Boxing fans will be well aware that this weekend sees British heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua return to action at Wembley Stadium against the controversial Russian Alexander Povetkin. Povetkin earned the chance to fight Joshua after knocking out another British heavyweight, David Price, in spectacular fashion on the Joshua v Joseph Parker undercard in Cardiff in March.
Povetkin landed the fight after negotiations between Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles and Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC version, broke down. Povetkin was a mandatory challenger for Joshua and that fight was arranged instead, with Wilder eventually agreeing terms to defend his WBC title against the former unified champion Tyson Fury in November this year.
Before we take a look at how the fight will go and what the best bets are for the bout, let’s learn a little more about each of the boxers.
Joshua v Povetkin Tale of the Tape
|Alexander Povetkin||Tale of the Tape||Anthony Joshua|
|Kursk, Russia||Born||Watford, England|
|Sep 2nd 1979||Date of Birth||Oct 15th 1989|
- Joshua has a significant height advantage over Povetkin and 7” greater reach than the Russian.
- Povetkin’s only defeat on his record came in October 2013, when he lost to Wladimir Klitschko when challenging for Klitschko’s belts. The fight took place in Moscow.
- The only boxer to survive the full distance against Joshua is New Zealander Joseph Parker, with Joshua winning a unanimous decision in his last bout in March. With that win, he also claimed Parker’s WBO Heavyweight World title, to add to the IBF, IBO and WBA titles he had won previously against Charles Martin and Wladimir Klitschko.
- Both are previous Olympic Games Gold Medal winners at Super-Heavyweight, with Povetkin landing his gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and Joshua winning his eight years later in the 2012 games in London.
- Povetkin was previously suspended for failing a drugs test for which he served a ban from the end of 2015 through to the middle of 2017. He has since been reinstated.
- Povetkin is known as a heavy puncher, though he has only two first round wins on his record and a 69% KO rate. In comparison, Joshua has a 95% knockout rate in his fights and has won in the first round on five occasions. Joshua has only been taken beyond six rounds in five fights in his career so far.
How will the fight unfold?
It is fair to say that both of these fighters have explosive power and it is for this reason that many seasoned boxing experts have warned Anthony Joshua that Povetkin is arguably the toughest fight he could take at this moment in time, given what Joshua has to lose should the Russian take the win.
Certainly, Povetkin was impressive when knocking out David Price in March, but it is also worth noting that the big Liverpudlian heavyweight did have Povetkin in trouble at the end of the third round but could not push home his advantage to claim the win. Povetkin rallied from there and knocked Price out in devastating fashion later in the fight.
In contrast, following his victory over Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua has put in two less than stellar performances as the champion, defeating Carlos Takam in somewhat plodding fashion and then he was taken the distance for the first time in his career by Joseph Parker in his last fight, although he did win the bout by a unanimous decision.
Both boxers have shown that they can get hit and climb up off the canvas to win in the past, however both will be wary of the power that each other possesses and as such, I think this will be a fight that is a slower-burner and it may well take until the middle rounds before one or other of the fighters begins to hold an obvious advantage.
For me, that advantage is likely to be Joshua’s as he is the bigger man and he has a larger reach, enabling him to use his jab to keep Povetkin at distance. The Russian is going to have to try and close that and get close to Joshua to try and land his scoring shots, but that does open him up to Joshua’s power shot, particularly the uppercut which was the beginning of the end for Klitschko in their fight last year.
Like I said, I would not expect to start to see someone dominating the fight until we get beyond the third or fourth round, but by then I expect Anthony Joshua to have established dominance in the fight primarily with his jab. He’ll need to be cute and clever to avoid Povetkin’s big punches when the Russian comes in, but if he can do that, he should have the opportunity to land damaging punches of his own.
As such, I think Anthony Joshua will win this fight at some point between the fifth and seventh rounds, probably by a TKO or a KO.
Top Bets to back on Joshua v Povetkin
If you are looking for some great value bets to back on the Joshua V Povetkin fight then bet365 Sport has a number of alternatives.
Fight Outcome – Joshua to win by KO, TKO or DQ – 4/11
The power of the British heavyweight is such that the bookies don’t feel that this fight will go the distance and a Joshua win by KO or TKO is most likely. Interestingly, Povetkin is a 9/1 chance to win by KO, TKO or DQ, which is interesting given the power the Russian possesses in his punches.
Round Group Betting – Joshua to win in Rounds 4-6 – 10/3
I’ve already stated that I think it will take a couple of rounds for both boxers to settle down and the rhythm of the fight to be established, but I think once that happens, Joshua will take control and I think this option is a good value bet with bet365.
What Round will the Fight End? – Round 6 – 9/1
If you fancy being more specific you can bet on what round the fight will end in with bet365 and having looked at all the stats available, I feel that a solid choice is to back the fight to finish in the sixth round, which is a 9/1 shot with bet365.