With this weekends talking points circling around Joshua v Klitschko next year we have forgotten what we paid good money for, Joshua knocking over a statue within three rounds that didn’t throw a punch.
In the lead up to the fight with Eric Molina there was lots of talk about him being an opponent that will ‘come to fight’ which seemed to give it some justification, but when has ‘come to fight’ been a reasonable enough excuse in a sport which is licensed combat? Coming to fight should be the absolute minimum from every fighter in every single fight if fans are paying good money and the event costs £16.95 to watch on TV.
Molina looked like a beaten man whilst walking down to the ring and a full Manchester Arena certainly bought in a crowd that came with some intimidation. We all knew that Molina was just a tick over fight before Joshua took stage in a stadium fight next year and it certainly showed he was not on the same level as Joshua.
Molina managed to survive in there for three rounds but looked terrified to stand and trade blows and was definitely not up for letting his hands go, also there was a familiar face ringside sitting with Barry Hearn, the father of Joshua’s promoter and director of Matchroom Sport, Wladimir Klitschko.
Klitschko has been inactive since loosing his belts to Tyson Fury last November and after suffering one of the most frustrating years in his career, he has said he is extremely motivated and can’t wait to get back in the ring. When the fight was finished Eddie Hearn took to the microphone to announce AJ v Wlad on April 29th at Wembley.
Klitschko entered the ring in good spirits and was very respectful of his next opponent and also asked a few questions to the crowd to liven them up. AJ and Wlad shared good sportsmanship in the ring and seemed there was no bad blood between them and that they were both focused on the task at hand.
Klitschko came dressed like your average dad at a birthday party, seemed full of confidence and took the boo’s from the crowd well, embracing the atmosphere and ensuring he will be coming to put on a show. Joshua’s resume cannot be defended as frankly at the moment his best win is still Dillian Whyte, a man who on most people’s cards, lost to Dereck Chisora on Saturday.
Klitschko will bring all the experience and the knowledge into his fight with Joshua and certainly will not be there to lay down like the rest of his opponents have done in the past. This really will be an exciting fight than fans will be excited to see, and despite Wlad’s loss to Fury and Joshua’s undefeated record, it’s certainly a very even fight.
Do not be fooled by the level of opposition that Joshua has had bow down to him previously, Klitschko is no fool and is one of few men who can deal with the world stage and stadium fights on that many occasions. I feel the nerves will be flying higher with AJ on the night as it’s just another day in the office for the big Ukrainian!
Also on the same day, down under in New Zealand undefeated Joseph Parker took on undefeated Andy Ruiz Jr for the vacant WBO Heavyweight strap and came out victorious by split decision. There is a strong case to say Parker has better wins on his record than AJ does with Carlos Takam and Andy Ruiz Jr seeming levels above anyone Joshua has faced.