Category Archives: Blog

March 29, 2017
March 29, 2017

Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing/K2/KMG Management

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JOSHUA-KLITSCHKO is only weeks away, and Joshua is the favourite. Here are 12 reasons why those odds might be wrong, and Klitschko can prevail on April 29 at Wembley Stadium.

Round One – Klitschko is desperate for the Fury rematch: Fighting Fury is the match that Klitschko badly craves above all others. If he beats Joshua, there is no way that Fury can avoid him if he hopes to resume his career.

Round Two – Klitschko’s legacy is on the line: Despite his enormous accomplishments, Klitschko is not widely regarded as an all–time heavyweight great. Beating Joshua is probably his last chance to change public perception about how he rates with the best ever.

Round Three – Teacher vs pupil: When Joshua was in Klitschko’s training camp it was a teacher and pupil type of relationship. This gives Klitschko a psychological edge for the fight knowing he was the boss then and could be again.

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko

Round Four – Klitschko’s experience will be the difference: As talented as Joshua is there is no substitute for experience. And because of that, Klitschko can probably handle any situation that arises better than Joshua could.

Round Five – Klitschko has not lost a step: It is possible that Klitschko had nothing more than an off night in his loss to Fury. If so, then he should be favored to win, not Joshua.

Round Six – Klitschko’s jab is better: The jab is the most important punch in boxing in that it sets everything else up. Joshua’s jab is probably slightly less effective than Klitschko’s. If it turns out to be a dull, distance fight then Klitschko’s jab will sway the judges’ in most rounds.

Round Seven – Too soon for Joshua: Let’s be honest. Joshua was basically gift wrapped the IBF title. If he did not have a title to defend then there’s a reasonable chance Joshua would not yet have been deemed ready for Klitschko.

Round Eight – Joshua is in awe of Klitschko: This is a man whom Joshua has looked up to since he was a kid. The level of respect he has shown Klitschko outside of the ring might translate to inside it as well. If that is the case, then Joshua will be far less aggressive than usual.

Round Nine – Klitschko is better suited for a distance match: All those early knockouts of Joshua were impressive, but the fact is that he has never travelled more than seven rounds in a fight. Klitschko will have an advantage the longer the match goes.

Round Ten – Klitschko can’t be intimidated: Most of Joshua’s opponents were so inferior that they were beaten before the first bell rang. Klitschko not only thinks that he can win, but expects to.

Round Eleven – Sparring Partner Syndrome: Joshua used to hold back on his punches when he sparred Klitschko.  Perhaps he will do the same to a small degree when they fight because he was conditioned to do so in the past.

Round Twelve – Klitschko is no longer complacent: Winning was coming too easy to Klitschko which made it hard to get truly motivated. The loss to Fury changed that. Klitschko is now training harder than he has in years.

March 29, 2017
March 29, 2017
vasyl lomachenko

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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“BOXING is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.”

MANY fighters have fallen victim to George Foreman’s famous words, with their own unique brand of combat being viewed as boring or lacklustre to the widespread audiences that tune in or show up seeking nothing more than a pulsating scrap.

Guillermo Rigondeaux is a key modern day example, with the Cuban slickster’s supreme ring abilities seeing him largely avoided and under-appreciated. In truth, his own talent has ironically hindered his professional career to date.

There are exceptions, though. There are those whose jazz is as good as it gets and still very much appreciated. Step forward Vasyl Lomachenko.

With his coruscating footwork and movement, along with eye-catching combinations thrown from seamlessly changing angles, the Ukrainian has been able to dish out vast punishment while barely tasting any himself.

A gruelling split decision defeat at the hands of tenacious (and overweight) Mexican Orlando Salido was the only anomaly so far in his rampant rise through the professional ranks.

Lomachenko’s own dazzling style in the ring has helped him become a two-weight world champion inside an incredible seven pro outings, with his first coming in his third bout, and adding the super-featherweight title to his featherweight strap in June last year.

Having overcome Gary Russell Jnr in June 2014 to triumph at 126lbs (a feat that gains momentum with every subsequent fight that Russell Jnr wins), he later dispatched Roman Martinez in elegantly brutal fashion to reign in a second division.

