By Scoop Malinowski
They may not be the two best heavyweights in the world today but they are the two most decorated, and famous. Anthony Joshua holds most of the title belts and is world renowned for his sensational, spectacular KO win over longstanding kingpin Wladimir Klitschko in front of over 80,000 in a soccer stadium.
Deontay Wilder, the mouthy American, has a shiny 40-0 record with 39 knockouts but virtually all of his victims were well over-matched or controlled by his advisor Al Haymon. Still, he’s a popular figure due to his villainous persona, his powerful punching, and his colorful penchant for making controversial public comments such as the absurd statement that he is better than the prime Mike Tyson.
The Brit and American possess contrasting styles and personalities. Joshua is a physical beast, thirty pounds heavier than Wilder and far more muscular and stoutly built from neck to feet. He is well spoken, humble, and a positive role model for the public. Wilder, from Alabama, is tall, thin legged, cocky, and prone to making outrageous comments. The 32 year old does have a very powerful punch and a dangerous style and his wild and wacky character plays an intriguing and interesting foil for the classy, dignified champion.
Their explosive styles and strong personalities will surely generate friction and tension both in and out of the ring, which is what the public clamors to see. Wilder and Joshua have not confronted each other in public in years though they have both spent time at Klitschko’s training camps in Europe. It is not known how the two got along.
But now the stakes are infinitely greater and millions of dollars are on the line. Both have qualities and attributes that will threaten the other. Wilder can hit as hard as anyone with his wild, long range, looping punches, especially the overhand right which appears to have the explosiveness to knock a man’s head into the fifth row.
But Joshua has said Wilder’s right hand is about the only aspect of the American’s arsenal that he is wary of, and he also added an interesting criticism of Wilder’s technical abilities. “His powerful punch doesn’t come with an uppercut, it doesn’t come with a peached left hook. It just comes with a straight right hand. So you eliminate one or two of his main weapons and I think, you know, you kind of chip the tree down with Wilder,” Joshua said last year.
Joshua is a more diversified fighter with a better variety of punches and combinations, despite having 21 fights compared to Wilder’s 40. Joshua has been tested by some formidable challengers, like Dillian Whyte, Carlos Takam, Klitschko and previously undefeated Joseph Parker in a unification bout this year. That’s how a fighter becomes great – by facing and overcoming the best.
Wilder has not done that, or been allowed to take risky fights by his management team, that´s why he is the underdog of the fight but let´s not forget that he has more experience in the boxing ring, making him an attractive wager with some of the best options to place bets online. Team Wilder’s top priority has been to protect their cash cow and only feed him longshot opponents, faded former contenders or flat out tomato cans. Yet Wilder has still struggled to impress, hence why he still earns about $1-2 million per fight and draws unimpressive crowds.
It all seems like another typical scenario of a dominant champion just annihilating an inferior, overrated challenger, like Lennox Lewis vs Michael Grant or Wladimir Klitschko vs Calvin Brock.
If Wilder finally does agree to face Joshua this year or next, the logical expectation is a one sided knockout win for Joshua. But as we all know about heavyweight boxing, one punch can change everything.