IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) sees a victory over former heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko to opening the doors to him becoming a superstar in boxing. Joshua takes on Wladimir on April 29 at the Wembley Arena in London, England. Compared to the opposition that Joshua has faced up until now in his career, he’s taking a monstrous step forward in class by facing Wladimir in this fight.
Joshua has looked great in his first 18 fights of his career, but he’s not been truly tested by a good heavyweight. Wladimir may be the one that gives him the test. We’re going to have to see.
“This is a fight that can change me from champion to legend overnight,” said Joshua to skysports.com in talking about his fight against 41-year-old Klitschko. “It’s the fight that will get the masses out an draw massive attention and they’re the type of fights that can change the way that people view you in your industry.”
Joshua sounds very naïve and young in making these comments about becoming a legend overnight if he beats Klitschko. It normally takes a win over a legend to become a legend. Wladimir is not a legend. He’s not perceived that way by boxing fans. Wladimir is seen instead as a flawed fighter who held heavyweight titles during a weak era in the heavyweight division.
There was no Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield and Joe Louis for Wladimir to fight during his career. We saw Wladimir lose to the likes of Ross Purity, Corrie Sanders, Lamon Brewster and Tyson Fury. Those are not legendary fighters. Wladimir never avenged his losses to Sanders, Fury or Purity.
“This is the start of that legendary campaign,” said Joshua about his fight against Wladimir. “It’s about me beating the right people to go down in history.”
I have a feeling that Joshua is not going to remain at the top for long as a heavyweight champion. I think the success will wind up hurting his career, causing him to underachieve.