A maiden defence of his 130lbs crown against hard-hitting Jamaican Nicholas Walters was supposedly set to truly challenge the two-time Olympic Gold medallist’s supremacy in Nevada.

Although, what was initially dubbed his toughest test to date ultimately ended up his finest performance in the ring, as he outclassed Walters and forced him to quit inside seven one-sided rounds.

vasyl lomachenko

On what was the 2000th event of Bob Arum’s illustrious promotional career, Lomachenko completely dismantled Walters both physically and mentally, earning the fifth stoppage success of his quick-fire professional rise.

Following that display of sheer class in Las Vegas, Vasyl Lomachenko will next look to retain his WBO belt for a second time against latest American challenger Jason Sosa.

The former WBA’s secondary super-featherweight titlist shattered Stephen Smith’s hopes of becoming a belt holder as he comfortably outpointed the Merseysider in Monaco last November.

Sosa endured his only defeat back in 2010 when he was stopped in the opening round by Tre’Sean Wiggins, while one of his four career draws came against Lomachenko’s last opponent Walters two years ago.

With back-to-back victories over Britain’s Smith and former world champion Javier Fortuna, Sosa is a menacing threat to Vasyl Lomachenko on the face of it, though the dynamic WBO kingpin will be poised to put on another masterclass on April 8.

Along with the constant showings of ring excellence, widespread acclaim has followed, with Top Rank boss Arum hailing Lomachenko as the most talented fighter to climb the ring ropes since the great Muhammad Ali.

“This is the best fighter I’ve seen since Muhammad Ali,” he declared. “There’s nobody who can do what he can.

“Nobody. He’s in a class by himself. While he’s performing at his maximum level, I want him to get maximum exposure and for everybody to enjoy it.”

On the back of such glowing compliments, “Hi-Tech” has showcased true humility as well, recently refusing to be viewed as pound-for-pound number one until he feels he deserves it himself.

A relentless puncher in the ring, Lomachenko also possesses great self-confidence and sophisticated defensive awareness, allowing him to nullify the attacks of even the most devastating opponents. Highlighted perfectly when making Walters declare “no mas”.

Painted as the Picasso of boxing, the Ukrainian has been widely hailed as the next big superstar of the sport and a potential legend in the making.

Sterner and more prosperous match-ups potentially lie on the horizon for Lomachenko, providing he can continue to showcase true ring excellence in each passing appearance.

But he will first look to add another imposing success over Sosa and step closer towards more lucrative bouts on April 8, when his majestic skill set will next be orchestrated to the expectant masses.

BOB ARUM: No stranger to hyperbole

March 27, 2017
March 27, 2017
jorge linares

Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

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LAST week wasn’t one I’ll forget in a hurry.

I do a lot of work on World Series Boxing and I’d been asked to host a British Lionhearts in the Community event at the House of Commons on Wednesday lunch time.

We were in the Thames Pavilion and it was a lot of fun. There were representatives from Sport England, UK Sport, the Mayor’s Office and, having just weighed in, both the Lionhearts and Italia Thunder teams, who were fighting at York Hall the following night, and their coaches came down too. Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch popped in and had the obligatory photos taken of her in some boxing gloves. It must be a strange life being a Minister, everything they do seems to be a photo-op.

We started with a few words from Charlotte Leslie MP, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Boxing, before getting into BLITC in a bit more depth (basically it’s a programme that takes boxing to London communities and engages young people with the sport) before finishing with a Q&A with Lionhearts boxers Mo Ali, Pat McCormack and Frazer Clarke who were all on fine form.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and our Italian guests in particular were busy taking photos of their unique surroundings. Once we’d finished Ian Paisley Jnr introduced himself and we had a chat about Northern Irish boxing and I then took my leave. It was just after half past two and after a few wrong turns I located the visitors’ exit and I was away.

A few minutes later the Lionhearts and Italia Thunder emerged from the exact same exit and found themselves staring into the wild eyes of Khalid Masood, who, brandishing a knife in each hand, attacked PC Keith Palmer and was then shot dead just yards in front of them. GB coach Tony Davis jumped over the barricade and was the first man on the scene to attend to the stricken police officer but tragically there was nothing he or anyone else could do.

