This Saturday night in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, the young lion will take on the old master… Anthony Joshua will take on Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF, WBA and IBO world heavyweight titles. Check out who the FirstClassBoxing team have picked to win this mega fight.
Andrew McCart (@Andy_FCBoxing)
Just turned 41 years old, been out the ring for 18 months and is coming off a loss… But, has Wladimir Klitschko got one more in him? I don’t think so. In his last two performances – against Bryant Jennings and Tyson Fury – the big Ukrainian has been hesitant to pull the trigger and against someone like Anthony Joshua I feel he will be the same gun shy fighter. Although Klitschko will have his moments in the contest to get the crowd going, I see Joshua finding the chin of Klitschko with the straight right and left hook and stopping the former champion. I’ll use the old boring cliché… It will be the passing of the torch from the old guard to the new.
- Prediction: Joshua Stoppage.
Jerome Souza (@FirstClassBox)
These two respect each other a ton. Which is why I’m not expecting much action. Klitschko has been gun shy for the past few years and is a shell of his old self. Klitschko won’t pull the trigger on his right hand that has made him a reigning heavyweight champion in the past. Joshua is getting better every fight and is the future of the division. However, it will be interesting to see him maneuver around Klitschko’s jab and switch up game plans when Wlad doesn’t crumble after being hit with power shots. In the end, Joshua will go the distance with slightly more activity than the former champ but it won’t be exciting .
- Prediction: Joshua UD
Jake Collins (@MelancholyFolly)
This pick is based on the idea that Wlad’s last two performances (the poor one against Fury and the mediocre one against Jennings) were owing more to stylistic issues than just him being shot. If he is shot, then he loses this early. People are wrongly assuming that Joshua is the heavier puncher in this fight and I’m of the opinion that the gulf in strength, power, ring IQ and experience between Wlad and anything AJ has come across will be too much. Joshua’s lack of head movement and the gaps he leaves when throwing will give Wlad options to counter; he’s going to walk onto something bigger than a Whyte left hook and I don’t think he’s going to respond very well. Joshua can’t fight in the style of Fury; he isn’t nearly as fluid. If Wlad is unable to let his hands go (which he couldn’t against Fury as he wasn’t able to set his feet) then Joshua can steamroll him, but I think the young lion is going to be tamed.
- Prediction: Klitschko Stoppage
Alex Beard (@alex_beard17)
There is little to say about this fight that hasn’t already been said. The Sky hype machine has whirred into full effect in recent weeks and it’s clear that a loss for the champion would be devastating for them. Will it happen though? Klitschko has a significant edge in terms of experience, obviously, but is also 41 years of age. Joshua remains rather green, but has bludgeoned his way to the top of the division with ease. Both men have shown vulnerabilities in their chin and both men have big power. Surely whoever can withstand the other’s best shots will win, my proverbial money is on the Ukrainian wearing Joshua down and stopping him late.
- Prediction: Klitschko Stoppage.
Tony McLean (@tony_mclean92)
My heart says Joshua. My head says Klitschko. It’s really either mans fight in my opinion. I’ve found myself as somewhat of an AJ fanboy if I’m honest. I’ve followed him since he captured gold at the 2012 Olympic Games – however he is still to fight anyone at ‘world’ level. Some may say that Klitschko is no longer at the top of his game after his very one-sided loss to Tyson Fury over a year ago. Regardless, the Ukrainian is definitely a far superior fighter than who we’ve seen Joshua share the ring with so far. I can see two scenarios. Scenario number one… Anthony Joshua to win inside 6 rounds. He goes in with the game plan to take Klitschkos jab away, use his speed and strength to bully Wlad and get him out ASAP. (Klitschko’s not used to fighting guys as big as himself) Scenario two… Klitschko with a boring points decision. Taking control of the fight early and jabbing the face off of Joshua, possibly hitting him with a few good counters when AJ steams in. Klitschko’s fought 90% of styles so he’s more than likely seen it all. If I have to choose tho… I’ll go with my heart. Joshua inside six.
- Prediction: Joshua Stoppage
Dallas Orysiuk (@Chargers204)
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Anthony Joshua is the definition of a superfight that is a couple years too late. Klitschko is the more experienced fighter and a few years ago he would have picked up the victory against the more green Anthony Joshua. But Klitschko, who is now 41, has been out of the ring for over a year and a half and faces a younger, hungrier and more athletic fighter in Joshua. Joshua’s speed and athleticism should be too much for Wladimir and he should get him out of there in the later rounds.
- Prediction: Joshua Stoppage
Andy Sutherland (@bigandysuths)
Joshua has age, athletiscm and activity on his side. Klitschko is coming off the back of a loss to Tyson Fury 18 months ago. All things point towards a Joshua win, and if his record is anything to go by it will be a stoppage one at that. However, there is the old saying, “a wounded tiger is a dangerous beast”, this writer feels that Wlad will feel this time around that he has to roll the dice, and the style of AJ will certainly make that easier than Fury’s slick and unpredictable style that saw Klitschko almost go in to a shell in Dusseldorf. However, whilst he may not carry that one punch knock out power, as has been shown time and time again, if AJ hits you, you stay hit. Wlad at 41 may find it hard to recover. These fighters styles complement each other perfectly, and this is as close to a 50/50 fight you will get in heavyweight boxing today. I’m going to lean towards an AJ stoppage.
- Prediction: Joshua Stoppage
So the final scores are five to Joshua (four by stoppage and one by decision) and two to Klitschko (both by stoppage)… Let us know your thoughts either by tweeting us or by leaving a comment.