Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
This fight was no doubt one of the most anticipated and biggest fights (size wise) in the boxing world since the past three decades. Reigning champion, Anthony Joshua fought the former champion and a legend in the boxing world, Wladimir Klitschko.
The fight was held at the Wembley Stadium on 29th April 2017 and made the entire sports world jump to its feet when the fight took place in front of 90,000 fans in the stadium, 659,000 on Showtime and over 10 million just in Germany adding to the millions across the globe. According to Hearn,
“We broke British Box Office records on pay-per-view last night. We can’t tell you the number last night because it’s too early but the record was 1.5 million for Manny Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather. Last night beat that for sure.”
The best part? Every sports fan knew about the fight whether they liked boxing or not. Everyone was and is still talking about it. The reason behind this was to see two generations of expertise, youth, strategy, and strength coming together to fight for the revival of Boxing.
Considered to be the most enthralling fight in boxing history, surprisingly, none of them wanted to talk trash about the other. It was respectful, glorious and exciting. They both knew that trash talk meant nothing but words said just for the sake of anticipation and their fight didn’t need a pre-fight anticipation trash talk. This was Joshua’s 19th fight and he was on an 18th knockout win streak.
Klitschko relied on experience, speed, and strategy while Joshua intended to channel ambition, age, and strength through his fight. This was Klitschko’s 65th fight while it was AJ’s 19th.
First off, Anthony Joshua had his 18 fights win-streak on the line, along with his titles. Klitschko was obsessed with taking back his titles and become the king of Heavyweight boxing again.
Secondly, winner of the fight was to take 10 Million Pounds each from a 50/50 purse split and if the pay-per-view crosses a record viewership, the figure would push towards 15 million pounds.
Predictions from far and wide kept coming until the very end of this fight. Not just boxing fans, but sports fans from all over the world wanted to see the clash between two titans of boxing and wanted to see it bad. Some thought that Klitschko is a master of strategy and he will win through his stamina and experience. Others had the view that Joshua is young and he has knocked out 18 out of 18 of his opponents and it’s very unlikely for Klitschko to ruin that streak. From their trainers to family and to the fans, everyone predicted on this fight.
This fight was a between two hard hitters and everyone witnessed rounds and rounds of back and forth attacks and Joshua, for the first time in his life, hit the mat in the sixth round by a right punch by Klitschko. He came back and knocked out Klitschko by an uppercut in the 11th round, telling us how hard each of them fought to keep their legacy straight.
And then this happened:
First four rounds were in favor of Joshua as he landed great punches and Klitschko doing the best to defend himself with expertise and strategy. The fifth round began and we saw Joshua hitting Klitschko with a sharp uppercut to which Klitschko responded by a huge left hook-right hand. 6th round was fast paced and the world grew silent as Joshua walked into a carnage of offense by Klitschko and landed on the mat. We saw more hits from both after that which made the fight close and closer.
Joshua secured his 19th victory by throwing a series of damaging hits from both hands and finally knocking him out. Joshua retained his IBF title and added the belts of WBA and IBO titles to his achievements section of his life.
“Now the unified champion, still the reigning and defending IBF heavyweight champion of the world, the fighting pride of ALL ENGLAND, ‘AJ,’ Anthonnnnyyyyyyyy Joshua.”
These words were uttered by Michael Buffer in his platinum voice that has seen matches and matches but none like this.
This fight brought respect and love for Klitschko and the fans loved to see their former champion giving the best of him to the boxing world.
Anthony Joshua said after the fight,
“I knew it was possible to hurt him, but I am learning round by round. I’m learning under the bright lights, I don’t come to box, I come to hurt people. With all due respect, I came to hurt him. At the end of the day, I figured out what I had to do and got him done.”
And Klitschko congratulated Joshua on his social media by saying:
“He becomes the biggest star in British sport and the biggest star in world boxing. It’s early in his career, it’s his 19th fight, so masses of pressure. We talk about this 10-year plan, we’re kind of having a legacy fight within the first couple of years. It’s here, the timing is perfect. He could sell out any arena, against anyone, but he wants to be remembered for the big fights, he wants to take on the very best.”
Even Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Jhonson celebrated the respect and boxing history making fight.
The used tickets are being sold on eBay for thousands of pounds. Why wouldn’t they? They are the souvenirs of a grand fight, a quality fight. Boxing world knew that this fight will bring back the missing fans and the excitement back, not to mention, the international hype and media coverage.
Quality and entertainment all packed in one, we had one of the most glorious boxing bouts in the history of boxing. Wind of this legendary match went to Dana White, the president of UFC and he said,
“Boxing had been DYING waiting for an exciting heavyweight champ, now they have it in Anthony Joshua, CONGRATS champ.”
Joshua is looking at multiple fights offers ahead, including a rematch with Klitschko in the US, fight with Tyson Fury.
So whether it is the fight that is circling news for months, Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, or the rematch between the two legends, boxing certainly has made a comeback as a competition to MMA’s growing audience.