After the action packed, fun filled weekend we were treated too, we find ourselves wanting more boxing action! Unfortunately, this weekend seems to be a quiet one in comparison. That is unless heavyweight Titans Anthony Joshua (21-0 20KO) and Alexander Povetkin (34-1 24KO) can make some noise. Even if there isn’t a star studded supporting cast, the stage seems set for a classic Heavyweight Championship clash. Let’s take a look at the match up and I’ll give my prediction.
IBF, WBA and WBO Champion Anthony Joshua is the current man (on paper) at Heavyweight. He sports a perfect record with 21 wins and an almost flawless knockout streak with 20 consecutive. That streak was broken in his most recent fight when then WBO Champion Joseph Parker took Joshua the 12-round distance for the first time. Joshua won that fight by unanimous decision, and showed that he has the stamina to fight hard over the full distance. What I didn’t see from that fight was Joshua’s explosive knockout power that leveled his previous twenty opponents. Is that a credit to Joseph Parker’s chin, or a hole poked in the theory of Joshua having incredible firepower? Joshua’s resume is a little light on elite competition, having only Parker and Wladimir Klitschko (a 41 year old Klitschko as well) in his six Title bouts. What Joshua’s advantages will be going into the ring are youth, strength and power.
Across the ring will stand the once defeated Russian Alexander Povetkin. Povetkin is no stranger to the higher rankings of the division, having been a top contender since 2011. He is a skilled operator with buckets of experience against strong competition. The Russian’s only loss was to (a 5 year younger) Wladimir Klitschko and he has wins over the likes of Ruslan Chagaev, Andrzej Wawrzyk, Marco Huck, Carlos Takam and was most recently seen knocking David Price out inside 6-rounds. One thing that stuck out to me in that bout was a clean punch that Price landed seemed to stun Povetkin and stop him in his tracks. If Joshua were to connect with the same punch Price did, I think Povetkin has an early night.
Now for the prediction part, and this isn’t an easy one to make. Povetkin has all of the skills and experience necessary to give the Champion fits. This is his best, and perhaps last, opportunity to get his hands on the Championship that has eluded him throughout his career. Unfortunately, as with last weekend, I foresee Father Time making an appearance, and slowing Poventkin’s stride down just a bit, but enough for Joshua to close the show. Let’s hope for Joshua vs. Wilder(or Fury) next!
Prediction: Joshua by decision or late KO.
Who are you picking this weekend? Let me know in the comments section below, or via Twitter @TheGreatToddman.