I had no idea. I wandered off down Whitehall and didn’t see or hear a thing. My brother, who works at the House of Lords, sent me a text at a quarter past three and at that point I checked the news. I feel lucky. An acquaintance, not boxing related, suggested to me afterwards that I might have been disappointed at “missing the action” as he put it. I found that staggering; I mean, who the hell would want to see something like that?

I was early to York Hall the next day and one of the first people I saw was Tony Davis. Tony had been inundated with media requests and was dutifully responding to them all.

I was MCing so we went through what needed to be said and done with regard to the day before, rehearsed and then waited for the doors to open. The atmosphere was a little strange. It wasn’t sombre, it was upbeat; there was a kind of defiant energy in the air and it felt good, I have to say.

When the teams arrived I went in to see them like usual. I visited Italia Thunder’s dressing room first and coach Maurizio Stecca told me that when they’d woken up that morning they hadn’t wanted to box but that they’d discussed it further and decided they should. And they seemed OK, but as I’d barely met any of them before it was hard to tell where there were at mentally. I know the Lionhearts well and when I poked my head around their door the first person I encountered was coach Lee Pullen who, on finding himself confronted by a man in a bow tie brandishing a notebook and pen, promptly ordered a prawn cocktail. Yep, they were OK.

And it was a good night. The teams, and Tony in particular, got a great ovation when they were introduced and the scoreline of Lionhearts 5 Italia Thunder 0 was a bit misleading. Both Mo Ali and Frazer Clarke had to get off the floor to win and the visitors fought hard and well but the home team just had too much. Callum French made a very good debut and Pat McCormack, who looks huge at Welterweight already despite having only just moved up from 64kg, recorded another WSB win as did Bulgarian Radoslav Pantaleev at Light Heavy. Both teams handled an incredibly difficult 24 hours superbly.

The next day I was off to Manchester on Sky duty for the Linares vs Crolla bill. I got the train up with Ed Robinson and Anna Woolhouse, who are both very good company. Ed’s now senior producer at Sky Boxing and has a lot on his plate. But his responsibilities don’t end there; he’s also required, when out on the road, to catch Pokemon for his young son. He describes it as a fatherly duty but I think he enjoys it a bit more than he lets on.

I was covering the undercard so was at the weigh-in primarily to catch Sean McGoldrick, Ben Sheedy and Jason Welborn. Welborn’s managed by Matt Macklin now and Matt was filling me in on Michael Conlan’s extraordinary MSG debut the week before. He thinks his bantamweight will be as big a star as Conor McGregor, who walked him into the ring, in three years’ time.

By the time Crolla and Linares were due to take to the scales the temperature in the packed room was roasting. I was in the corridor outside chatting to Welborn when Linares came swaggering by in a flashly tracksuit and a big pair of aviators. I’ve been a fan of the Venezuelan for a long time, he’s a terrific fighter and just a bit of a rock star really.

On the day of the fight I was early to the arena and bumped into Jon Pegg, who had Brett Fidoe on the bill. Jon’s an incredibly active trainer and manager but he also finds the time to write and direct films. He’s done a few shorts already but, he was telling me, has just completed his first feature, The Quiet One. It’s a revenge thriller and he’s putting on a screening in Birmingham on April 23rd.

For the main show on Sky I was commentating on Ward vs Hughes and Morrison vs Welborn which both proved to be interesting fights. Tony Bellew was my co-commentator. He was great value and didn’t seem to mind when what looked like a new shirt got liberally sprinkled with blood from Marcus Morrison’s nose despite the fact that The Bomber thought the fight should have been stopped by that stage. Jason Welborn gave Morrison the most painful of nights in every possible way, I just hope he can recover mentally as well as physically.

Once I finished I had a ringside seat for the main event [pictured above] and Linares was mesmerising. It was as good a performance as I’ve ever seen from any fighter in a British ring. There was just nothing Anthony Crolla could do and so no room for any regret, censure or shame on his part. I don’t know if that makes a defeat easier to take or not but I would hope that it does, and I was glad to see him hear the final bell, he deserved it. Whether the bell has tolled on Anthony’s career for the final time or not we’ll have to wait and see. I suspect he’ll fancy one more but should that prove to have been his final outing then he really will have gone out at the very top because there are very few, if any, better fighters than Jorge Linares. As I left the venue I saw young Sale Cruiser Sam Hyde and as we wandered off we both agreed that Linares vs Mikey Garcia will be one hell of a fight.

