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The heavyweights are thriving again in light of Anthony Joshua becoming the new unified heavyweight champion of the world, but do people really think Anthony Joshua is untouchable?
Last Saturday we learnt a handful of things. Wladimir Klitschko is still a contender, Anthony Joshua is not invincible and there is also definitely a blueprint to dethrone the new king of the beasts.
It’s hard to predict the success of an unknown entity, and Anthony Joshua was certainly that prior to last Saturday. How good really was he? did he have the stamina, did he have the chin and did he even have the heart? so many unanswered questions, so many doubts.
We all knew Joshua had power, we all knew he had the potential, but did he really have what it takes to come back from the trenches and ride a shit storm? Sure, he looked good knocking out nobodies, but Wladimir Klitschko was certainly not that.
Being one of the 90,000 fans that was fortunate enough to attend last weekend, it’s hard to explain to people who watched it on TV the moment when the nations beloved AJ hit the canvas for the first time in his professional career.
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In a pub full of punters, a house full of your family and friends or on a dodgy stream on your laptop, that moment in the 6th round captivated millions. But the reaction of the crowd when it happened, really put the magnitude of the moment into perspective.
Simultaneously, 90,000 stood up and you could hear the shock from everyone. Screams in disbelief were apparent for about 2 seconds, but an immediate silence followed for the rest of the referees count. A pin drop could be heard in that stadium whilst we waited for AJ to resurrect from the canvas, and then we finally realised, he had the heart.
He demonstrated his power in the round prior, he demonstrated his heart when he suffered Klitschko’s audacious right hand to the head but he was now forced to show whether he had the gas tank, and he didn’t. Had it not been for Klitschko’s age and vulnerability, AJ would have lost that night.
The Ukrainian hall of famer we all knew, had he have been 4 years younger, would have seen Anthony Joshua crumble and suffer. So yes, I feel Anthony Joshua is the man in the driving seat, but he showed vulnerabilities that night, so lets take a look at the possible successor’s to his empire.
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Wladimir Klitschko – Do not be too quick to write the Ukrainian off. There was a rematch clause in the contract when the pair of them met, and it still seems likely that Klitschko will exercise the chance to get revenge.
He stated on his social media accounts “I’ll Be Back”, and I do feel like Wladimir walked away from that fight with confidence and probably would end up kicking himself that he let his foot off the gas in the 6th round.
Despite being 41 years old and inactive for almost 2 years prior to this bout, he keeps himself in immaculate shape and he showed on Saturday, he poses a threat for any heavyweight out there. Experience is everything in boxing and they do say that power is the last thing to leave a fighter, Wlad still has the credentials in his locker and I still give him a good chance of winning that rematch.
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Deontay Wilder – The undefeated WBC champion is a mystery man. With an outstanding record of 38-0 (37ko’s), he gives the public what they want to see and that is knockouts and pain. But is he a ticking time bomb ready to be exposed?
Deontay has shown on numerous times that his boxing ability is very questionable. Had it not been for his bullet hands that he possesses, he could have been found out on many occasions. He has relied on his power to many times to get him out of sticky situations, I suppose that’s the aim of the game but he is yet to face anyone that can withstand his power.
We know he is easy to outbox, but we know it’s also nearly impossible to come back once he lands his bombs on your chin. Joshua has shown he can be a tentative fighter when he needs to be, and with power that matches Deontay, I feel the winner of that fight would be the man to land the first clean right hand.
On boxing ability, you would pick Joshua hands down every time. But we can’t forget AJ was very lucky to be let of the hook last weekend when he was knocked to the canvas. If that was Deontay Wilder in the other corner, he would have not been allowed to see it through the round, but unfortunately I think Deontay is not the man to beat him.
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Joseph Parker – The undefeated WBO heavyweight champion is another face who has been causing a storm since turning professional. The 24-year-old New Zealand hitter is certainly a promising prospect, but does he have a Wladimir Klitschko on his resume?
He has Carlos Takam and Andy Ruiz Jr, but no veterans. With a record of 22-0 (18ko’s) we definitely know he can throw a bang, but we don’t know if he can hold up the power of the big boys. Out of the three champions that currently hold belts, he is the smallest standing at 6ft4.
This doesn’t really mean anything, but he is dwarfed in body mass when you compare him to the two others. Parker showed signs of exhaustion in the latter rounds of his fight with Carlos Takam, you can’t help but think he would have been absolutely cleaned out if Wilder or AJ was in front of him.
Parker was set to defend against Hughie Fury this month, but Fury pulled out on medical injuries. That would have been a big test for Parker as both undefeated youngsters are hungry for success. Although I don’t think he is the man to stop Joshua either.
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Tyson Fury – I can’t dwindle on about the thought of a match up with Fury and Joshua because it’s hard to see Fury ever returning to the fighter he was when he beat Wladimir Klitscho.
Ballooning up in weight to 25 stone, Fury is missing out on the peak years of his career. I do think that Fury is the man to beat Joshua though as the vulnerabilities and flaws that AJ showed against Klitschko would be dealth with swiftly by the undefeated Gypsy King.
Fury is only the second heavyweight in history to have retired with an undefeated record. He boasts a short-lived resume of 25-0 (18ko’s) and had his professional legacy cut short due to mental health problems outside of the ring. He does however possess the footwork to trouble any heavyweight on the planet, and his boxing ability towers over the rest. He is one of two men I think would take Joshua’s undefeated record.
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Luis Ortiz – Cuban heavyweight sensation Luis Ortiz is on burrowed time and I think this may be a really unfortunate situation for him. A record of 27-0 (23ko’s) stands him in good stead, but being a ripe age of 37 leaves him stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Known as the boogey man of the division and nicknamed ‘King Kong’ Ortiz is the fighter most boxing fans believe would punish Anthony Joshua. Should AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn hold out till it’s too late, fans would always say Ortiz was too old anyway.
No one wants to face Ortiz, and at the pinnacle years of his career, he is in desperate need of someone stepping into the ring with him. He hasn’t been impressive in his last two fights, but we think we know what he is holding in the closet.
One of the most powerful and dangerous men on the planet, Ortiz has shown he has the potential to be the ruler of the roost. After AJ defeated Wladimir, he took to the microphone to call out Tyson Fury but forgot to mention Luis Ortiz’ name conveniently enough.
Luis Ortiz is the mandatory challenger to whoever won between AJ and Wlad, however neither him or his promoter Eddie Hearn have expressed an interest in fighting him. I’ll chuck my two pence in, I feel Tyson Fury takes AJ to school with a comfortable points decision and I think Luis Ortiz knocks him out.
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To conclude, he is not invincible, but it will definitely take something incredible special to stop the wrecking ball on his path to history. Unfortunately, the chances of him facing Luis Ortiz are incredible slim so it’s up to the Gypsy King to reclaim his throne!