Raw, viciously powerful, awkward, utterly unpredictable and oh, so hard to train for Vs. composed, thunderingly powerful, steady and liable to gas out: which wins?
This is the heavyweight question that needs answering and soon.
It’s unbeaten Deontay Wilder, 39-0(38) and the reigning WBC heavyweight king against unbeaten Anthony Joshua, 20-0(20) and the reigning WBA and IBF king.
We’ve all heard the talk, we’ve been pelted with the hype and now we need to see, duh, the two men actually get in the frigging ring! It’s a simple proposition: these two NEED to get it on NOW.
The biggest and best heavyweight title fight showdown since the glory days of the 1990s, when greats Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield and George Foreman got busy giving the paying fans what they wanted to see – AJ Vs. The Bronze Bomber will be huge. When it happens.
Both guys have weapons, both guys have that feeling of being the best, both warriors have greatness in mind. But is there, in all reality, only one winner between the two? The knock on Wilder is that he “hasn’t fought anyone.” But let’s look at the quality of opposition Wilder has not only KO’d but has left in a quivering, twitching state of terrifying unconsciousness:
Siarhei Liakhovich – KO1
Malik Scott – KO1
Bermane Stiverne – KO1
Good fighters, all three never having been despatched so brutally, so embarrassingly, Liakhovich, Scott and Stiverne were wiped out by Wilder. When we look at how Scott later went the full 12 with the “avoided” and “dangerous” Luis Ortiz, it says plenty. And Liakhovich, a fine fighter who later went 12 with Andy Ruiz, had never been so mistreated as when he spent that short time in the ring with Wilder. Stiverne? He vowed ahead of Saturday’s rematch how “no-one will ever knock me out.” We know what happened.
Joshua has faced better quality of opposition, on paper at least – with Wladimir Klitschko and, somehow, Dillian Whyte (who looked about as bad as can be in labouring to a win over an extremely and frustratingly reluctant Robert Helenius on the AJ-Takam card) being looked at as top-tier heavies Joshua has vanquished. But although AJ has good wins, a superb fan-base and undeniable qualities, he has looked vulnerable in fights; being wobbled, hurt and tired on occasion.
Wilder has also been stung, wobbled, but never has the WBC boss looked gassed in a fight. As long as he’s in any fight, conscious and throwing bombs – awkward, unpredictable bombs launched from all angles, with Wilder having to be in no particular stance or even holding good balance – Wilder has a great shot at winning.
This is what separates him from Joshua.
You can put your money where you want when these two juggernauts collide, but my cash is going on the wild, raw, wholly unpredictable destroyer who is ready, willing and able to throw leather for as long as he has at least one leg under him.
Yes, Joshua may be a better, more aesthetically-pleasing heavyweight, but I’ll take the unexpected terror over the predictable menace any time.
Wilder knocks Joshua out when they finally meet.