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Joshua-Klitschko: A Double Commendation to Kick Off the TSS Award Season

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  • Joshua-Klitschko: A Double Commendation to Kick Off the TSS Award Season

    Click image for larger version  Name:	3FC1324600000578-4459294-Anthony_Joshua_v_Wladimir_Klitschko_IBF_IBO_WBA_Super_World_Heav-a-6_1493568993201.jpg Views:	1 Size:	180.0 KB ID:	5409

    BY JEFFREY FREEMAN

    Coming into 2017, boxing had a big problem. That problem was the year 2016.

    It had been a terrible 12-month period that produced no truly historic fights or impactful positive events. The Greatest Heavyweight Champion of all-time, Muhammad Ali, was laid to rest in Louisville after a long fight with Father Time. His contemporary, then lineal heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury, laid down his unified crown for an endless bite to eat.

    As the New Year 2017 opened, the heavyweight championship of the world was again vacant. Tyson the Troubled Traveller wouldn’t be rematching former champion Wladimir Klitschko as contractually obligated, opting instead to retire as the uncrowned Gypsy King…of Wlad Klit.

    This lineal vacancy opened the door for young Anthony Joshua; hulking Olympic Gold Medalist from Watford, England—and boxing is grateful that AJ, 20-0 (20 KOs), stepped through it to claim the ​true heavyweight championship of the world; winning our Fight of the Year in the Event of the Year.

    - - -

    While boxing suffered in 2016, Joshua was biding his time. Some thought it all might’ve been simply too much too soon for him. “When the red carpet is laid out for you,” explained Joshua of his rapid, four-year ascent from amateur to prospect to World Heavyweight Champion—to biggest money maker in boxing, “You can only walk down it with the experience that you have.”

    On Saturday night April 29 in London, England, Joshua’s meager 44 rounds of experience in just 18 bouts was enough for him to overcome the aging ex-champion Klitschko—but not without a fight-of-the-year effort for the ages from both gentlemen sportsmen. By way of comparison, Klitschko entered the bout at 64-4 (53 KOs) with a whopping 358 rounds of pro experience.

    In excess of 90,000 people turned out at Wembley Stadium to see it as if Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney were gloving up for a third go. In 1927 America, Tunney retired Dempsey in front of 105,000 souls in Chicago before making one defense of his heavyweight championship before also retiring. Klitschko is now in a state of retirement courtesy of Joshua who has already racked up one successful defense of the title against his own Tom Heeney, one Carlos Takam.

    The Fight

    Competing to not only avenge his ugly 2015 title loss to Tyson Fury, Klitschko, 40, now sought to show boxing fans and media alike that he could excite them rather than put them to sleep. To do that, Klitschko would need to engage at close range with a dangerous young power puncher in that power puncher’s U.K. backyard, quite an alien strategy to the safety-first Klitschko brother.

    It almost worked.

    The early rounds were tense and competitive. Olympian giants traded thick jabs and quick feints for six strategic minutes. In the third, Joshua started letting his very heavy hands go and Klitschko didn’t like it one bit, sometimes clinching and/or retreating from action.

    In the fourth, Klitschko answered AJ’s good third round, backing him up with right hands early; forcing the Big Brit to hold. As a sign of things to come, Joshua weathered the storm and by round’s end reclaimed the initiative. To make matters worse (later) for Klitschko, Joshua was now targeting the open body of “Dr. Steelhammer” whenever Klitschko lingered in-close too long.

    The fifth round was a sight to see. Joshua pressed his initiative and within 30 seconds of the bell to start the round, Klitschko was down on all-fours from a violent volley of punches.

    Klitschko got up quickly but his body moved slowly. Blood was leaking from a rip under his left eye. Desperate, Wlad loaded up with long languid left hooks, all of which Joshua easily ducked.

    Then BOOM! a clubbing right hand to the chin suddenly stiffened Joshua and all 90K of his countrymen must’ve wondered if AJ was nothing but the second coming of Frank Bruno. As weary as Joshua was late in the fifth frame, Klitschko couldn't finish him off or knock him down.

    That would soon change.

    The sixth began modestly. Joshua was still being cautious while Klitschko looked for one punch to end the fight. With two minutes left in the round, Wlad hammered a massive right to the chin of AJ who fell hard and fast onto his back like so many of Klitschko’s previous opponents. Up at the count of five, Joshua survived but it was hard to tell who the sixth round took more out of.

