Klitschko vs. Father Time

By Robert Ecksel on April 24, 2017
Klitschko vs. Father Time
Anthony Joshua has been clocking contenders, but he’s a novice who has not been tested.

No man fights forever, not Bernard Hopkins, not George Foreman, not Archie Moore, and not Wladimir Klitschko…

Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in Wembley, London, United Kingdom, former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine, by way of Zhangiztobe, Kazakhstan, returns to the ring for the first time since his embarrassing loss to Tyson Fury in November 2015 to face IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs), from Watford, Hertfordshire, UK. Both the IBF and WBA titles are at stake.

When asked about the possibility of retiring should he lose to 27-year-old Joshua, Klitschko expressed his admiration for Bernard Hopkins. Clean living has its virtues. B-Hop’s longevity is legendary. If “The Alien” can regain a world title at the age of 48, why can’t “Dr. Steelhammer,” at the tender age of 41, do it as well?

One man who is willing to entertain the possibility of Wladimir retiring is his older brother Vitali, current mayor of Kiev.

“Wladimir right now is focusing on the fight,” he told Sky Sports. “He knows from this fight a lot depends on his future and his career.

“It’s the time to think about stopping and not fighting anymore, or continue his career.”

There are plenty of miles on Klitschko’s odometer. He had his first pro fight in 1996, following a long amateur career and lots of kickboxing action. But he has been slipping lately. At first it was gradual. Now it is accelerating. Win, lose or draw Saturday night, the end, if not near, must sooner or later come into view. No man fights forever, not Bernard Hopkins, not George Foreman, not Archie Moore, and not Wladimir Klitschko.

Klitschko admitted to being “obsessed” with regaining his former stature. He wanted to do it at the expense of Tyson Fury, whose stinging defeat still rankles. Failing that, Joshua is a fine replacement. He is young. He is big. He is strong and undefeated. He’s also wet behind the ears. Joshua has been clocking contenders, but he’s a novice who has not been tested.

“Wladimir knows he has to dominate,” continued Vitali. “Not to wait, to come in and show his performance. No other way. He knows that, I talked to him, many times. He knows that already well.”

The younger Klitschko has played it safe for years. He has protected that vulnerable chin of his like it was the gold in Fort Knox. He remembers the fights against Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster in 2003 and 2014 better than we do. But for him to “come in” and “dominate,” without Emanuel Steward in the corner, is a big ask. Klitschko will have to retool his instincts. He’ll have to rethink his approach to an ruthless game.

“Everything, his future depends on him, and that’s why if Joshua loses the fight, he has a lot of space, because of his age,” Vitali added. “He has a next time to fight, to try to be the world champion.”

The clock is ticking. Joshua is in his fighting prime. Klitschko is a revered elder statesman. Can the once and future old-timer turn back the hands of time? If any once and future old-timer can do it, it’s Klitschko.

“Wladimir doesn’t have a second chance,” concluded Vitali. “That’s why we expect full concentration from him and, of course, a good result.”

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Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko | GP Promo

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  1. Arthur Forman 11:16am, 04/30/2017

    prescient article
    Hayden Panettiere may have sapped his energy

  2. Koolz 05:21am, 04/27/2017

    He will have to get by Wlads Reach and when he comes in he will be hit with Wlads Right.
    This isn’t Wlad standing in one place trying to set and hit the guy.
    He is going to be using his feet.
    Wlad lost to Fury so you are basing Wlad off of Fury?  Fury is the Gypsy King he is a different Beast.  He would make Joshua look like a fool if he fought him.

    It’s an exciting match up and I really look forward to it!  It’s a Huge Stadium! 

    You cannot have the Universe with out having the Mind Into It.

    Learn to Quiet the Mind.

  3. AkT 03:48am, 04/27/2017

    This fight won’t go beyond 4 rounds. There will be a lot of surprised people afterwards. Wlad’s reaction to getting hit will be his undoing. AJ hits hard. Very hard.

