Joshua: Heavyweight Fights Should Be Exciting
IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is viewed by many as the division’s next true superstar. His next opponent Wladimir Klitschko ruled the division for years, but never reached true superstardom like champions of old. Joshua says Klitschko’s style is largely to blame.
Joshua has won all of his eighteen pro fights by knockout, having dominated all of his opponents on his way to earning and defending the IBF belt.
Klitschko (64-4) held heavyweight titles for over a decade before losing to Tyson Fury, but he could not be more different in approach than Joshua. Whereas Joshua is an intimidating force in the ring, Klitschko is known more to outsmart his opponents and play it safe.
Joshua has given Klitschko a great deal of respect, but he prefers heavyweight fighters that take chances in the ring.
“His style has worked for him so you can’t knock it,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “But you’ve got to land a few, give a few, work on the inside. The first rounds are always cagey, but, by the fourth round, the fight has to get exciting.”
The IBF champ pointed to heavyweight bouts of both decades past and recent ones as examples for what fans look for in a clash of two fighters of intimidating stature.
“That Riddick Bowe – Evander Holyfield style scrap? That Dillian Whyte – Derek Chisora style scrap? You never know, but I don’t see him fighting like that.
"Klitschko is very dominant at putting people on their back foot, on the edge of the ring. Even with Tyson Fury, a bigger and taller man, he had him moving.”
Joshua and Klitschko will face off on April 29 at the Manchester Arena. The young champion has until then to decide on a gameplan for the cagey veteran, but he looks forward to proving his adaptability in the ring with Klitschko.
"It will be interesting to see which style I bring to the table against Klitschko. I like to adapt to the fighter. Maybe I’ll counter him, maybe I’ll move on the back foot.
"I haven’t got a game plan. That’s why I like shots thrown at me, because I figure them out. I’ll hopefully figure out Klitschko as the rounds go on."