Amir Khan has some concerns about IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) stepping too far and too soon with his title defense against the more experienced Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Khan sees the 27-year-old Joshua taking a risk early in his career in fighting the 6’6” Wladimir, who can still punch with like a ton of bricks with either hand. There’s nothing wrong with the 41-year-old Wladimir’s punching power, as he has never lost that. The only question is can Wladimir still throw enough punches early to earn Joshua’s respect and to keep him honest.
“I just hope that Joshua’s not stepping too far too early and rushing,” said Khan to Fighthype.com. “I think he’s got the power and the strength,” said Khan.
This fight is hard to figure out. Wladimir has the tools to give Joshua his first defense if he’s willing to throw something back at him. Wladimir is a pretty smart guy. He’s going to be studying Joshua’s past fights as a pro and in the Olympics to find any flaws in his armor that he can take advantage of. One area that Joshua is vulnerable is on defense. He leaves himself open when he goes on the attack.
Wladimir had Joshua in his training camp as a sparring partner in 2014 while getting ready for his title defense against Kubrat Pulev. During the sparring sessions with Joshua, Wladimir likely noticed something about his fighting style that he can take advantage of. Joshua has put on more size since Wladimir sparred with him three years ago.
Joshua is now weighing close to 250lbs for his fights, but he’s not faster. He just looks like he’s become more muscular without it being beneficial to him. Wladimir could get the better of Joshua if he throws fast punches in combination form. Throwing one punch at a time probably won’t work for Wladimir, because Joshua will answer back with a shot of his own.
Wladimir probably won’t be able to handle too many big shots from big Joshua. When Joshua throws flurries of shots, his form breaks down and he looks like he can be hurt during those moments. Wladimir can get to him during those occasions.
Wladimir hasn’t fought in 14 months since his loss to Tyson Fury in November. He didn’t want to take a tune-up to get ready for the Joshua fight. That might be a mistake on his part. We’ll have to find out on April 29.