    The seventh opened to a fight still very much in doubt. An evenly fought heavyweight title bout this ​superb hadn’t been contested since Klitschko’s older brother Vitali challenged Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title in L.A. in 2003. Lewis won a bloody war on cuts but retired soon afterwards. For Klitschko to avoid a similar fate, the onus was on him to get AJ outta there.

    It didn’t happen.

    Ultimately, youth trumped experience. Old was outdone by new. The next Big Thing clobbered the last/less big thing. Sir Anthony triumphantly stopped King Klitschko in the eleventh round after a pair of dramatic crash knockdowns left Wlad unable to protect himself. American referee David Fields waved it off at 2:25 with Klitschko on the ropes taking a beating to the head and body.

    Passing The Torch

    AJ, the new Heavyweight King held court in the ring while a dejected but dignified Klitschko looked on. “I dig deep,” said Joshua. “Boxing is about character. When you go to the trenches, that’s when you find out who you really are so find out what you’re good at and keeping digging.”

    “The best man won and it’s a great event for boxing,” declared Klitschko after earning much new respect in London with his gutsy effort. “It’s sad I didn’t make it,” he said. “My plan didn’t work.”

    Checkmated, Klitschko soon retired.

    A short time before his legendary night in London, Joshua was asked about the future of heavyweight boxing (is there one?) and how he saw himself fitting into it. Can you beat Klitschko? Will you fight WBC champ Deontay Wilder? Is Fury coming back to fight you?

    Joshua countered like a champ.

    “Foreman fought Ali. Ali fought Frazier. Holyfield fought Tyson and Lewis fought Holyfield so I can't shy away from any of it,” he said. “These big fights are going to happen sooner than later. That’s why I prepare myself and train for ten fights ahead because it’s only going to get tougher.”

    One down, two to go for AJ.

    “What else am I going to do in 2018,” he says of the next Big Fight. “​Wilder doesn’t need a better performance to compete with me. He’s a heavyweight. He’s a champion. He’s winning and that speaks volumes. We give credit where credit is due so that will definitely be respected.”

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

  • #2
    I think AJ beats Wilder but I don't think Fury will ever get right to fight Joshua for all the marbles.

    Comment


    • #3
      Klitschko did good.....especially since he was mostly perceived as the living personification of the dreaded Ivan Drago, even though the well mannered doctor couldn't quite escape the stereotype of being the product of a combination of optimized breeding, biological advances in sports science and arcane pharmacutical enhancements willfully engineered by a malevolent Stalinian society bent on displaying its athletic superiority to a cowering international field of opposition.
      but Wlad finally made peace with his detractor and critics by passing the torch in the only way it should be presented to the next King. (With full honors)

      By having it ripped away from his clutching, iron grip in the most violet way possible.

      Now the glory and the burden shifts to another Gladiator....another giant who won't advocate his kingdom easily.

      While a jester, a charlatan, or possibly a deadly assassin - unfolds dangerous schemes to usurp his position.... lurks unhidden and in full view of the starving (for action) masses...while trumpeting his arrival wrecklessly and advertising his intentions of usurping the throne.

      I got a ton of pleasure watching Wilder climb into the ring and theaten Ortiz to his face while slapping the Cuban Destroyer on the other cheek with a chain mailed gauntlet of disrespect

      No doubt Ortiz, who has been in exile for 4 years was more delighted and amused than offended by Wilder's offering of dark prophesies.

      TSS scribe Flo Lo asked if Wilder's Team knows something we don't. No doubt the fraternity of fighters have more covert-operators, better espionage technologies, and more double agents than the CIA.

      I seriously wouldn't doubt if Ortiz wasn't being wiretapped and Shelly Finkel even hired a top notch interpreter.

      Being a very proficient cook myself. ...I can tell within hours of the exact moment when meat or produce is on the verge of spoiling.

      Can it be true that practioners of the sweet science possess a heightened sense of smell to enable them to more easily detect when someting is ROTTEN?
      Or could there more to Wilder than his 100% KO's percentage over dubios opposition suggests?



