Klitschko vs Joshua will serve as Wlad's first bout in 13 months, when his 10-year win streak and heavyweight title reign came to an end in unspectacular fashion.
Taller and with a longer reach, a spry 6'9" Tyson Fury outboxed Wlad over twelve dismal rounds.
Wladimir had been training for an October 29th rematch showdown with Fury but that bout was once again cancelled as Tyson is on a hiatus from boxing to focus on drug addiction recovery.
Given Fury's inactive status and the fact he's been stripped of his titles, the winner of Wladmir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua will probably be viewed as the consensus heavyweight champion of the world.
So who do you like this fight?
WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder and former champ David Haye think Joshua's youth and athleticism will be too much for the 20-year-old presumably shopworn former champion but trainer Abel Sanchez, Gennady Golovkin's mentor, thinks Klitschko has the edge due to his vast experience iver his 24 year old foe.
What are the oddsmakers saying?
Klitschko vs Joshua odds
As of February 2, 2017. bet365 and skyBET have Joshua listed as a 2/5 favorite and Klitschko the 15/8 underdog. The odds have gotten a bit wider since this fight was in negotiatiosn last fall.
A first? Has Klitschko ever been an underdog? Perhaps this will be a first if it holds.
The odds: Accurate or perplexing?
A sure hall of famer, Wladimir Klitschko has faced better opponents and has made a successful living beating up top contenders, fight after fighter, year after year. Although not always entertaining, Klitschko was dominant throughout during most of his long reign as champion. In fact, Wladimir looked every bit of an all-time great in his prime when defeating Alex Leapai and Kubrat Pulev in 2014, not long ago.
Should he be the underdog?
Anthony Joshua is unbeaten and has looked superb but hasn't faced a fighter of Wlad's experience, athleticism and pedigree.
What are oddsmakers looking at?
At this moment, we know a lot more about Klitschko than we do Anthony Joshua. As a result, the odds are more reflective of sentiment of Wlad than Anthony.
Despite his record of dominance, a 78 percent knockout ratio and the fact he's lost only one fight in 10 years, rest-assured oddsmakers are placing a lot of emphasis on Wladimir Klitschko's last two performances and his age.
Klitschko vs Jennings
His April 2015 win over Bryant Jennings was a bout only non-violence advocates and Greenpeace would appreciate. Left jab, hold...Clinch....Left jab, hold...Clinch.... Left jab, right hand, hold.
After being repeatedly by referee Michael Griffin for clinching, Wlad was finally deducted a point in the 10th but it didn't matter because Klitschko's lone jab was more than enough to secure the win because some semblance of offense trumps no offense.
Klitschko vs Fury
And in his most recent bout against Tyson Fury, it was the same ol' story... Hit, hug and hold. Actually, Wlad was far worse that night, landing a dreadful 52 punches and 8 power shots in the entire 12 rounds.
Only in the final round did Klitschko, who had been told by his trainer six rounds earlier he was blowing the match, take a chance and start to unleash some heat on his foe. But Wlad's efforts were too little, too late.
There was little sense of urgency nor creativity, and the usually-careful Wladimir Klitschko took caution to a totally different level. Not only did Wlad fall short, the world class hunger and courage showcased by legends like Ali, Marciano and Holyfield was nowhere to be found in Wlad's arsenal that night.
On paper, Wladimir Klitschko should be the favorite. And rational thinking suggests Anthony may not yet be ready for a fighter of Klitschko's experience and polish. But it's obvious oddsmakers think Wlad's dismal performances in 2015 are no coincidence and that they are reflective of a fighter who is on the downslide of his career.
Is this what oddsmakers are looking at?