In boxing it never takes you long to move on to the next one.


March 27, 2017
March 27, 2017
jorge linares

Action Images/Lee Smith

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IT was a masterclass from Jorge Linares against Anthony Crolla in Manchester at the weekend with the Venezuelan defending his WBA lightweight title in style.

He dropped Crolla in the seventh and won almost every round with fluid and delectable boxing – proving himself the best in the division.

Now that he’s beaten Crolla twice, his attention will likely turn to the other top lightweights. The WBC – whose belt he held before he had to give it up due to inactivity – will order him to box the current holder of the strap, Mikey Garcia.

It is a tantalising prospect and a real 50-50 clash between the two best fighters in the division. Garcia, a multi-weight champion, destroyed Dejan Zlaticanin for the belt in January and, like Linares, is on the fringes of the top 10 pound-for-pound list.

The fight would most likely happen in America, where Linares has fought just six times but Garcia is a regular – though both are well-known commodities. Garcia analysed the Crolla fight on Showtime – the US broadcaster for it – and both men want to meet in the ring.

Linares’ promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, who was ringside in Manchester at the weekend, also mentioned the possibility of returning to the city to fight WBO champion Terry Flanagan.

The Mancunian must first get past the difficult test of Petr Petrov on April 8, but should he do that he is eager to clash with Linares for the chance to win another belt.

Another exciting option for Linares is a fight with outstanding Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, who currently holds the WBO super-featherweight title. He too has a fight on April 8, against Jason Sosa, and claims he is comfortable at his current weight but could surely be tempted to 135lbs with enough money.

A fight between two elite technicians like Linares and Lomachenko is a boxing purist’s dream.

March 25, 2017
March 25, 2017
Anthony Crolla vs Jorge Linares

Action Images/Lee Smith

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WE’RE ringside at the Manchester Arena for Anthony Crolla vs Jorge Linares – the rematch. Crolla lost their first battle for lightweight supremacy, a game points defeat, and the Mancunian believes he can rectify that against the gifted Linares a second time around.

The undercard will also feature Brian Rose vs Jack Arnfield, Martin Ward boxing Maxi Hughes a third time for the British title, Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor and Rio 2016 Olympian Lawrence Okolie making his pro debut.

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March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017
roman gonzalez

Tom Hogan/K2

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IN a New York-based gym in the build-up to their respective Madison Square Garden outings, former opponents Roman Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras trained alongside each other as intrigued observers watched on.

The pair had collided in a 12-round epic at The Forum in California only six months prior, with Nicaraguan star ‘Chocolatito’ earning a unanimous decision victory to become his nation’s first ever four-weight world champion.

Having claimed that WBC super-flyweight title from Cuadras’ grasp on American soil, the pound-for-pound great found himself hitting the heavy bag only inches away from his previous Mexican rival in training for his maiden defence.

Both men looked set to trade leather once again in a rematch later this year, but a shock decision defeat for Gonzalez at the hands of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has derailed such a prospect, while a mouth-watering clash with Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue now also sadly looks dead in the water.

Widely regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter before entering the ring in New York City, ‘Chocolatito’ was involved in an early Fight of the Year contender with eventual maiden conqueror Rungvisai.

The 29-year-old sustained two sickeningly damaging cuts above his right eye in the early rounds from accidental clashes of heads, but gallantly battled through the night to ultimately come up short on the judges’ greatly disputed cards.

Meanwhile, ahead of Gonzalez’s first ever loss, Cuadras looked sloppy and discontent during his decision success over mettlesome compatriot David Carmona.

Many pondered whether Gonzalez would be the same fighter after such a strenuous scrap with Cuadras last September, but it was in fact the South American that seemed a shadow of himself and appeared diminished from their relentless war.

Having appeared his usual lively self in the gym alongside his former foe in that shared gym appearance, Cuadras may have been at fault for assuming a Gonzalez rematch was a formality after respective victories on the same card.

Any possibility of that intriguing second meeting between the duo has since been crushed, though, thanks to the controversial decision defeat for ‘Chocolatito’ at the ‘mecca of boxing’.

His place at the summit of that mythical pound-for-pound list may have been come to an abrupt end in light of losing his unbeaten record, but Gonzalez now faces a fresh career challenge following 47 professional contests.

