News March 2017

Joshua-Klitschko Who Wins? Over 50 Fight Experts Predict Winner of Heavyweight Clash

31.03.2017


By Michael J Jones

IN JUST A single month’s time, fight fans around the world will witness a potential heavyweight 'changing of the guard' when IBF world champion Anthony Joshua takes on former long-time division ruler Wladimir Klitschko.

While both heavyweight titans feature similar physical dimensions in terms of height, reach and fighting weight, the two men couldn’t be any more different in terms of where they are in their respective careers. While Klitschko is now 41-years-old after a whopping 21 years as a pro, Joshua (who was just six when Wladimir made his pro bow), is still in the position of forging his reputation.

The Watford ace has certainly done little wrong so far in winning all 18 bouts by highlight-reel knock-out while capturing British, Commonwealth and IBF titles but questions still remain; can the brute strength, skills and bone-crunching power of Joshua over-come the biggest names of the heavyweight division?

On April 29th at Wembley the boxing world will find out as AJ faces by far his greatest opponent of his three-and-a half year pro career.

Livefight asked multiple figures of the boxing community, including boxers from past and present, trainers and writers, for their prediction for the eagerly-anticipated heavyweight show-down…

Peter Fury, trainer and uncle of Tyson Fury

If it goes after round four I'd favour Klitschko but if it ends before then I'd side with Joshua.

Neville Brown, former British middleweight champion

I don't think people want to see another Klitschko reign so it will probably be Joshua in three or four rounds. That's on the grounds that Klitschko has done nothing of note for the last two years and is now 41 and showed against Tyson Fury he doesn't have the heart for a real fight anymore. There's a lot of money behind AJ so he's the obvious choice.

Colin Hart, legendary boxing journalist for The Sun

All the questions that are hanging over Anthony Joshua should be answered
on April 29. He hasn't met anyone in Wladimir Klitschko's league. But there are reservations about Klitschko. He was awful against Fury and as he's now 41 and been out of action for 18 months I believe Joshua will stop him in about eight rounds. If the fight lasts longer Klitschko could be the winner.

Monte Barrett, former heavyweight contender (who boxed Klitschko in 2000)

I’m a fan of Anthony Joshua and he’s given real hope for the heavyweight division and I feel he has Wladimir Klitschko’s number. Klitschko is a picture perfect guy; he likes everything to be absolutely correct every time but this won’t be the case this time. He’s coming off a lay-off and a defeat to Fury and I really don’t think Wladimir does good against big guys.

Joshua sparred Klitschko a while back and did really good so he’ll be full of confidence and this will turn out to be the changing of the guard.

Lucas Browne, heavyweight contender

I think it's a 50-50 fight, they're both exceptional fighters and are clinical but, if I had to pick someone, I would go with Wlad.

Mal Rice, former pro heavyweight

I do not think that this will be one-way traffic, Klitschko has been around the world scene since Herbie Hide was world champion! All that experience will be needed to stall the fresh new lion in Joshua. People also seem to forget Klitschko has over 50 KO's to his name and Joshua's chin has yet to be tested. He hasn't shared a ring with a big puncher? Dillian Whyte rocked him and he couldn't make Chisora blink…

Maybe it’s the old romantic in me but I see one more great night for the old lion then he will help rebuild Joshua's career.

Richard Williams, former IBO light-middleweight champion

I think AJ wins by late stoppage in around ten to twelve rounds. I don't think Klitschko can deal with someone of similar size with a good jab and speed. He couldn't deal with Fury’s boxing and AJ, I believe, carries more power, as well as being more attack-minded.

Sam Sexton, heavyweight contender

I'm going to mix it up and go for a Klitschko stoppage in around eight or nine rounds.

Tyler Goodjohn, welterweight contender

I'm going for AJ as I think he's going to be far too quick and explosive. AJ's been a lot more active than Klitschko who's been on the side-lines far too long for a world-level fighter. As soon as Joshua lands it will be his for the taking, Klitschko will be gun-shy and take a few rounds to get going and that could cost him dearly early on.

Mick Hall, middleweight contender

Klitschko by TKO in the middle rounds.

Amir Mansour, heavyweight contender

The thing is these days they get a young fighter into the position of fighting for the world heavyweight title so they work their butts off to win it but often they never keep working hard to stay champion. I like Joshua he's very athletic and muscular and I also see some fortitude and resilience in him.

If Klitschko is to stand a chance he needs to be far better than he was for his last couple of fights. He needs to be much better to even compete. Hopefully he will find some rejuvenation for this fight and be back to where he was a few years ago.

