Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua: Do big muscles matter?Written by Lee Cleveland
Some expect 27-year-old heavyweight IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua to easily defeat a presumably shopworn 41 year old former champion Wladimir Klitschko on April 29.
Anthony's youth isn't the only thing observers are considering heading into his superfight with Wladimir.
He's built like an Adonis and punches like a mule kicks.
Anthony Joshua is the perfect specimen, especially for a heavyweight champion.
But big muscles and impressive physiques don't always produce success in the boxing ring. While novice observers of the 'Sweet Science' and casual fans give bonus points to the more muscled fighter, he's not always the combatant with the technical or physical advantage.
"Many people think muscles are important in boxing," Vitali Klitschko told Sky Sports recently. "It's not. Everything is here, in the head."
"Wladimir has already big experience of fighting in an arena. He's used to fighting in a stadium, pressure from the crowd, from attention."
"It will be something new for Joshua and nothing special for Wladimir."
And Vitali is correct. A muscular fighter isn't always the better athlete or even the stronger of two combatants. In fact muscle, because it's dense and weighs more than fat, can work against a fighter by slowing him down and limiting his flexibility.
Wladimir's experience will be a key factor in this fight. Expect him to attempt to use his footwork, clinching ability on the inside and overall boxing guile to neutralize Joshua's explosiveness and power. However, despite his record of dominance, a 78 percent knockout ratio and the fact he's lost only one fight in 10 years, Klitschko is the clear underdog in this fight.
Will Wladimir be successful on April 29?
Thus far, Joshua, incredible physique and all, has been nothing short of spectacular in his career.
... But if Klitschko delivers a boxing lesson over twelve rounds or wins via a stoppage, it should surprise no one.
Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Broadcast: SKY Sports (UK); TBD in U.S.
Titles: WBA (Vacant), IBF
Champion: Joshua (IBF)
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.