Joshua comes of age. Klitschko shows his

By G.E. Simons on April 30, 2017
Joshua comes of age. Klitschko shows his
Leo Tolstoy once wrote that “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Anthony Joshua was hurt but he toughed it out. He was down but he got up and regrouped. He tasted his own blood but spat it out…

Beneath the illuminated arch of Wembley Stadium and in front of 90,000 spectators, a post-war British fight attendance record, Anthony Joshua came of age and Wladimir Klitschko showed his, as the former claimed victory and added the vacant WBA and IBO titles to the IBF version that he already holds.

Boxing is a science, the sweetest of science and science is defined as the intellectual activity which establishes knowledge through observation and experiment.

And while aging fighters might experiment with the alchemy of time and tide, we can only observe what they can’t, through the painful knowledge that has been established across the pugilistic decades.

Leo Tolstoy once wrote that “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” and both were interwoven throughout the fabric of the fight narrative in London on Saturday night.

Time and timing were everything in this defining heavyweight encounter.

Time in the years that make up the ages of 27 and 41. Timing in terms of Tyson Fury’s recent capitulations following the time of his life in Düsseldorf back in 2015.

And ultimately, the timing of Anthony Joshua’s thunderous uppercut in the 11th round which sent a Halo of Ukrainian sweat into the night air and started a countdown clock which ended the fight with 38 seconds remaining.

This was quite a spectacle which not only entertained beyond expectation but answered every question that we had going in. Before posing new questions in terms of the tantalizing ramifications that the result has on the broader heavyweight landscape across New Zealand, the US and Furyland.

The chinks of fallibility that Wladimir Klitschko was beginning to show in his victory over Bryant Jennings in 2015 before the befuddlement inflicted upon him by the tactically perfect Tyson Fury in Düsseldorf seven months later weren’t off nights but the beginnings of the inevitable when a fighter reaches 40.

There are one or two Alien exceptions to that inevitable of course, but they really are exceptions.

Anything other than a deserved retirement, Hall of Fame induction and increasing reverence as the years pass would add nothing to and prove unfair on the younger Klitschko’s heavyweight legacy, which only Joe Louis bettered in terms of heavyweight title defences with 25 over the Ukrainian’s 18. 

It would also be very easy to critique Anthony Joshua’s performance on the night but it would be very unfair to actually criticize him.

“As I said, I’m not perfect but I’m trying. And if you don’t take part you’re going to fail.”

So said Joshua in his post-fight interview and he’s right, he is trying and through his strenuous endeavour against Klitschko, he has also learned on the job and learned big.

Heading into what became the defining 11th round, the judge’s scorecards offered no controversy. Don Trella saw Joshua leading by 96-93, Nelson Vasquez also favored the British fighter at 95-93, whilst Steve Weisfeld favored Klitschko by 95-93.

But however you add those numbers up, the pure mathematics of the outcome is that Anthony Joshua truly came of age, where the reckless fearlessness of young manhood was that most natural of forces which proved yet again that boxing careers are all about trajectories.

The baton has now officially changed hands but before Klitschko would let go, he truly tested the mettle of his successor’s credentials to run with it, a grip that imparted 33 minutes of invaluable education to the victor. 

On this historic night of the heavyweights, Anthony Joshua fought a live opponent but was alive to it. He was hurt but he toughed it out. He was down but he got up and regrouped. He tasted his own blood but spat it out. He ran out of ideas but then found some. He relied on his power… and ultimately, he was right to do so.

Sometimes that is enough, especially when you are young.

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  1. AkT 02:59am, 05/03/2017

    @Irish - sounds like you lost some money. These guys gave their all that night. It was a most entertaining event delivered after months of toil, sweat and incredible ardour. What Wlad accomplished that night at age 41 was totally unprecedented. He was at the most offensive he had ever been for the last 10 years. AJ looks stiff and rigid but people fail to realise how sharp his reflexes are. Wlad found that out on Saturday. They both deserved credit. Let’s not diminish their efforts. They gave one of the best nights of boxing we’ve had in a very long time.

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:14pm, 05/01/2017

    Dear Wlad, One more thing…..did you really think that 250 pound slab of muscle wasn’t gonna go all out and bum rush you and literally try to pound you into the canvas as part of the fight plan?! The two times he had the energy to do it that’s just what he did….early when he was full of piss and vinegar and late after you did everything to help him to recharge short of giving him mouth to mouth! Why not do it, knowing full well that you would shell up and he would have carte blanche to pound the shit out of you up and down with those heavy ass blunt instruments he calls arms?!

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:52pm, 05/01/2017

    Dear Wlad, While we’re on the subject….stop that Goddamned fencing with your left….just stop it! We know why you do it these days….. you’re not using it as a measuring stick to tee up someone’s chin like in the good old days….these days it’s your early warning system to let you know when someone is getting too Goddamned close to your chin! You said you couldn’t land your hook because Joshua was defending too well against it….no….Goddammit it’s because you were too busy fencing (actually waving) with your left….that’s why you didn’t land even one decent hook through almost eleven rounds!

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:21pm, 05/01/2017

    Dear Wlad, You said you thought Joshua was finished after the sixth….here’s what I’m thinking….out of the 90,000 plus at Wembley and the millions around the world that were tuned in you were probably the only one thinking that! I can tell you this…..the people who bet hard to come by money on you to win by KO no less, sure as fuk weren’t thinking that!

  5. Lucas McCain 10:26am, 05/01/2017

    Funny headline.  As for Fury’s “challenge”/publicity stunt calling out AJ, does anyone take it seriously?  I imagine the board at Ring Magazine is squirming and feeling trapped by still recognizing him after he twice ducked VK.  Who would sign to fight him and train 3 months, or put up the money for a big promotion, only to have him bail out at the last minute?

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