Nick Manners, trainer and former pro

Personally I think this will determine Eddie Hearn as either the shrewdest matchmaker since “Duffy” (Mickey Duff), but I feel Klitschko has the experience and guile to hold AJ off and cause his first defeat.

Shane Thomas, trainer and former pro

My prediction for that fight is AJ needs to stop him early within the first six rounds. If he doesn't, Klitschko will beat him. I think it's a big step up for AJ and might be just a little too early for him.

Steve Bendall, trainer and former pro

Personally, I see AJ winning but having problems on the way. Yes Klitschko is older but he plays safe and he can punch! So he'll make it awkward but AJ will eventually get to him.

Rudy Hernandez, trainer, cut-man and former pro

I’m siding with Joshua and I feel he wins big. I like him as a person too it’s just Father Time.

Wayne Alexander, former British light-middleweight champion

I think Anthony Joshua wins this one on points. Klitschko will be negative and be on the defensive throughout the fight, Joshua will find it hard to land many clean shots on the back-peddling Klitschko.


Alex Matvienko, trainer and former pro

I think Klitschko has not been active enough and Joshua will beat him but Klitschko always has a punchers’ chance but has got to be aggressive. He can't afford to stand off and needs to take it to Joshua but is he still capable?

Ian Tims, cruiserweight contender

I don't know, I think it is a tricky one and depends on which Klitschko turns up, if it goes the distance I think Wlad on points.

Matty Askin, English cruiserweight champion

I think Klitschko at the minute by KO.

Travis Kauffman, heavyweight contender

I think AJ’s youth will win this fight as he's been more active. It may go twelve rounds but I wouldn’t be surprised if either guy was dropped on route.

Rick Glaser, Boxing agent and Match-maker

AJ by KO, it’s just a matter of "when, not if".

Charles Shufford, former heavyweight contender (who boxed Klitschko in 2001)

I don't really know too much about AJ and have never really watched him fight but I hear he's a bad man.

Matthew Seawright, pro welterweight

AJ by stoppage in the middle rounds. Klitschko is past it now while AJ is young, fresh and hungry.

Gary Lockett, trainer and former pro

AJ by late stoppage or points.

Paul Economides, super-bantamweight contender

It’s a great fight and AJ is taking it at the right time. It’s definitely his biggest test since Dillian Whyte and the chance to prove he’s the real deal many are saying. I still see Joshua winning a points decision but maybe it’s the first time we’ll see him really tested.

Tom Doran, middleweight contender

The timing for the fight is perfect and Joshua will be too fast, powerful and hungry and will win in six to eight rounds.

Nick Webb, pro heavyweight

Joshua will win by knockout by round seven.

Tommy Langford, British middleweight champion

Joshua by either comfortable points win or, depending on Klitschko’s tactics, possibly an early KO. I can’t see Klitschko at his age doing anything differently. If he adopts the same safety-first approach I think AJ is simply too fresh, fast and ultimately powerful and will ride out a comfortable points winner.

If we do see a different Wladimir and he really brings it, in my opinion, Joshua being sharper will get in there first and probably takes a better punch than Klitschko who has never seemed willing to trade and always seems a little gun-shy. Wlad couldn’t do anything with Fury when he was ripping his belts from him so I don’t suppose he’ll be anything different in this fight.

Dale Evans, welterweight contender

AJ wins by late stoppage or on points.

Ben Day, super-featherweight contender

I think Eddie Hearn has done an amazing job with AJ. He reminds me of Frank Bruno; great muscular body, upright style and decent fighter and he might have just caught Klitschko at the perfect time at the end of his career….yet it’s still a very hard fight.

Paul Butlin, pro heavyweight (who boxed AJ in 2013)

I don’t think Joshua will just bang Klitschko out in a couple of rounds but I do feel he’ll be victorious. Just the power (alone) doesn’t mean sh*t really as Klitschko is always fit. Who connects first too (is important) as both are big bangers. I do think it may be a late stoppage for Joshua but its dangerous waters for both I think.

Tom Little, heavyweight contender

I see this as Joshua’s biggest test by far and a hard fight to win. In the eyes of boxers and die-hard fans they will question how much ambition Klitschko has left and also point to his age and that he isn’t the eleven-years unbeaten champion now. If the right Klitschko turns up he is more than capable of beating Joshua and testing his chin as he is a great boxer with very good power and height attributes so it’s a case of damned if you do or understand if you don’t .

Obviously I hope the Brit wins but in my eyes it doesn’t matter who wins as there is only one true champion and that is Tyson Fury.

Steve Robinson, trainer and former world champion

I go for Joshua later rounds knock-out or on points.