  4. Koolz 11:17am, 04/26/2017

    Alt Knight

    no matter what you do it doesn’t effect you right if you don’t put your mind there.
    I have already done everything and was in Martial arts for over a decade and I took the Spiritual Awakening.
    But Keep it up!  If it works for you continue to do so through life.

  5. Alt Knight 06:26am, 04/26/2017

    Koolz..I do 5 sets of 20. I feel if I go for higher reps my form starts to suffer and I really want to explode out of the jump and do them explosively. I always include the pushup, and sometimes will include a pull-up every 4th or 5th rep. I will sometimes hold dumbbells, wear a weighted vest, etc. You can create all kinds of various burpees. Google an exercise called, The Man-Maker. It is even better than the burpee. I’m also running hills twice a week. Now if I can just fix my damn shoulders.

  6. Koolz 01:33am, 04/26/2017

    Alt knight a 100 Burpees!

    let’s do 10 of those then 10 pushups
    run in place for 1 minute then stretch every day.

    Do planks for 1 minute

  7. Alt Knight 02:35pm, 04/25/2017

    Koolz…Damn, that means that fitty is the new thirty. Glad to know that I’m the new 36, instead of the old 56, but my damn shoulders feel like their 110 years old. haha. Started a new program of 100 burpees a day, every day for 100 days on April 1. I’m starting to feel like a rooster again. Better than roadwork.

  8. Koolz 09:10am, 04/25/2017

    You are only as old as you think in your mind.  Your body will follow.
    40 is the new 20
    under this sky of stars.

    Wlad Knocks out Joshua.  Joshua can’t get close to Wlad because of his Jab and foot placement.  This isn’t Fury were talking about here.  This Joshua who fights in a straight line no matter how much fainting he does.

    The Gypsy King is something special in the heavy weight division.

    I can’t see Joshua not getting hit with that left all night by Wlad.  Then he Joshua will be tied up when they come in.

  9. Alt Knight 02:43pm, 04/24/2017

    Irish…haha. Nice.

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:02pm, 04/24/2017

    90.000 plus tight Brit sphincters whistling in unison when Wlad KOs Joshua will be magical sound indeed!

  11. nicolas 11:01am, 04/24/2017

    Since the passing of Stewart, Klitschko’s knock out power is not the same. He only stopped half of his opponents. Many were impressed with his victory over Pulev, perhaps his best p;performance since the passing of Stewart, but I felt the knockout was more due to what I would call Pulev[‘s devil may care attitude in that match. I noticed huge problems with Klitschko in his fight with Bryan Jennings, he seemed confused in the ring, especially the middle rounds. I felt before the Fury fight, that Fury would win. I based this on Fury’s size, and the Jenning fight. I see Joshua winning by early stoppage. Klitschko does however have a chance, if he can extend it, and does not get hurt badly early. A Klitschko win for me would say a lot more about Joshua then it would about Klitschko. Certainly the toughest opponent that Joshua will have faced so far, even if Klitschko is not what he once was.

  12. Alt Knight 07:32am, 04/24/2017

    I actually think the 10 year layoff from the ring benefited Big George. Not that George took much punishment during his first career, he was always the one dishing it out, and George usually didn’t have to fight very long back in those days. So despite the junk food, and excess weight, when George launched his comeback back in ‘87, he was probably a “young” 37 year old. Good nutrition and clean living aside, aging like everything else, is a genetic thing. Some of us just age faster than others. Much easier for a 40-something heavyweight than a 40-something middleweight or lightweight, since the big boys rely less on movement, speed, stamina and agility, but it still is quite an obstacle for a middle aged man to take on a man like Joshua in his physical prime. I’m hoping Wlad can pull this off and retire as champion. However, me thinks if Wlad does pull this off, a Fury rematch would be in order, providing Fury gets over his “depression problems.” But alas I’m thinking with me heart, in my head, I see Joshua winning this fight.

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