His latest ring outing marked the fourth time he had co-featured on an event alongside close ally Gennady Golovkin on such a grand stage.

But long before the Nicaraguan became the petite sidekick for middleweight kingpin ‘GGG’ on huge pay-per-view shows, he already achieved the pinnacle of his illustrious career and secured admirable feats in the lower divisions.

Ironically, though, after years of rampaging through opponents and reigning top of many organisations’ pound-for-pound lists, ‘Chocolatito’ has gained a more widespread following since moving up to 115lbs, where his toughest tests have come.

Officially, Gonzalez was on the wrong end of a majority decision against Rungvisai, but realistically, the dethroned champion put in an exemplary performance during a gruelling 12-round encounter.

Despite enduring his maiden setback after 47 bouts, a daringly bloodied ‘Chocolatito’ threw over 1000 punches – setting the record for most power shots ever landed in a super-flyweight match-up in the process.

The lionhearted Nicaraguan’s total punches landed on Rungvisai were also the third most in history by a losing fighter during a title bout.

Such was the disputed fashion of his first loss, Gonzalez has called for an immediate rematch, though his sustained battle wounds should keep him out of the firing line for some time.

‘Chocolatito’ was dropped in the first round by his Thai conqueror but proceeded to showcase bravery in its rawest form to the onlooking New York crowd.

It’s evident that the four-division champion is at the maximum weight his naturally slender frame will allow, but that didn’t change his approach in going toe-to-toe with a clearly larger foe.

Gonzalez has long been an ultra aggressive fighter, charging at opponents with grace and fury, but his style at this higher weight against bigger, stronger rivals takes more of a toll on him throughout the rounds.

At times against a visibly broader Rungvisai, Gonzalez was landing an abundance of solid shots, connections which he’s used to putting smaller foes out cold with, but it was a case of attempting to chop down a tree with a pick axe in this particular meeting.

With a sea of red pouring down his face, Gonzalez dug deep to recover from a slower than usual start and was perhaps unfortunate not to have swayed the judges with his heroic surges late on.

In the build-up to his maiden title defence, ‘Chocolatito’ stoutly claimed he was willing to die in the ring and put himself through absolute hell.

In light of such a gory showdown at Madison Square Garden, Gonzalez indisputably removed any lingering doubts over such bold remarks, as he fell narrowly short of defending his crown on a blood stained canvas.

Although, the king of Nicaragua will no doubt return to once again contend for his place on the super-flyweight throne, after the scars of his last savage conflict have faded.

March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko Stateside to promote heavyweight megafight

Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing/K2/KMG Management

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AS soon as a heavyweight puncher fi-fo-fums onto the landscape, The Question is immediately asked. It’s the one on every fight fan’s lips. OK, so this mighty ogre can hit – but how will his chin hold up when some plucky chap cracks him back?

It becomes the puncher’s keenly awaited acid test. How does this destroyer so expert in dishing out violence feel when the roles are reversed? It’s a sensible question for any fighter, but even more so with a big hitter. After all, their foes are usually so concerned with the incoming fire that they’re reluctant to risk loading up and return fire.

Plus with punchers of the shattering power of Anthony Joshua, in-ring minutes are limited, reducing the time we have to gauge the quality of their chin. After all, Joshua has had 18 professional fights, but completed just 26 full rounds in that time.

With Joshua, the question was semi-answered in his brawl with Dillian Whyte – but to nobody’s satisfaction. AJ optimists could point out that Joshua came through being wobbled in the second round to win in devastating fashion, showing fortitude under fire. The glass-half-empty view is that if Whyte, a hard puncher but not the second coming of Mike Tyson, can stiffen Joshua’s legs, what can a heavyweight with proven power at elite level do?

It’s a fascinating question, it’s the logical question, it’s a worthy question. It might also be the wrong question.

After all, if we look back at the fearsome punching heavyweight champions of the past, a pattern emerges.

Joe Louis – a man who hit so hard that even his jab was described as like having a light bulb smashed into your face – lost his unbeaten pro record due to the cunning of Max Schmeling. The German had noticed a chink in Louis’ armoury (he was open to a counter right hand) and patiently exploited it to inflict a 12th-round stoppage defeat on the man who’d go on to become the longest reigning heavyweight champion of all (gaining brutal retribution over Schmeling along the way).

