Anthony Joshua (-162) vs Wladimir Klitschko (+175), Draw (+3900)
Come April 29th, Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KO) will not only be defending his IBF heavyweight title, but will also be looking to add to his trophy case, taking on Wladimir Klitschko (68-0, 64 KO) for the vacated WBA belt.
It all came together last weekend, just before Joshua made easy work of Eric Molina. Klitschko attended the bout at the sold-out Manchester Arena and presented Joshua with the deal. As soon as the fight ended, it was announced the two Olympic gold medalists will face off at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 fans.
Joshua boasts an impressive record of 18-0, with none of his fights ever reaching decision. Most of his battles have ended within the first three rounds. Only bouts with Dominic Breazeale and Dillian Whyte have come remotely close to going the distance (both ended in the seventh).
But despite his success, Joshua has yet to face the old guard of heavyweight boxing. In a division that has been dormant for some time, this will be the first time a true champion of the new generation will face a champion of the former generation. Joshua may be the bookkeepers’ favorite to win, but this will be the first time he will truly be tested. It’s by far the 27-year-old’s biggest fight, and it is a shot at redemption for the aging Klitschko.
Prior to his loss to Tyson Fury last year, Klitschko had been on an 11-year winning streak, holding at least one heavyweight title for the last ten years. While Joshua has an impressive undefeated record, Klitschko holds the record for having defeated the most boxers with an undefeated record, ending 12 untarnished resumes.
The 40-year-old Klitschko will have been inactive for seventeen months when he finally faces Joshua. His attempts for a rematch against Fury, which was scheduled twice but fell through both times, tied up the aging boxer for over a year and have left him rusty and out of action.
Pick: Anthony Joshua (-162)
Photo credit: “Klitschko” by [RAW], CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.