Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs), his trainer and his many fans all believe that he’s going to win on Saturday night against former undisputed heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs), but it might not turn out that way. We could be talking upset on Saturday night, at least that’s the way Wladimir sees it. He sees the fight as a 50-50 affair due to Joshua having never fought anyone in his class before during his pro career.
Joshua has looked great as a pro, but he’s pretty much with just 18 stiffs. The last time Joshua fought quality opponent was in the 2012 Olympics in London, England in his fight against 2008 Olympic gold medalist Roberto Cammarelle. Joshua won the fight by a close decision, but there are many boxing fans that believe Joshua was given a controversial decision due to him being the home fighter from England and the Olympics taking place in London.
That was really the last time Joshua fought a good opponent, and he lost the fight. So he’s still pretty much the same guy that lost to Cammarelle. As much as I like Cammarelle as a fighter, I don’t think Wladimir would lose to him. In fact, I think he would box circles around Cammarelle. The fact that Joshua couldn’t out-box Cammarelle tells you a lot about him. Joshua is a good fighter, but he’s limited in terms of boxing skills and he’s got some wrong-headed ideas about his physique. He’s become too involved in adding muscle to his body, I think it’s something that has actually hurt him as a fighter rather than helped him.
You have to wonder how committed Joshua is to boxing. When you start building yourself into a body builder, it works against you. It would be the same for a great chess player. If he were to start focusing on playing checkers from morning until night when he’s not playing chess, he’s going to suffer in his ability to compete against the best in chess. Joshua seems to be training for a different sport in developing his muscles instead of training for speed and agility the way that fighters do in boxing.
“This is a big step for AJ,” Klitschko said. “He hasn’t fought this type of quality fighter yet. It’s going to be challenging for him, and it’s going to be challenging for me. This fight is 50-50, both fighters have a chance to win the fight, but I have this feeling that this is my night.”
This isn’t the news that Joshua and his boxing fans want to hear. This is supposed to be a mismatch between a younger lion in 27-year-old Joshua and an old timer in 41-year-old Wladimir. Joshua isn’t supposed to lose this fight. This is supposed to be a coming out party for the British heavyweight. He’s supposed to beat the stuffing out of Wladimir and use the victory to become a major star on the world stage. We’ve heard Joshua blabbering about him wanting to become boxing’s first billionaire in earnings before he retires from boxing. Future billionaire fighters like Joshua aren’t supposed to lose to an old guy like Wladimir, are they?
That’s the whole thing. Joshua is so, so hyped by his boxing fans that he’s believing the hype himself. Instead of Joshua seeing himself as the fighter that was gifted a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics and has been fed 18 tomato cans by his wily promoter Eddie Hearn, he seems to think he’s the real thing. On Saturday night, Wladimir may bring Joshua down to earth by giving him a beating he won’t soon forget. Wladimir would be doing Joshua a HUGE favor by smashing him around the ring on Saturday night in their fight at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
By beating Joshua, Wladimir will help the 6’6” Brit realize that he’s not as good as some boxing fans think he is. Most importantly, it’ll give Joshua a more realistic view of his own talent. It’s always sad when someone has a mistaken perception about themselves. We see that all the time. Some poor ugly duckling thinks they’re the most beautiful person in the world. It actually hurts that person because they spend so much time looking in the mirror and preening that they get away from more important things in life. They don’t see themselves for what they are until it’s too late. I think it’s the same thing with Joshua. He sees himself as better than he is. It’s too bad because if he loses to Wladimir on Saturday, it’s going to be a brutal reality check that could wreck him mentally and send him skittering down and possibly ruin his career.
“I’m only going to be myself – the fight is already as big as it can be,” said Joshua. “There’s belts on the line, there’s legacy on the line, there’s 12 rounds of intense, ferocious boxing on the line. It comes with everything you want to see – boxing skills, power, timing. It’s just how long you can last and withstand each other’s abilities. I don’t hate Klitschko, I don’t dislike Klitschko, but I want to beat Klitschko. Someone is going to win and someone is going to continue with their career. And I’m very confident that’s me.”
I don’t think it was even necessary for Joshua to throw in the comment about “someone is going to continue with their career.” That tells me that he thinks that the fight with Klitschko is a do-or-die career type of fight, where the winner continues to fight in the future, whereas the loser is done and has to retire from boxing. I don’t think it’s that type of fight.
Wladimir doesn’t need to retire if he loses to Joshua, because he still has a lot of skills, size and power going for him. I feel the same thing about Joshua If he gets whipped by Klitschko, he doesn’t have to retire from boxing as a failure. The loss would just mean that Joshua needs to learn how to fight in the proper way, and stop fighting stiffs all the time like the 18 stiffs that his promoter Hearn has fed him. That’s no good for Joshua, because it’s kept him from improving as a fighter.
We only learn in boxing – or anything in life – is when we bump into the ceiling of our limitations. Joshua has been matched against so many stiffs that he’s been unable to learn, and he now thinks he’s better than he is. He doesn’t see himself as the fighter that was gifted a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics after arguably getting beaten in all 4 matches in that competition. Those were the last time that Joshua fought good opposition and he failed. Now he thinks he’s a great fighter and is talking about becoming a billionaire. Joshua’s head has swelled out of proportion to the point where he’s not seeing things as they are. It’s like Plato’s ‘Allegory of a cave.’ Some people don’t see reality.