The boxing world has been whispering in hushed anticipation about a potential fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, but there’s a fight at the end of this month that could be just as entertaining. On April 29th, the Ukrainian powerhouse Wladimir Klitschko, 41, is set to face off against the 27-year-old Anthony Joshua, and with both men winning a great deal more than they lose, this heavyweight title fight is going to be one heck of an occasion.
If you’ve been following boxing, you might remember Wladimir Klitschko’s defeat to Tyson Fury back in late 2015. What you might not know, however, was that Tyson Fury’s unanimous decision victory was Klitschko’s first loss in 11 years.
After his shock loss to Fury, there have been rumbling rumours in boxing circles that the Wladimir Klitschko is not the force he once was. Speaking to BBC Radio One, though, Klitschko fired an ominous warning to Anthony Joshua, and showed us all that his words pack as much punch as… well, his actual punches.
“Please excuse me as this may sound arrogant, But, for example, a parallel: Mount Everest. The highest mountain in the world. It’s been there for a long time and will be there for a long time. You can climb it during a certain period of time – during two weeks in April I believe.
You can get to the top and say ‘I conquered Everest!’ Then you’ve got to run down because it’s going to take you down if you miss the time. A lot of people died there. Some made it, not many, but some made it back. But Mount Everest is still there. Is Mount Everest defeated? It’s still there and it’s going to take another life this April.”
In preparation for this heavyweight title fight, Wladimir Klitschko is back at the Stanglwirt resort for his notorious training regime. Deep in the Tirol mountains in Austria, Klitschko has been training for big fights there for nearly 15 years, and it’s clearly working; since 2003, Vladimir Klitschko has only lost twice, beating 22 challengers along the way.
The resort is complete with all the facilities a heavyweight champion needs to get to full capacity, and Anthony Joshua will know it well; back in 2012, the then-Olympic gold medallist took a trip to Klitschko’s training camp to spar with the Ukrainian, and ahead of their fight, Wladimir Klitschko says he remembers Anthony Joshua well.
“People are coming and going and some of them I don’t remember. But I remember Joshua – he impressed me with his attitude… Sometimes you need to be quiet and just watch. He was observing everything. That is unusual… I had Olympic champions and former world champions in my camp but his attitude was totally different.”
On April 29th at a sold-out Wembley Stadium, Klitschko vs. Joshua looks as if it’s going to be one of the fights of the year. Having made his debut in 1996, Wladimir Klitschko has 64 wins from 68 fights (with 53 of those wins being knockouts). Although Anthony Joshua has 18 wins from 18, and currently holds the IBF heavyweight title – after hearing that terrifying metaphor, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a little nervous for his heavyweight title defence.