Wladimir Klitschko’s keys to success
Klitschko has used the jab for various purposes over the years, needless to say, it has been pivotal in his years dominating the heavyweight division.
The jab is an easy way to control rounds especially if it’s landing effortlessly, any situation where rounds are close it’s a pretty low-risk way to score.
If an opponent is adopting a high guard throwing power shots will be a waste of energy, you need to look for ways to either create space or lure the opponent out. Klitschko implemented the jab effectively against Bryant Jennings to pierce the high guard without leaving himself defensively vulnerable.
Lastly, Wladimir also uses the jab as a yardstick to follow with the right hand.
Anthony Joshua isn’t the most mobile heavyweight, he also favours a high guard. Keeping this fight under control for Klitschko will require him to find a home for the jab as early as possible. The more the rounds pass whilst Joshua is finding a way past the jab the more the fight will start to swing in Klitschko’s favour.
Klitschko’s power is talked about often but not so much his timing, a man as big as Klitschko rarely encounters men his own size, he’s been giving the speed advantage away for most of his career to smaller men. Timing has neutralized for the most part any opponents who have had speed advantages. I expect Joshua to be the faster man, that being the case Klitschko will have to rely on his timing to counter Joshua’s speed.
Klitschko has gone the 12 round’s eight times, he’s 7-1 in fights that have gone the distance. At heavyweight, the margins for error are far smaller which means you see a high percentage of knockouts. In big fights though it’s not unusual to go the distance even at the heavyweight limit. Joshua has never been 12 rounds, he may not need to come Saturday but if the fight does get into the latter stages it will be uncharted territory for Anthony Joshua. On the contrary, Klitschko has always been strong in the second half of 12 round contests.
Anthony Joshua’s keys to success
I’ve mentioned how I expect Joshua to be the quicker man on the night, with two athletes of this size the fight could be a matter of who gets there first. In that scenario being the quicker man is a huge advantage.
Either in the form of Combinations,
or single power punches. Speed is on Joshua’s side.
Klitschko has never been great fighting off the back foot he offers little offensively when pushed back, his defence is also extremely suspect. He has a distinct habit of sticking his front arm out and turning his head away which you won’t find anywhere in a coaching manual. Klitschko has gotten away with this against shorter fighters however it’s an area Tyson Fury with his long reach exploited in Klitschko’s last fight.
Pushing opponents back is something Joshua has excelled at so far if Joshua can take the centre of the ring early Dr. Steelhammer will become less of an offensive threat leaving Joshua free to pick holes in Klitschko’s defense.
On the flip side of lacking experience, Joshua is a fresh young fighter in his prime. Even if he hasn’t improved since his last fight at this point in his career he won’t be getting any worse. Joshua hasn’t been in many wars, he’s never been knocked out, and he’s barely taken any damage. Klitschko has been inactive since his loss to Fury so it’s unclear whether that was a bad night at the office or signs of decline, the truth is we won’t know until the first bell rings.
If ever there was a tale of two halves this is it, between rounds 6-12 I can see Joshua fading. Joshua hasn’t had a practice run at 12 rounds, he doesn’t look physically built to finish strong neither this leads me to believe Klitschko will be a problem in the late rounds. The defining factor for me is there’s no certainty the fight will go past six, Klitschko though does have to negotiate the early rounds. After so long off there’s bound to be some ring rust, I think Joshua will capitalize on that and catch the former champion with a substantial shot.
Anthony Joshua to win by Tko.