string of ring outings at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, as he prepares to do battle with mandatory Russian challenger Povetkin.

Ahead of the latest big clash of the year, Joshua is the favourite in the boxing betting with William Hill at odds-on 1/9, with the undefeated unified champion set to take to the Wembley ring on the back of another dominant performance against Parker.

Another Wembley KO on the way?

Joshua came in at a career-high of 254 pounds for his heavyweight title defence against Takam in October last year, just six months on from famously dispatching ‘Dr Steelhammer’, before slimming down to a much lower 242 pounds to tackle the quicker and more skilful Parker.

Povetkin will come in as a similar build as both those last two opponents for ‘AJ’, with the Russian being a short and stocky fighter that possesses a potentially devastating knock out shot in either hand.

But the towering reigning champion seemingly has all the beneficial components capable of disposing of Povetkin and earning the latest defence of his unified heavyweight crowns on home territory.

Joshua has been taken the 12-round distance on just one occasion in his ever-growing career so far, when he unanimously outpointed Parker last time out on Welsh soil, but this fight looks set to take a different, more quick-fire course in front of eager London fans.

Joshua fired up for latest bout

Talk and reports of a clash between his two long-tipped rivals Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has somewhat taken the spotlight away from ‘AJ’, but that has only added fuel to the fire ahead of this weekend’s Sky Sports Box Office main event.

There was plenty of criticism pointed in Joshua’s direction for the Wilder bout having not come to fruition yet and Fury seemingly getting in the ring with the American puncher first, with this having caused much frustration across the sport.

But Joshua has hit back on the eve of his next fight by claiming he “can’t please everyone” and the fired-up heavyweight champion is now set to take any lasting frustration or anger out on the next contender for his crowns, Alexander Povetkin.

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