This Saturday is a big fight in the Heavyweight division as the division’s #1 fighter Anthony Joshua (21-0; 20 KOs) takes on Alexander Povetkin (34-1; 24 KOs). On the line are Joshua’s four belts – all the major Heavyweight titles aside from Deontay Wilder’s WBC crown. Ring Magazine ranks Joshua at #1 in the division, with Povetkin #3. The fight takes place this Saturday, September 22 live from Wembley Stadium and airs on the DAZN streaming service with a fight time of 4:30 p.m. ET. DAZN is $9.99/month, but you can get a free 30 day trial.
Earlier this year, it looked like the fight we would be seeing here in Wembley was the much discussed Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder superfight. But negotiations fell through – for now at least – and instead we get this. And while this may not quite have the same casual fan appeal as Joshua vs. Wilder, it’s an intriguing fight and strong challenger for Joshua.
How do these two stack up?
Joshua: 28 years old | 6’6” | 82” reach | orthodox stance
Povetkin: 39 years old | 6’2” | 75” reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Joshua: W – Joseph Parker (UD) | W – Carlos Takam (TKO) | W – Wladimir Klitschko (TKO)
Povetkin: W – David Price (KO) | W – Christian Hammer (UD) | W – Andriy Rudenko (UD)
How did these two get here?
Anthony Joshua is what the world has wanted in a Heavyweight champion for a very long time. He’s exciting, he’s heavy-handed, he’s technically superb, he creates spectacles in his fights – he’s a great champion. Ever since his 2012 Olympic gold medal he’s been on a path to stardom, but he really made his mark with his 2017 win over Klitschko. That was the best Heavyweight boxing fight in many, many years and proof that Joshua belonged at the top, silencing complaints that he was too hyped too fast. Last time out, he faced fellow new generation Heavyweight Joseph Parker, and for the first time ever, Joshua was taken to a decision, though still a completely dominant decision.
Alexander Povetkin is a 13 year pro, who, like Joshua, started his career as an Olympic gold medalist – though a full decade before Joshua at the 2004 games. He went undefeated for 8 years and 26 fights before getting a shot at Wladimir Klitschko, ultimately losing a very Klitschko style decision. Povetkin is 8-0 since, but the big story of his recent career is all about drug tests. Povetkin has failed two, and both times it has led to a very high profile fight cancellation – first against Wilder, then against Bermane Stiverne. Along the way, he received a lifetime ban from the WBC which was later rescinded. At 39, and with his spotty history, this is likely his last shot at the major titles.
What can fans expect?
I’m not entirely sure what to expect, and that is largely because of Povetkin. If this was the Povetkin of a few years ago (and, it must be said, the Povetkin competing under less stringent drug testing), I would consider him a serious threat to Joshua – the kind of technically solid, wise veteran who can ruin plans. But he’s now 39, and you have to go back to 2015 to find him in a fight against a solid opponent without any sort of caveat. It also doesn’t bode well for him that his lone loss came against Klitschko, who exploited the size difference in a way Joshua can as well. Povetkin is tough, but Joshua’s hands are no joke, and I look for the champ to use his jab effectively, then turn up the heat as things get deeper and put Povetkin away late.
Prediction: Anthony Joshua, TKO Round 9
Should you watch?
Yes. Anthony Joshua at Wembley is as big as combat sports gets in 2018. He’s a must-watch drama show.
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