      What better way to relinquish the throne with full honors while garnering the accolades and respect of an entire planet. Even more fitting for a giant who left upwards of 50 men, ...some who were true warriors ....senselessly, reeling, and struggling to become once again perpendicular to the canvas ....or simply surrendering without protest while slumping in disbelief in their beleagured corner's? (Farewell Doctor Steelhammer)
      Last edited by brownsugar1; 12-28-2017, 01:01 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        This was no doubt the event of the year. 90,000 fans at Wembley and a worldwide audience watching the event that was shown on two different US outlets (okay one tape delayed but still...). It was a great heavyweight fight that had me and many others on the edge of their seat throughout with several dramatic shifts in momentum. And an emphatic ending that gave us a proper passing of the torch to a budding superstar.

        Event of the year it was without question. In my estimation, Aleem-Khrrtov is hands down fight of the year for the sheer action and drama. If that fight had taken place from October to December, every publication would have it as FOY. But because it was January on the first major card of the year, it got quite forgotten as the year went by. But it shouldn't and that should be the fight of the year in the sport.

        Comment


        • #5
          Joshua vs WK was a big event and a nice scrap but don't forget who the lineal heavyweight champ is. Whether Fury gets back to form or not , don't forget that he went into the lion's den and shut out WK just like Billy Joe did to Lemieux.

          Comment


          • #6
            Fury willfully vacated whatever title claim he once had right?

            Comment


            • DEEPWATER3
              DEEPWATER3 commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't know if willfully is the right word but the lineal title is still with Fury until he is beaten in the ring. All the active belt holders know that an in shape Fury is serious business.

          • #7
            This fight would have been better if Klitschko took a tuneup against Lucas Browne or Robert Helenius before the Joshua fight! He was inactive for 18 months!!! His promoter Tom Loeffler refuses to comment to my inquirry! That was a real bullsh... move!

            Comment


            • #8
              I wonder how much time Fury has to clean up his act until the fickle sanctioning bodies lay down the law. (Or make up a new one?) Fury fessed up to having a raging coke addiction,(which can happen when someone suddenly becomes a multi-millionare)... He failed a PED test,.... and he's been seen traveling with more psychiatrists and head shrinkers than Kyanne West. Similarly to what has been asked by a thousand other inquiring fans..... Can Fury even regain his once exemplary talent and enter the ring with enough ambition and drive to win at the highest level?

              The physical and psycological damage, including to his reputation has essentially reduced the Tyson aura of invincibility and levelled the playing field. He'll never again be what he was, but can he summon enough to keep what he's got?....namely his dusty title?

              If Fury struggles with Mr"Lets Go Champ" ....I'll be extremely concerned about his prospects continuing to as a professional boxer.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by brownsugar1 View Post
                I wonder how much time Fury has to clean up his act until the fickle sanctioning bodies lay down the law. (Or make up a new one?) Fury fessed up to having a raging coke addiction,(which can happen when someone suddenly becomes a multi-millionare)... He failed a PED test,.... and he's been seen traveling with more psychiatrists and head shrinkers than Kyanne West. Similarly to what has been asked by a thousand other inquiring fans..... Can Fury even regain his once exemplary talent and enter the ring with enough ambition and drive to win at the highest level?

                The physical and psycological damage, including to his reputation has essentially reduced the Tyson aura of invincibility and levelled the playing field. He'll never again be what he was, but can he summon enough to keep what he's got?....namely his dusty title?

                If Fury struggles with Mr"Lets Go Champ" ....I'll be extremely concerned about his prospects continuing to as a professional boxer.
                Each day that goes by is a day of deterioration. At some point he hits the point of no return. What a shame. He had/has the goods.

                Comment


                • #10
                  If Fury really did have "the goods" he'd have stopped Klitschko and made three defenses by now.

                  As it turned out, he lived out the dreams of Shannon Briggs and then went off and got fat as phuck.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Briggs is still better than any of Wilder's opponents and would give Wilder a good test if not clip Wilder in the first round. Straight punches land before wide looping punches.

                    Fury had the goods and shut out The defending champion on foreign soil. Boxing to orders instead of getting sloppy and going for the KO is very impressive too me.

                    If Fury makes a successful comeback it will be a historic story for the ages. A born fighting man is a born fighting man, it won't be the first or last time a boxer goes on a bender.Fury can lose the weight and be Fine, he is still a baby.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I hope Fury has something left to offer.

                      He is a needed part of this heavyweight puzzle.

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