Mark Hobson, former British cruiserweight champion

Joshua inside three rounds. It’s the dawn of a new era and Klitschko has been tee’d up perfectly for AJ to rubber stamp this victory. Anything other than a dominant victory for Joshua will be a black eye for boxing. Heavyweight boxing needs Joshua to wipe Klitschko out and in style. Get to the bookies! Joshua to win inside three rounds is 11/2.

Paul Weir, trainer and former two-time world champion

I fancy Joshua to win by either KO or stoppage as soon as he settles and finds his range. There could be a few shaky moments for Joshua early but I think youth, strength and ambition have to go to AJ. Klitschko certainly has plenty of experience but I feel he has been around a long time and sometimes the fighter is the last to know when their time has passed. Even if Klitschko loses he still could have a rematch and another pay-day against Tyson Fury.

Mickey Vann, world-class referee

I have to say I can't see any other result other than Joshua victory. I can see it finishing inside the distance late on. Joshua needs to keep it at distance or Klitschko will tie him up and frustrate him. If he sticks to his game-plan and an accumulation of jabs alone plus Klitschko's age will complete the job for Joshua.

Stuart Hall, former world champion

Anthony Joshua by knock-out.

Willie Quinn, former pro middleweight

Joshua in round seven.

Harry Langhurst, pro cruiserweight

Joshua!

Kevin Barry, trainer of WBO champion Joseph Parker

This is a very interesting match-up and we will find out a lot more about Anthony Joshua in this fight. This is a real step up in experience for him fighting the best heavyweight of the last decade. Klitschko will match him in size, conditioning and confidence. They have shared a ring before and know each other's strengths and weaknesses. I believe Joshua is developing well and showing a little more each time that he fights. Father time will be the biggest factor in this title fight.

I thought Klitschko looked every bit his 40 years in his last showing. His mid was willing but his reflexes and timing were a thing of the past. It is extremely difficult to turn the clock back once Father time arrives. I think the younger, faster, stronger Joshua wins a points decision and puts Klitschko into retirement.

Ed Paredes, welterweight contender

Joshua by TKO.

Montell Griffin, former world champion

Joshua to win....Father Time!

Paul Morris, pro cruiserweight

I'm going for Klitschko!

Adam Mottram, fight fan

Klitschko by TKO around the ninth.

Ian Burbedge, trainer

I think if Klitschko has something left I fancy him to win because of his power, but if they've got him just over the hill, the youth of Joshua will come through.

Robert Russo, long-time fight fan

Klitschko will have to do a lot more than he did against Fury. That said, I think Father Time has hit and Klitschko is much slower and seems reluctant of throwing punches. Joshua is a big puncher and now is the time of the changing of the guard.

David Jones, fight fan

AJ by KO.

Tim Rickson, PR man and writer

AJ by points decision.

Steve Wellings, writer

AJ's first venture into genuine world class so Klitschko for me.

John Beadnall, long-time fight fan

AJ by KO. I don't think it will come too early in the fight but sometime after the fourth Wlad will get 'impaled'.

Colin Michin, fight fan

I'd just love to write up the front-page headline the next day 'Klit gets licked'.

Jeff Thomas, trainer and former pro

Joshua by KO or corner retirement around the fifth. I think the Fury loss and subsequent lay-off will hurt Wladimir a lot. He's being very quiet in the build-up but this seems to be a cash-out fight.

Don Maidment, fight fan

Joshua in four or five rounds.

David Edwards, fight fan

This is Joshua's opportunity to rule the roost and earn the total respect of the boxing world so I can't see him messing this up. We all know he likes a quick fight so for me it's AJ round three.

Owen Gallagher, trainer and former fighter

Wladimir surely must start the favourite. AJ is jumping levels here. If he sparks Wlad then that's a huge statement and it's a real possibility. I'm leaning towards a points victory for Wladimir but I hope I'm wrong and AJ ices him though.

Adam Gomez, fight fan

I think that Klitschko may just have one more good fight left in him. Not to mention Klitschko was fighting a crazy person last time!


Michael J Jones, writer, fan and author of this article

Klistchko lost last time out to Fury but had looked less than at his best in a few fights prior to that. He's now 41, coming off a loss and lengthy lay-off so everything seems against him at this stage. To balance it out somewhat, Joshua has simply never boxed at this level against a true professional who prepares meticulously before every fight and can boast vastly superior experience.

It's a tough call when considering the factors above but the momentum is with Joshua and I believe he will prevail in around eight rounds to solidify his potential and world-ruling aspirations.

Finals Numbers

Joshua to win-37

Klitschko to win-12

Don't know/undecided-7

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