A generation before Louis, the savagely powerful Jack Dempsey had some early losses on his ledger when he won the heavyweight crown, but the man who took his title was a durable boxer following a wily gameplan in Gene Tunney.

George Foreman, arguably the most dangerous pure puncher of them all, was famously undone by Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope tactics. Ali smothered or withstood Big George’s best shots and finished off a weary Foreman in eight rounds. This was a decade after the then Cassius Clay saw off another terrifying destroyer in Sonny Liston, using the swiftness of his feet and fists to inflict a massive upset.

In 1990, Mike Tyson, who wreaked a Liston-like havoc on the division, was undone by James ‘Buster’ Douglas. He outboxed a sluggish Tyson, even recovering from a knockdown to pull off another gigantic upset.

Riddock Bowe, also a renowned puncher, lost his unbeaten record and heavyweight title belts in a close points fight to man he’d already beaten in the form of granite-jawed Evander Holyfield.

Do you see a pattern developing? None of these huge-punching heavyweight champs were undone by a single blow to a fragile chin. The far more consistent kryptonite for these Supermen is coming up against a man who can either take – or has a gameplan to nullify – the blows that have been reducing other mortals to rubble. This is when our hero’s brain can start to short circuit. After all, it can be difficult to develop a ‘Plan B’ when ‘Plan A’ has been so viciously successful.

Of course, the above is a skewed sample. In the interests of fairness, it’s worth pointing out that there are heavyweight punchers who have indeed been undone by one titanic punch that sends them to the canvas. Lennox Lewis is a prime example at elite level.

However the majority of huge punchers face their true test not when they meet someone who can hit them as hard as they’ve been whacking others, but rather when they meet someone who can handle their power and keep on going.

It’s even true of recent heavyweights who have been labelled chinny. Take best buddies Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye. It’s safe to say that neither has a reputation for Oliver McCall-esque durability. However both of their first, at the time shocking, professional defeats follow a similar pattern.

For Klitschko, it came in a 1998 bout against iron-chinned journeyman Ross Puritty. The young Wladimir was dominating the fight until he spectacularly ran out of gas in the later rounds and flopped to the canvas in the 11th.

For Haye, it happened at cruiserweight and in quicker time against Carl Thompson, but the process was similar. Haye threw the kitchen sink and every other household fixture at Thompson, who took it all and came back with his own punches. Haye’s team pulled out their exhausted charge in the fifth round.

All of this leads to April 29th and Klitschko’s fight with one Anthony Joshua. The prevailing wisdom is that in a fight where both men have such imposing knockout numbers, it’s unlikely to go the distance. Also, that it will be very interesting if and when Klitschko lands the power punches than have stopped over 50 pro rivals on Joshua’s jaw.

However an equally interesting question is what if the Brit drills Klitschko with a couple of hard punches and the Ukrainian withstands them and carries on boxing. Of course, this ‘if’ is the size of Godzilla’s posing pouch. Even in his prime Klitschko, as discussed, did not have a reputation for a titanium chin. There’s also little doubt that Joshua’s power is for real.

Yet maybe it isn’t as simple as it first appears. Klitschko hasn’t actually been stopped in 13 years (or 22 heavyweight fights). He hasn’t even been off his feet since his first fight with Samuel Peter in 2005. That may be down to various factors from his safety-first style to the majority of his rivals not being in his league. But it does seem a bit cruel to write off a boxer’s chin entirely when he hasn’t been knocked down in over a decade.

So – while it’s not how Sky Sports will market this fight – what could be really intriguing is if Klitschko can take or nullify Joshua’s power and continue to implement his own strategy.

Whether he has the punch resistance and, at 41 years old, the reflexes to do that is admittedly a big doubt.

However eventually someone will come along who can stand up to Anthony Joshua. It might be Klitschko or it might be someone else in the future. But history tells us – from Louis to Foreman to Tyson – someone eventually does come along who can take those shots.

When that happens and Joshua lands the blows that have been removing other boxers from their senses and the man in front of him just grins and keeps on plugging away – that moment will be the true acid test of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight career. Frankly, even he may not know how he reacts to such a challenge until we see it happen, under the bright lights and on the biggest stage