With recent news conveying the postponement of Anthony Joshua facing illustrious ex-World Champion Wladimir Klitschko for the combined IBF and WBA Heavyweight championships on December 10th, the boxing world looks to the alternatives for either boxers. Here I explain what should happen for both fighters and why it’s best for both to never face other.
Beginning with why neither AJ nor Klitschko should actively make the fight happen; for Joshua it will be by far his biggest name to date and possibly the biggest of his career until the day he retires but I feel it makes more sense to fight a guy ranked around 15-20, opponents such as Alexander Ustinov (33-10) or Mariusz Wach (32-2), both physically larger men than Joshua who should take him atleast 8rounds before realistically being knocked out. An exciting alternative to this will be American Gerald Washington (18-0-1), opening up a consecutive hat-trick of victories for Joshua against unbeaten American fighters and at the same time avoiding the dangerous upcoming Jarrell Miller (18-0-1). Either of these avenues would perfectly mark a remarkable year for him. For Klitschko who boasts a record of 64-4 and goes down as one of the best heavyweights ever to grace the ring, it will be career suicide. Now 40years of age and always a defensively minded fighter, Anthony Joshua will have too much speed and power for Klitschko to cope in the twilight years of his career.
So where do both fighters go from here? If I was Klitschko’s agent/trainer I would be taking the shot at the vacant WBA title against Australian Lucas Browne (24-0), a fight that seems more likely to happen than the AJ bout. A fight also Klitschko will win comfortably adding yet more championship gold to his record. Proposing he beats Browne and gains the WBA title, then the big W will give him impetus to finally secure the much-needed rematch against Tyson Fury, possibly tying the contract for next September. This hypothesised fight would smartly be Klitschko’s last, and if he was to avenge his shock loss to Fury and retain the WBA title then he will be able to retire with accomplishments only a handful of heavyweights before him can match.
With AJ I have already gave my opinion on who he should fight in December to cap his wonderful 2016. In addition to this though, if I was Eddie Hearn I will already be planning 2017 with numerous opportunities looking to culminate just in time for a massive summer blockbuster conceivably at Wembley Stadium. To keep various options open, adding David Price (21-3) to the undercard in December is a certainty, also having him match-up against a boxer with atleast some credentials instead of an Eastern European journeyman who Price seemingly frequents on a regular basis. An ideal boxer for Price to face and deservedly earn a shot at Anthony Joshua will be someone like Travis Kauffman (31-1)who packs a punch to test Price’s suspect chin and who is also durable after going 12rounds with the albeit fading Chris Arreola. Another tough test for Price would be young British fighter David Allen (9-1-1) who most recently went 12 rounds with Dillian Whyte. Overall, Price needs to fight a calibre of boxer where a win will help steer him into a bout against Joshua March/April time. For Anthony Joshua regardless of who he faces in December as long as he wins, it will lead him into a big domestic clash with Price, a fight which will be risky but one I’m confident Joshua will leave victorious from.
The March/April victory against Price will lead Joshua into major huge money clashes for the summer period most likely July. Wembley Stadium being the preferred venue for Eddie Hearn with the last clash held there being the electrifying Froch vs Groves II in May 2014. Another equally appetising venue proposed in recent days was the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Massive stadium, electric summer crowds, Hearn would be looking to figure a double main event topping a packed card. An eagerly-anticipated fight between rivals Amir Khan and Kell Brook will be one that most British boxing fans will be desperate to see, a fight I see Brook winning within 8. I feel Khan’s chin won’t be the same after the brutal KO inflicted by Canelo, not that Khan had a solid chin in the first place. Back to Joshua’s possible opponents, I said before that next summer a lot of heavyweight boxers paths will have no choice but to align themselves. If all goes well, we will have an unbeaten WBO champ in Joseph Parker, David Haye on a 3/4 winning streak following his return, a resurgent Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury in likely his first comeback fight, or even a massive Unification fight against like-for-like Deontay Wilder. Next summer I would love to be in Eddie Hearn’s shoes, not so much Anthony Joshua’s!