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Hearn predicts painful night for Klitschko against Joshua

By Scott Gilfoid: Barry Hearn of Matchroom Sport sees the 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko having a painful night when he faces IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on April 29 at Wembley Stadium.

Wladimir is the underdog for the Joshua fight. Wladimir’s performance against Tyson Fury in losing to him in 2015 is the main reason why boxing odds-makers sees him as not having much of a chance against the 27-year-old Joshua. Wladimir looked old against Fury, and he couldn’t pull the trigger on his power punches.

The long time off from the sport won’t help Wladimir either. He’s not taking a tune-up fight, which is strange. It gives the impression to some that Wladimir is just taking the fight against Joshua for the payday without believing he’s got a real chance to win.

“Wladimir Klitschko stands in his way on April 29 and I think it’s going to be a very painful night for Mr. Klitschko, because I don’t know how you defend, or how you beat Anthony Joshua,” said Hearn to Sky Sports News HQ. “Too physically strong, too fast, and he hits too hard.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if Wladimir caves in immediately on April 29 or if he has trainer toss in the towel to have the stopped. I see this fight as one of those quick stoppage type affairs where Wladimir either takes a knee to have the fight stopped or his trainer throws in the towel. Will the British boxing fans feel angry about the fast knockout? Yeah, I think they will, because some of them actually think this is going to be a fight. Gilfoid knows better. I saw how feeble Wladimir was against the feather-fisted Tyson Fury in 2015. Wladimir looked as over-the-hill as a fighter can look. The only reason Fury didn’t get a knockout was because he didn’t have any punching power to speak of. Wladimir was there to be knocked out if Fury could punch. Anytime you have a fighter that chooses not to throw punches for 12 rounds like Wladimir, they’re sitting ducks to be knocked out.

On April 29, I see Wladimir doing a fair imitation of Eric Molina by just hanging around, not throwing punches, and getting belted into submission within three rounds. The first time Joshua puts any punches together, I see Wladimir dropping for the 10 count. A good fight this is not.

It’s too bad Joshua won’t get much credit for beating Wladimir. After the fans see how shot Wladimir is, they’re going to realize that he would be knocked out by pretty much anybody right now. Moreover, Fury already got to Wladimir before Joshua by beating him in 2015, so it’s not going to be a big deal when he loses on April 29. It’ll be old hat.

Hearn wants to see Joshua fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a unification fight at the end of the year.

“The fight for me to close the year would be Deontay Wilder against Anthony Joshua in one of those barnstorming Las Vegas nights,” said Hearn. “I think the fight we would all like to see and assuming that Deontay Wilder can do a little better on his own promotion, because he’s not a big enough draw in America, let alone outside.”

Well, if Hearn isn’t sure that Wilder can do his part in bringing in the boxing fans to see the fight, then he can always steer Joshua in another direction. I mean, Joshua doesn’t have to fight Wilder if Hearn is concerned about the fight not bringing in fans. Hearn can trot out Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte or Eric Molina again for Joshua to fight.

If Hearn wants Joshua to have a chance of winning Wilder’s World Boxing Council title, then he’s going to need to fight him, right? If he’s worried about the Joshua-Wilder fight not bringing in a lot of fans, then he can have it staged in the UK. The thing is, Joshua IS NOT a big name in the U.S. That’s why a fight between Wilder and Joshua likely won’t bring in big numbers. You can’t blame that on Wilder. It’s Joshua who is the unknown in the U.S.

The casual boxing fans have never heard of Joshua in the U.S. The fans that do know of Joshua in the U.S know him for a guy that beats up fodder opposition for the most part, and who won a controversial gold medal in the London Olympics in 2012 after struggling badly against Cuba’s Erislandy Savon and Italy’s Roberto Cammarelle. Of course, a fight between Wilder and Joshua isn’t going to be a big deal in the U.S, because Joshua is an unknown over there. The fans prefer to see competitive fights in the U.S for some reason. I don’t think they’d be too excited at seeing Joshua beat the average guy that has been fed to him since he turned pro in 2013. My guess is Joshua won’t fight a real talent until he gets inside the ring with Deontay. But if Hearn is going to worry about whether fans will be interested in that fight, then he can always go back to matching Joshua against Molina or Breazeale. I’m just saying.

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