Video: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko – Official weights
By Scott Gilfoid: Former heavyweight champion Wladimir “Steelhammer” Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) came in at his lowest weight in 8 years on Friday in weighing in at a light 240.5 pounds at his weigh-in today for his title shot against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) for their fight this Saturday night on Sky Box Office PPV and HBO/Showtime at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Joshua weighed in at 250.1 lbs. This is the highest weight of Joshua’s career, and it gives the boxing fans some insight to what he and his trainer Rob McCraken are thinking in terms of strategy for the fight. They’re obviously bettering that they can beat Wladimir with size and brute strength. This could be a BIG mistake on their part, especially if Wladimir can drag Joshua into the later rounds and take advantage of the heavy muscles that he’s carrying around. if Joshua gasses out on Saturday night and loses the fight to Wladimir, I’ll be here saying ‘I told you so.’ Joshua trained the wrong way for the Wladimir fight, and his high weight of 250.1 lbs is the strongest indication for that.
Joshua’s weight tells me that he’s trained for a stationary fighter rather than a mobile one. That’s a dumb move. I don’t know what Joshua and McCraken were thinking. If Joshua gets worn out and loses the fight on Friday, he might want to think about getting another trainer that is better at strategy than McCraken, because I think some of the quality trainers like Freddie Roach, Andre Rozier and Virgil Hunter would have had Joshua lighter for this fight so that he can chase Wladimir down.
McCraken has Joshua as big as a house, as if he’s going to be fighting a totally stationary Wladimir. That was dumb, dumb ad dumb. One would hope that Joshua doesn’t live to regret his decision to come in so heavy at 250.1 lbs.
Joshua, 27, was smiling during the face off at something that Wladimir said to him when they were face to face. Neither guy looked angry. It seemed like a pretty peaceful face off. I did notice that Wladimir is clearly 1” inch taller than Joshua. This means that either Wladimir is really 6’7” instead of his listed height of 6’6” or more likely Joshua’s height is only 6’5” rather than the listed 6’6” that we’ve been seeing for the longest time. Having seen Joshua and the 6’5” Lennox Lewis stand next to each other, I think it’s more of a case of Joshua being really no more than 6’5”. Lewis was the exact same height as Joshua when the two stood next to each other. I don’t know why Joshua’s height has been listed at 6’6”. I guess it sounds better and looks more intimidating on paper when boxing fans see that. We at least know what Joshua’s true weight is today.
“We’ll find out on Saturday night,” said McCraken when asked if it’s too early in Joshua’s career for him to be facing an experienced fighter like Wladimir. “I don’t think it is. I think Antony is at the peak of his powers. We’ll know in this fight and develop and move on and expand. As great a fighter as Klitschko has been, I think father time is a terrible person when he shows up, and I think he’s already showed up. It’s going to be tough for Wladimir. He doesn’t know himself if he’s still there or not, and he can only find out on Saturday. He’s going to have a ferocious opponent on Saturday night, that’s for sure,” said McCraken.
McCraken could be right about “father time’ having already shown up with the 41-year-old Wladimir in his last fight against Tyson Fury. There’s obviously some problems with Wladimir’s ability to pull the trigger on his power shots, as well as his accuracy with punches. He’s not letting his hands go like he used to in his 2 previous fights. Never the less, Wladimir can still move well and jab. That’s something that he hasn’t lost, and it might be all he needs to beat a non-mobile, heavily muscled fighter like Joshua.
Wladimir has one of the best jabs in boxing. It’s like a power punch when it lands. If all Wladimir does on Saturday night is land his power jab for 12 rounds, I think he can make a mess of the 27-year-old Joshua’s face, and do enough to win the fight, as long as he doesn’t get hit too frequently. Wladimir isn’t easy to hit. We saw that in the Fury fight. Fury wasn’t landing much of anything against Wladimir despite having a huge size advantage over him.
If the 6’9” Fury couldn’t land, then the shorter 6’6” Joshua won’t either, because he’s not tall enough and he’s carrying around far too much muscle for the way the fight will be conducted. McCraken and Joshua should have known from watching Wladimir’s past fights that he would come into Saturday’s fight at a lighter weight of 240 lbs. Wladimir is going to use his boxing skills. This shouldn’t have been surprising news to Joshua and McCraken. Like I said, the fact that they’ve got it so wrong with their weight in coming in at 250.1, tells me someone was sleeping at the wheel mentally when they planned for the fight.
McCraken seems to think Wladimir is going to stand still the entire fight like Joshua’s last 2 opponents Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale did. Wladimir isn’t going to fight a stupid fight by standing in front of Joshua, hoping he’ll get tired of punching him sooner or later. Looking at the way Breazeale and Molina fought Joshua, I got the impression that they hoped Joshua would eventually punch himself out.
Joshua has the youth advantage over the 41-year-old Wladimir in addition to the weight and muscle advantage. Having bigger muscles doesn’t mean Joshua will be able to punch with more power than Wladimir on Saturday night. In fact, I don’t see Joshua being a bigger puncher now than he was back in 2009 when he weighed 220lbs. The power is the same, as far as I can tell. The only thing different with Joshua is he looks slower than he was in the past. That’s understandable. When you pack on 30 pounds of muscle, you’re going to be slower. It might as well be fat. The body doesn’t know the difference. Adding 30 pounds of weight amounts to the same thing whether it’s fat or muscle. Your body still has to carry it; your heat still has to pump blood to all that weight. Joshua was a better fighter when he weighed 220 in my opinion.
The added weight that Joshua has put on since he turned pro in 2013 has only helped him for when he bumps into his opponents. It hasn’t helped him improve as a fighter. Boxing is a fight that involves movement, which requires a fighter to have a good cardiovascular system. When you add a bunch of useless muscle weight, as Joshua has, then you make it harder for your heart. I think it’s a self-defeating move for someone to pack on 30 lbs. of useless muscle in a short period of time the way Joshua has. Even Lennox Lewis was a better fighter when he was lighter as a pro than when he bulked up to 250. I think Joshua has made the same mistake that Lewis did in putting on unneeded muscle, which looks more like beach muscle than productive muscle. If Joshua was a football player in the NFL, he could use the muscle against smaller players, but it doesn’t work like that in boxing. Having extra muscle doesn’t make you hit harder. It just makes it harder on your heart to pump blood to it.
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