Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin Prediction and Analysis
Here we go again! Another exciting fight in the heavyweight division, we have Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin. No fights are going to be easy now for the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion. If you rather skip my analysis then you can jump straight to my final prediction.
We saw AJ win a unanimous decision in his last fight against undefeated New Zealander Joseph Parker, in which AJ fought in quite a cautious manner but still managed to pull out the win. Don’t get me wrong, Parker is no “walk in the park” but I was expecting AJ to hurt Parker more.
On the other hand, the tough Russian brawler Alexander Povetkin is coming off a 5th round KO victory over Liverpudlian David Price in what was a very crowd-pleasing fight. There wasn’t really much for Povetkin to prove in winning this fight, it was everything for Price to prove, so I can’t really give Povetkin much credit for winning this fight. However, Povetkin did get rocked by a sweet counter left hook in which the ropes held him up, but he quite rightly received a count.
Had this been a clean punch delivered by AJ, I’m sure it would have put Povetkin on the canvas, however, he would have got up. AJ is believed by many to be one of the biggest punchers in the heavyweight division, although I think his power is overrated. Nevertheless, he is still a big puncher!
Alexander Povetkin vs Wladimir Klitschko – 05/10/2013
In this intriguing match up we had undefeated Povetkin with 26 wins and 18 KOs stepping in against “Dr Steelhammer” Wlad Klitschko who had not lost a fight in 9 years and had been dominating the heavyweight division for quite some time.
This fight didn’t prove to be the test for Klitschko we were all hoping for. Klitschko won an easy unanimous decision in dominant fashion, all three judges scored the fight 119-104 to Wlad. Povetkin was knocked down four times by the champion and never really had Klitschko in trouble. Although a most of the knockdowns were more like a punch followed by a shove.
The whole fight pretty much consisted of Povetkin trying to come forward to close the distance, but Klitschko using his reach and height to keep Povetkin from landing anything significant. Every time Povetkin would get close, Klitschko would quite cleverly clinch so Povetkin couldn’t do much.
Povetkin seems quite one dimensional and doesn’t try new tactics if he’s not having success with his usual tactic. From this fight, we can see he’s quite durable and can take some punishment but would struggle with boxers who know how to utilise their height and reach.
Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko – 29/04/2017
A great exciting action packed match up where both AJ and Klitschko had a big hurdle ahead of them. First of all, let’s remember that Klitschko was 41 years old coming into this fight and coming off a loss from Tyson Fury and also inactive for 17 months. Joshua was definitely not fighting the version of Klitschko.
The first four rounds were pretty close with both guys being quite cautious. However, in the 5th round, Joshua started the round very aggressive which probably caught his opponent off guard. Joshua launched a vicious assault by throwing a barrage of punches for about 25 seconds before scoring a knockdown. Following on from the knockdown, Joshua appears to have gassed out and couldn’t do much else for the rest of the round, so Klitschko took over the remainder of the round.
In the sixth round we saw Klitschko return the favour by scoring a big knockdown of his own in which Joshua looked hurt. Joshua was also still gassed out from the previous round, therefore seemed like he was trying to survive for most of the round.
Rounds 7 & 8 seemed like more recovery rounds, more so for AJ since there wasn’t too much action. Rounds 9 & 10 Joshua must have felt he was down on the scorecards so he was more aggressive, both men landed more leather on each other, although Joshua probably slightly edged it.
Now we’re into the 11th, Joshua came out aggressive just like he did in the 5th, but he learned his lesson this time and didn’t punch himself out. AJ scored with a huge uppercut and scored two knockdowns and finished off Dr Steelhammer with a flurry of punches, when the ref decided it was enough.
What a fight! And what a massive learning curve for AJ. I’m sure he learned more from this fight than he has done in his previous 18 professional fights. AJ dug deep to win that fight but he wouldn’t want more of this type of fight and he also doesn’t have the best stamina. Nonetheless, he gained some invaluable experience in which he’ll carry forward with him in his future fights.
Alexander Povetkin vs Carlos Takam – 24/10/2014
Carlos Takam was coming into this fight with a record of 30 wins and only one loss back in 2009. He was also the younger man, so this wasn’t no walk in the park for Povetkin. On the other hand, Povetkin had also only suffered one loss from Mr Klitschko.
It was quite an even battle where the rounds could have gone either way in the first four rounds. Both men going back and forth, Takam used his speed and movement to land punches, whereas Povetkin used his pressure to land punches.
Things started to heat up from the 5th round, Takam’s movement slowed down so he was standing in front of Povetkin to trade punches. Povetkin started to outland Takam, although Takam was still landing some good shots of his own. Povetkin was starting wear Takem down, in the 9th it was pretty much the same, apart from the crushing right hook which sent Takem to the canvas right at the end of the round.
Going into the 10th Povetkin could sense that Takem was easy prey, it didn’t take long before the knockout blow was delivered. Takem was unable to get up, in fact, the ref didn’t even bother to count.
A good win for Povetkin, initially, he did have a bit of trouble with the speed and movement of Takam, but it’s difficult for a heavyweight to keep up that sort of pace for 12 rounds. Takam landed some good clean shots on Povetkin which he took very well and was never really in trouble, which proves how durable Povetkin is.
Had Takam been able to keep up the speed and movement it could have been a different outcome, nevertheless, he choose to fight how Povetkin likes to fight.
Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam – 28/10/2017
With Takam being 36 years old and having been knocked out by Povetkin three years earlier and losing a 12 round decision to Joseph Parker, it’s safe to say Carlos Takam was “damaged goods”. Joshua should have got the job done a lot sooner in my opinion, well I guess this is why I’m analysing this fight!
In the early rounds there wasn’t much action from Takam other than a charging “accidental” headbutt which appeared to have possibly broken Joshua’s nose in round 2. Joshua took his time picking his shots but no meaningful punches landed from either fighter.
More punches were exchanged in the 4th round with Joshua getting the better of Takam and scoring a flash knockdown. Takam had also sustained a cut above his right eye in this round. From the 5th through to the 9th round, Joshua is pretty much giving Takam a bit of a beating, with Takam throwing some back, but never having Joshua in trouble.
Finally, in the 10th round the ref steps in and decides Takam is taking too much punishment after Joshua unleashes a flurry of punches. Takam is still standing and fighting back, thus complains to the ref about the stoppage.
I knew Takam had a great chin and this fight proved it even more! Despite of that, Takam’s face was in a bit of a mess from the mid-rounds and Joshua should have really got him out of there. If he went for Takam the same way he did against Klitschko he would have got the stoppage win a lot earlier. It seemed Joshua was playing it too safe.
Was the stoppage pre-mature? I think it could have gone on the distance but Takam would have only taken even more of a beating. It’s a bit of a disappointing performance from Joshua since he could have properly stopped him.
When that first bell rings, it will be a feeling out process for more rounds than necessarily. Both fighters will be wary of each other’s power and will probably give each other too much respect. The undefeated champ will still try to keep the Russian at bay, however Povetkin will start to put Joshua under pressure and keep coming forward from round 4/5 onwards, as he’ll probably be down on the scorecards.
From the mid rounds Joshua will still try to keep his distance and fight on the outside and mid-range to leverage his height and reach. Povetkin will get peppered with jabs whilst trying to close the distance on the champ, at some point I feel AJ will score a knockdown but Povetkin will get up and won’t be too badly hurt. Remember, Povetkin was able to go 12 rounds with a much younger Wladimir Klitschko back in October 2013 and Klitschko is also a devastating puncher with an 80.9% knockout ratio at the time.
AJ won’t engage in the rough type of fight Povetkin would prefer it to be since that would be Povetkin’s best chance of winning. I do think Povetkin’s tactic will work for a very short while, where he could a shot or two that would get Joshua’s attention. However, because of how far Joshua would already be up on the scorecards, he’ll choose not to brawl and fight on the outside so it’s more difficult for the shorter man to get to him.
In the last three rounds, Povetkin will probably continue to try the same tactic as he wouldn’t know any other way to get through to AJ. I can’t see AJ risking it and gun for the KO, therefore I see AJ using the same tactic and fight at a distance where he has a reach advantage.
Keys to Victory
Although Anthony Joshua is the heavy favourite with the bookmakers, no one is invincible! There are ways to win for each fighter and here’s how I think each fighter can win.
Fight at mid to long range – This is where AJ will have a reach and height advantage, at this range it would be difficult for Povetkin to land anything clean.
Throw the 1-2 to keep him at bay – The jab straight two punch combo will be enough to keep Povetkin from coming close. However, this will get predictable after a few rounds, so by mixing this up with 3-4 punch combinations, this will catch Povetkin off guard and will allow the champ to land some more scoring blows.
Don’t get wreckless – I know, we all want to see a brawl but this is only going to mean Joshua will have to take some unnecessarily punishment. Povetkin will try to lure Joshua into a brawl, but Joshua must stay disciplined and fight a smart fight. At the end of the day, more punches to the head means more potential long-term damage to your brain, so I don’t think Joshua would want this!
Close the distance – Since Povetkin is quite a bit shorter at 6ft 2”, he’ll have to really try to close the distance and fight at close range. In order to do this, he might need to take a couple of jabs before he’ll be at his preferred fighting range.
Go to the body – Aiming for Joshua’s head will mean Povetkin will lose some reach as he’ll be punching upwards and Joshua will probably lean back quite a lot too to avoid punches. Therefore, going to his body will wear him down and make Povetkin less predictable with his attack. “Hit the body and the head will fall”.
Look for the counter – Eating jabs and straights all night won’t be fun for Povetkin if he’s trying to get on the inside. I think Joshua sometimes will come forward to attack too, this is a perfect opportunity to counter as Povetkin won’t be chasing Joshua, instead Joshua is going to be coming to him!
When I make predictions, I like to be more specific, rather than just saying the name of the boxer who I think will win. So, in this case my Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin prediction is going to be Anthony Joshua to win on points. Can’t see Joshua getting the stoppage win as Povetkin is too durable and as I mentioned earlier, AJ’s power is overrated.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have power he is still more than capable of stopping the tough Russian who has never been stopped before. I just don’t think Joshua is brave enough to step on the gas during the second half of the fight to get Povetkin out of there, as AJ wouldn’t want to take a few punches himself.
Currently, the odds for Joshua to win is 1/9 which gives you a really poor return as the bookies make him a huge favourite. However, if you bet on Joshua to win by decision or technical decision, you get 11/4, so in other words if you bet £10, you get back £37.50 which includes your stake. That’s not bad at all if you ask me!