Anthony Joshua faces Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night (Photo: Matchroom Boxing)
By Hassnain Tariq
Britain’s WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his titles against Russia’s dangerous Alexander Povetkin, 39, at the iconic Wembley Stadium this Saturday, in one of UK’s biggest events this year. There is a lot on the line in this fight for Joshua, who looks to go on to bigger and better opportunities; will the unknown Russian cause an upset to Joshua’s plans?
This bout initially is initially expected to be able to draw a crowd of around 80,000, and this will be Joshua’s fourth consecutive stadium fight. That shows the magnitude he is at and how he is able to consistently draw high audiences as he looks to take on another victim in an all-out action packed fight at Wembley, London.
London 2012 Olympic champion Joshua, 28, told media “I’m in for a tough night so I have to go in there and be rough. Everything is on the line and he wants to be champion.”
Will we see the Joshua we saw in the early stages of his career, effectively reckless and aggressive?
AJ to get “stuck right in”
This upcoming Saturday will be Joshua’s sixth bout as a world champion and only his 22nd fight, undefeated in all. However, Povetkin is the mandatory WBO challenger and in each sanctioning body he is right up there with 34 wins from his 35 bouts. The fight on paper is evenly matched but we will see who is able to make adjustments as the rounds go by.
Povetkin stated to media he was “much weaker” against Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, his only loss as a professional. He explained how he should expect Joshua to have to make adjustments as he will face a more rugged opponent in comparison to his patient style over his points win against Joseph Parker in March. Will we see a more relaxed and patient “AJ” coming in to Saturday or will he get the punches landing, with velocity and ferociousness as he stated, and take him out of there?
Undefeated world champion Joshua comes in to Saturday with a four-inch height advantage and two stone weight advantage; these are all variables to consider. How will Povetkin be able to separate the reach and distance from Joshua? Povetkin has stated how his body has been “broken down” and “rebuilt like never before”, as this shows how it’s likely to be Povetkin’s last shot at a title.
I see Anthony Joshua taking Povetkin out within six rounds due to his dominant size and frame. He is very technical and has so much experience as Povetkin, but I truly believe Joshua has the advantage and will just need to use his distance to catch Povetkin with some over hand rights.
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Hassnain Tariq can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org