2017 Newsmakers: Anthony Joshua

FIGHT SPORTS looks at some of the biggest newsmakers in 2017 in the world of FIGHT SPORTS from December 26th up until January 1st.

Today, we look at the top heavyweight boxer in 2017, Anthony Joshua.

Here are a few of Joshua’s biggest moments in 2017.


Anthony Joshua defeats Wladimir Klitschko.

In April of 2017, Joshua in only his 19th fight as a professional, battled Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.

The fight was one of the most talked about of the year, as both fighters traded knockdowns in the 5th and 6th round. Klitschko seemingly had the challenger where he wanted him, in the sixth round, but Joshua battled back and would drop the champion ending his reign and career in round 11.


The First Defense:

Orginally slated to take on mandatory challenger Kubrat Pullev, Joshua would make his way to The Principality Stadium, in Cardiff Wales for a battle in November of 2017. As more noise would rise about potential unification in 2018, Joshua’s fight was thrown off course when Pullev had to pull out with injury.

Replacing Pullev would be top challenger, Carlos Takam.

The opening round was fairly quiet, with Takam doing a lot of moving around the ring. Takam utilized the jab to bloody up Joshua’s nose in the second round, as well as make him eat a hard body shot. But this may have just woken up the champion, however, as Joshua came out firing in round three, scoring several key combinations and hard punches.

Joshua continued his onslaught into round four, where late in the round, he rocked Takam to the point Takam’s glove hit the canvas, scoring Joshua a knockdown. Takam’s right was so battered to the point where the referee had to check it out during the fifth round.

As the fight crossed the halfway point, Joshua seemed to be getting a little tired, as it’s rare for any of Joshua’s bouts to go long, only getting into the tenth round and beyond once entering this fight. As Takam showed off his iron head, he also took advantage and landed several noteworthy punches.

The doctor was called over to check out Takam’s eye once more before the ninth, and once again the fight would go on. But at this point, it was the beginning of the end, as Joshua had taken back control. Then, in the 10th, Joshua landed several unanswered shots that forced the referee to step in.


UNIFICATION

Three men hold all of the major titles in boxing’s heavyweight division, and the current course seems to be leading to unification in the heavyweight division for the first time in nearly two decades. While Deontay Wilder is still attempting a 50-50 split for a 2018 clash with Joshua, WBO champion Joseph Parker is looking at a potential spring battle with the champion.

Eddie Hearn who acts as the promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, told reporters that a deal is “very close” for a unification with WBO world champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs).
Hearn says they are ready to “overpay” to make the contest happen, with a likely date in the first quarter of 2018, leaning towards March.

The two sides have been in a stalemate for the past several weeks regarding a financial split of 65-35 in favor of Joshua. Initially Parker’s team at Duco Boxing demanded a 50-50 split, then 60-40 and now are standing firm at  65-35 with Parker’s team refusing to go down any lower.

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