Will a Joshua win against Klitschko validate him as a true Champion?
By Gerardo Granados: On April 29 at the Wembley Stadium London, UK, the IBF belt holder Anthony Joshua fights against the former heavyweight Champion of the World Wladimir Klitschko. A young talented lion will fight against the old Dragon who held hostage the heavyweight division for over a decade. All respect to the veteran Wladimir, who chose the hardest foe for his comeback after his rematch against his conqueror Tyson Fury fell apart due bizarre circumstances.
Joshua was a beneficiary from the Tyson Fury meltdown and also of the IBF, which hurried to strip the one week crowned Champion and decided to give the chance to Charles Martin and Vyacheslav Glazkov to dispute the meaningless strap. Then the IBF gave to the then considered “prospect” Anthony Joshua a shot at the manufactured paper belt against Martin. That ended in a lackluster effort to defend a title from Charles Martin that reminded me of Buster Douglas loss to Evander Holyfield.
I consider that Joshua has been fighting against no impressive opposition, but to be fair there is not much depth in the division. Other than Luis Ortiz, Andy Ruiz, Joseph Parker and freak puncher, Deontay Wilder, there is not much left to praise. But is the lack of talent enough for Joshua to be billed as “a Champion”?
It’s been a long time since the last time Klitschko looked dominant, back in November 2014 Wladimir beat Kubrat Pulev, but on his next fight that took place two years ago against Bryant Jennings in April 2015 we were able to see that Wladimir already started to show signs of slowing down. Against Tyson Fury, he got schooled by an awkward boxer who possessed freak footwork for his height. None the less it was clear that even when the referee allowed Klitschko many dirty tactics that Wladimir´s reflexes had diminished.
I have no doubt that Joshua has an impressive build, he is strong and powerful but I guess that the reader will agree with me that his boxing skills still have plenty of room for improvement. If he could develop his body attack and head upper body movement he would be unstoppable.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am betting on Joshua to beat old Klitschko by a knockout of the year nominee, but will it be enough to validate him as the true heavyweight Champion of the World? For me, the legit heavyweight Champion wastes his talent inactive adding stones to his impressive 6´9 frame. I ask myself if Tyson Fury will ever be the same he once was or if the Gypsy King will evolve into a giant in height and size who will be able to make a successful comeback adjusting his fighting style to his increasing weight.
I expected that when the WBA super belt version was vacated by Fury, that then Luis Ortiz would have been promoted, but instead this organization will allow Joshua and Klitschko to win the paper belt next April 29.
So, if next Joshua was to defeat Ortiz or unify against the WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder or WBO belt holder Joseph Parker would it validate Joshua as the legit heavyweight Champion of the World? Or is it just enough for Anthony Joshua to beat an old Tyson Fury left over named Wladimir Klitschko to become the new “heavyweight Champion of the World”? After all, the old Dragon just dominated one of the weakest eras in the heavyweight division.
I think that for Joshua to claim to be the legit heavyweight Champion of the World requires beating Tyson Fury. But I bet that many readers will disagree with me. So, is it enough for you that Joshua beats Klitschko?