World heavyweight boxing returns to Wembley Stadium on Saturday night with Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin.
Russian Povetkin is the WBA mandatory challenger but Joshua’s IBF, WBO, and IBO belts will be up for grabs as well.
It’s a bout on home turf for Watford-born Joshua who won all 11 bouts he fought previously in London. AJ won eight of those fights by TKO with the other three ending as KO’s.
This is his first fight at Wembley since beating Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, a win which took him to 19 – 0.
Povetkin mostly fought in his native Russia in recent years but last time out, he travelled to Cardiff and beat David Price on the Joshua – Parker undercard.
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin Tale Of The Tape
|Height||6’ 6” (2.0 m)||6’ 2” (1.88 m)|
|Reach||82 in (208 cm)||75 in (189 cm)|
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin Last Time Out
Anthony Joshua travelled to Cardiff, beating Joseph Parker by unanimous decision.
Alexander Povetkin was also in Cardiff, stopping David Price in the 5th round.
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin: The Big Fight
Anthony Joshua isn’t taking anything for granted. While he has significant advantages in both height and reach, AJ was quick to tell the media that “It’s not the height of the man, it’s the fight of the man.”
Joshua, always polite and respectful toward his opponents, is letting the media and boxing world talk about a unification bout with Deontay Wilder. The American claimed that in life he and Joshua “don’t need each other” but world boxing does: “one champion, one face, one name.”
That will have to wait. Povetkin, Olympic gold medallist in 2004 and former WBA champion, is being given the utmost respect. With good reason; he beat Ruslan Chagaev for the title in 2011 and successfully defended it four times, all by stoppages, before succumbing to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 in a unanimous decision.
Since then, it’s been eight wins with six by KO and claimed the WBA Continental and WBO international heavyweight titles. Add this to 125 amateur fights of which he lost just seven. Povetkin is an experienced fighter.
This is far from a straightforward bout for Joshua.
It’s a point acknowledged by his camp. They know the Russian is used to fighting taller men and his inside game is something the Briton must be wary of. Povetkin is likened to a bulldozer, compact and moving forward powerfully, well-protected against incoming blows. That only Klitschko in his prime beat him which gives a strong indication of the durability of his chin.
The Ukrainian offers Joshua a template for victory. As Povetkin came forward, Klitschko stopped him with a solid jab and when the Russian got through, he found himself bound in a web of clinches. Has he learned from that defeat?
Or has Joshua picked up the lessons from his encounters with other fighters who were shorter than himself? Parker, Takan, and Whyte all gave him significant problems, including the former of that trio who is, so far, the only opponent to take Joshua to decision.
One of Joshua’s sparring partners Richard Towers doesn’t think this is an issue. While Povetkin “hits harder than people realise”, Joshua will be able to hurt him with body shots.
But let’s leave it to Joshua for the reason he will win:
““I am the No. 1 in the division, I ain’t got to show anything.
“Name me a fighter that has a better record than me after 22 fights? Ever since the amateurs, nonstop I have been on top of my game.
“I proved myself time and again at the top level. If people aren’t satisfied with it now, they never will be. Look at Floyd Mayweather. They are never happy with him and he is one of the greatest of all time.
“History is all that matters. I will prove myself.”
And the betting markets agree with him. Joshua is heavily odds-on favourite, more so than in many of his previous bouts. This weekend is the time for him to live up to the hype and make a Wilder fight inevitable.
Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin Betting Tip
Despite the obligatory caution, it’s hard to see Povetkin emerging victorious. While height and reach are dismissed in some quarters, Joshua possesses a boxing intelligence which can’t be underestimated.
Povetkin, according to Towers, isn’t as big as he once appeared and while his stamina is unquestioned, with 11 years of youth in his favour, Joshua certainly has the ability to up the tempo in the early stages to slow his opponent down.
AJ has the power to trouble Povetkin and with his ability to land good punches, our tip is for Joshua to win in over 7.5 rounds @ 20/23 with Novibet.