Joshua vs Klitschko odds: It's all about the intangiblesWritten by Joseph Herron
Saturday April 29, from the world renowned Wembley Stadium in London, England, current IBF Heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua will defend his coveted distinction against former universally recognized champion and future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua vs Klitschko, the scheduled twelve round contest, is slated to air stateside in a live presentation on Showtime Championship Boxing at 4:15PM ET, with an encore showing at 11PM ET/PT on Home Box Office. The highly publicized prizefight will be offered on SkySports Box Office for £19.95 / €24.95 in the UK, with a start time of 6PM BST.
Although the young, undefeated reigning champ will be fighting in front of 90,000 of his faithful supporters, will Joshua possess enough skill, experience, power and athleticism to get past his perceived toughest test to date, a 41 year old "Dr. Steelhammer"?
Odds-makers and handicappers seem to think so, but not with a resounding consensus.
Joshua vs Klitschko odds
Most Race and Sports Books have Anthony Joshua currently listed as a better than 2 to 1 betting favorite, or (-245), with Wladimir Klitschko listed as a very live 2 to 1 betting underdog, or (+205), at the time of publication.
But when the fight was first announced in December of last year, Joshua was listed as the slight betting favorite (-143), but since has increased a full point in the final weeks leading into the clamored bout.
Do the odds make sense?
Why the surge in favor of the current title holder?
While Wlad does indeed have the massive edge in experience and resume, A.J. is perceived to be the younger, fresher, stronger, faster and hungrier man in the aforementioned contest. And although the sport of boxing at the world class level has always been thought of as the "theater of the unexpected", conventional wisdom states that the sweet science is indeed a "young man's" game.
Does this logic apply to the Heavyweight division...especially when one examines the physical dimensions of the two fighters?
(Joshua vs Klitschko purses, net worth)
Both men are well conditioned athletes who stand 6'6" tall in the center of the ring. The two fighters also possess one-punch KO power in both fists, with Joshua stopping a perfect 100% of his previous opponents, and Wladimir knocking out an impressive 78% of his opposition. Both Joshua and Klitschko have roughly the same reach, and both seem to move fluidly around the ring with great athleticism.
So why is Joshua currently favored over the more experienced ring-legend?
The intangibles that aren't so easily noticed seem to be tilting the scales in favor of the younger man.
Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Broadcast: SKY Sports (UK); Showtime (U.S.), HBO (Delayed U.S.)
Titles: WBA (Vacant), IBF
Champion: Joshua (IBF)
Although the 27 year old, incumbent title holder ostensibly has yet to be tested against someone of Klitschko's ilk, most ringside observers point out the stark difference in both fighters' mentality in the ring, as well as their perceived durability.
In his limited but eventful 18 professional bouts, the mild-mannered Briton appears to be overwhelmingly more physically and mentally durable than his April 29 counterpart. Not only is Klitschko coming off a seemingly embarrassing loss to Ring Champ Tyson Fury, but Wlad has also been stopped within the distance twice prior to today's main event.
The future Hall of Famer also seems to possess a certain "reluctance" when engaging his opponent and letting his hands go in the ring, which will often result in a less than scintillating affair.
Then again...a young, almost 27 year-old Wlad Klitschko seemed to be an unstoppable force before running into the hard, straight left hand of avoided journeyman Corrie Sanders back in March of 2003.
Will Joshua prove his mettle in the ring against his perceived toughest test to date, or will A.J. get "Sniper-ed" in front of 90,000 fervent supporters this evening.
Anything can and often does happen in the "theater of the unexpected" that is the Heavyweight division of boxing...that's why they fight the fights.