The tedious decision making and stalling over the proposed Joshua/Klitschko collision in December has undoubtedly reached breaking point.
With both parties now securing viable alternative opponents for their respective dates, what seemed to be a done deal mere days ago now hangs in the balance as boxing fans everywhere hold their breath and pray for what must surely be the most intriguing fight in the division.
Whether or not the fight actually takes place, who would win this hypothetical behemoth showdown is still a keen talking point amongst fans and critics alike. With this in mind, I’d like to take a look at the argument from both sides and how each combatant could get the job done. First up, reigning IBF Heavyweight champion Mr Anthony Joshua:
1) Don’t Rely on the Knockout:
It’s plain for all to see that Anthony Joshua’s intimidating prowess as a champion comes not from an unshakable work rate but from his menacing power in both fists.
This alone, however, may not be enough to knock off a Klitschko who, we must assume, will have rectified the mistakes presented in his bout with the now stripped Tyson Fury.
If Joshua is to go the full 12 rounds for the first time in his career, he needs a Plan B.
Working the jab and upping his punch stats (flashes of which we saw in his victory over Dominic Brazeale) is the best policy for an unlikely, but albeit possible, points decision.
2) Step Back & Keep it on the Outside:
While both men are virtually identical in both height and reach, this is no reason for the pair to simply stand and trade shots.
Joshua’s ability to lean into his shots and to generate knockout power from a distance is one of the reasons he has managed to ascend to the top of the heavyweight pack in such a short time.
His knockout of Raphael Zumbano Love is one of his finer long-shot KO highlights. Occasionally taking a step back and shooting out-of-range might not be the worst idea against another banger like Klitschko, as long as he doesn’t give away too much ground.
13 Years Klitschko’s junior, Joshua is by far the fresher and more agile fighter. Despite his size and muscular stature there’s no reason that Joshua can’t circle round Klitschko, maybe even dance a little, and make the challenger follow him.
This would certainly throw the Ukranian off and make him feel ill at ease.
The only issue is whether or not Joshua can master the technique that made his idol famous, and whether or not he has the stamina to maintain his movement over 12 rounds should the fight reach the final bell.
4) Mix It Up/ Feint Before Dropping the Bomb:
As we discussed in point one if Joshua is to confidently maintain a points lead he needs to up his work rate. But peppering Klitschko with a good few jabs could also set up a KO blow for Joshua, if executed effectively.
Klitschko will walk into this fight looking to avoid the right hand, as 17 others have failed to do.
Distracting him with the jab and a few more to the torso might create enough space and time to let the right hand bomb find it’s target.
5) Don’t go for the Kill Too Early/ Don’t be Afraid to Tie Up
It’s always great entertainment whenever Joshua finishes a fight with a barrage of huge punches. Like a lion stalking his prey before finally pouncing, you know you’re going to see something gruesome but meticulously calculated.
This headstrong attack might cause Joshua problems if he troubles Klitschko, though.
As we saw when he was rocked during an attack against Dillian White, Joshua is not invincible. If anyone has the capability to launch a counter-assault during incoming fire, it’s Klitschko.
Both men posses one-punch KO power and, if Joshua finds himself caught with a big shot, he must not hesitate in tying up with the veteran. It might look weak, but it could just offer enough time for his head to clear or to reach the end of the round in one piece.
These are just a few of the tactics Joshua may employ if he wishes to have his hand raised against what will hopefully be his next opponent.
Then again, it might simply come down to Joshua doing what he does best – Goodnight, Wladimir.
I realise that, with the spontaneity of modern news, by the time this reaches the online stratosphere the WBA may have made their crucial decision.
Nevertheless, I’ll try to take a look at the opposing side of this coin whatever the result.
I hope your hearts remain unbroken.
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