As reported by Bleacher Report and other outlets, Anthony Joshua, undefeated Olympian and IBF heavyweight champion, is in negotiations to face the once long-reigning kingpin of the division, Wladimir Klitschko on November 26th. Location and other notable details are not available yet, but this is massive news coming in the wake of unified champion Tyson Fury pulling out of the bout to mental health issues.
Also whether this will be for any or all of Fury’s belts has yet to be determined and should be within the next few days. Sources close to the situation hint that an official announcement will come within the week.
First off, Eddie Hearn, the notorious U.K. promoter, has thrown another cash cow, and his biggest, to another high-level wolf. From Kell Brook and Anthony Crolla to now the even less experienced Anthony Joshua. His reputation, whether fans have realized it yet, is completely on the line. If another golden ticket of his is destroyed by superior competition it may be a deterrent for future prospects signing with Hearn.
Secondly, this fight screams spectacle and awe. It is exactly what boxing is made of and for, a promising and rising star facing the absolute best in his generation for the last decade. Anthony Joshua is exactly what the sport of boxing craves, a young sculpted heavyweight with innate and seemingly otherworldly power. Olympic gold medalist and charismatic personality with an already cult-like following, Joshua has been groomed for a long time to be the next face of not just U.K. boxing but boxing globally.
Joshua though is now facing the best boxer the heavyweight division has seen for a decade and someone he thought he wouldn’t be facing for another year. Klitschko used to be “the man” at heavyweight. Dr. Steelhammer ran through the stagnant and poor heavyweight division like a knife through hot butter until he had a subpar performance against the underrated boxer in Tyson Fury, a truly shocking upset due to the lack of power that Fury possesses.
Klitschko now instead of facing the massive giant that is Fury faces the slightly smaller but more explosive boxer in Joshua. Klitschko for all his gifts and talents, durability has never been one of them. His brother Vitali was known has the tough one while Wladimir is known as the smarter one. If Joshua lands one of those big shots, it will hurt Klitschko.
Now Joshua has a perfect record of 17-0 with 17 knockouts. He has never gone to the decision and he is facing one of the best defensive talents the heavyweight division has ever produced. Klitschko’s style isn’t pretty, but it is quite effective and efficient. Joshua will find a target harder to hit than he has ever faced, could Klitschko use his special brand of Hopkins-like boxing, straight shots low volume and heavy use of the clinch, or will Joshua be able to overpower one of the hardest puzzles of the heavyweight division?
Whatever the outcome of the bout is, boxing is about to gain a high-level fight that could either feature the former ruler of heavyweight regain championship form or a young surging champion who is looking to prove he is the next biggest attraction in sports.