Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin Preview : Joshua Has to be Wary of Russian Challenger
Event Venue: Wembley Stadium, Saturday 22 September 10pm. Live on Sky Box Office.See Stats
Anthony Joshua returns to the ring as he defends his World Heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin. Our preview looks ahead to this title fight as Joshua bids to retain his unbeaten record and set up some bigger fights (hopefully against the winner of Wilder v Fury) next year.
Bigger Fish to Fry for Joshua
The problem with holding so many title belts in this sport is that mandatory defences have to be made in order to keep them. That's the problem Anthony Joshua has and even if he wins this fight and then sometime next year gets the chance to win the WBC title, the chances are he'll one day lose his belts outside the ring just as Tyson Fury did. This defence against Alexander Povetkin has come around because the Russian is the mandatory challenger. It's not quite the glamour fight that it'd be if Joshua was up against Wilder, Fury or Dillian Whyte but it's one that could easily become a very costly banana skin.
While the middleweights dominate the scene on September 15, the heavyweights are back on September 22 as Joshua bids to keep his unbeaten record. He had to go the distance in his last title defence when he beat Joseph Parker to add the WBO title to his collection. It wasn't the usual kind of Joshua performance but the referee didn't exactly allow that separating the two boxers every time they got close to each other. At least the Parker fight showed the champion can go 12 rounds and his last three fights have seen Joshua box for 33 rounds.
Povetkin does pose a big threat to Joshua in this fight because of his experience having gone 12 rounds on seven occasions. That does show his punching power at the top level doesn't always produce knock-out wins. Yes he beat David Price earlier this year but the Liverpool boxer doesn't have a great chin. If Joshua wants to have a top fight at Wembley next March, most likely a rematch with Dillian Whyte, he has to win this fight. The longer it goes, th emore likely that is going to be against his 39-year-old opponent.
You can get odds of 1/14 on Anthony Joshua to beat Alexander Povetkin with Bet365 (18+, Ts & Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly)
Povetkin Poses a Threat
Alexander Povetkin gets his second shot at the World Heavyweight title after losing on points to Wladimir Klitschko five years ago. He did well to get to the end of that fight being knocked down four times including three times in the seventh round. Povetkin has also been given a count by the referee in his most recent fight against England's David Price. He staggered towards the turnbuckle after being hit by a left hook but the bell saved him and he demolished Price in the fifth round to secure this title fight.
Povetkin, like Joshua, is a former Olympic Super Heavyweight champion winning his title in 2004, eight years before his opponent in this fight. The Russian also shares Carlos Tackem as a former opponent. Joshua beat Tackam via a controversial 10th round stoppage but Povetkin knocked him out in the 10th round four years ago.
In recent years, the challenger has also beaten the current holder of the WBA World Heavyweight Champion Manuel Charr (Joshua is the WBA Super Champion while Trevor Bryan is the interim champion) and Christian Hammer. Povetkin does have the chance to win this fight if he can land a big punch on Joshua's chin but if he is to win, you get the feeling it has to be in the first half of the fight. The challenger is 39 and he could fade as Luis Ortiz did in his recent attempt to win the WBC title from Deontay Wilder.
Current odds for Alexander Povetkin to beat Anthony Joshua are 7/1 with Bet365 (18+, Ts & Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly)
Joshua would probably much prefer to be fighting a much better known challenger but this is a tricky defence for him. Povetkin has got a punch that if it lands could cause the champion plenty of problems. Joshua has proved that he can take a punch but has been knocked down by Wladimir Klitschko but then again so has Povetkin. This preview can't stop thinking of the way David Price had Povetkin in trouble only for the bell to save the Russian. If Price can do that, so can Joshua and he can win this fight inside the distance.
Get odds of 4/11 on Anthony Joshua winning by KO, TKO or DQ with Bet365 (18+, Ts & Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly)
- Anthony Joshua is undefeated in 21 pro fights.
- All bar one of Joshua's wins have come inside the distance.
- 16 of Joshua's wins have come in the first three rounds.
- Anthony Joshua is 11 years younger than his opponent.
- Alexander Povetkin has won 34 of his 35 pro fights.
- Povetkin's only pro loss was a points defeat by Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.
- Povetkin has won eight fights in a row since that defeat.
- 24 of Povetkin's 34 wins have come inside the distance.
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