Joshua v Klitschko betting tips: Five bets to consider for heavyweight clash


Top tip: Wladimir Klitschko rounds 7-12 – 7.00 

If Anthony Joshua doesn’t stop Wladimir Klitschko in the first six rounds, he’s in trouble. Remember, Klitschko has gone 358 rounds of professional boxing compared to Joshua’s 44. I watched AJ’s seventh-round stoppage against Dillian Whyte from ringside in December 2015 – the furthest he’s gone as a pro – and I saw a tired, disillusioned fighter who bailed himself out with his sheer power.

If he gets dragged to that stage again and Klitschko is opposite him, we’ll find out just how good Joshua really is. Can he carry that huge muscle weight around without getting exhausted? Can he keep his composure in the ‘championship rounds’? Can he preserve his energy if he has to start soaking up some punches? We know Klitschko can. If the Ukrainian can bypass the half-way point, it’s his fight to take over.

 

Anthony Joshua rounds 1-6 – 2.88 

Of course, this is heavyweight boxing, and one punch can end a fight at any stage. Joshua shouldn’t take inspiration from how Tyson Fury ended Klitschko’s reign and must instead focus on what got him into this position in only his 19th fight – his raw power. Fury beat Klitschko with agility, unorthodox movement and precise punching from surprise angles. 

Joshua is much more flat-footed and doesn’t boast the same ring generalship as Fury, so he must stick to what he’s good at; this is not the time to experiment. If he can tag Klitschko clean as a whistle, it’s hard to see how any man – even one of the Ukrainian’s size – could withstand it. 

However, the Klitschko jab (arguably one of the best in heavyweight history) could continually tag AJ as he advances, so the pre-fight favourite may have to be more patient and adaptable than usual when finding his range. That’s why rounds five (12.00) and six (12.00) are the most likely stanzas for a Joshua win by knock-out, according to Unibet’s odds.

 

‘No’ on the fight to go the distance – 1.29

For those who prefer to stake big on short odds, this price is a gimmie. Applying the above theories – Joshua to blow Klitschko away in the opening half or burn himself out in the second – surely there’s no way this one is hearing the final bell? If it does, it will most likely have been an absolute borefest with Klitschko the winner (7.50).


 

 

Wladimir Klitschko to be knocked down and win – 11.00

Klitschko has been on the deck as a young fighter so it’s feasible he’ll find himself on the canvas as a veteran, with Unibet’s odds of 1.57 suggesting it’s more likely than not (2.30). Again, applying the aforementioned theories of Joshua likely being the stronger fighter in the first half and Klitschko stronger in the second half, the 41-year-old Ukrainian may have to pick himself up before taking over. 

It’s not uncommon in fights of this magnitude. Indeed, this is probably boxing’s biggest fight since Sergey Kovalev verses Andre Ward late last year, when the power-punching Russian had the punch-perfect American down in round two before letting his lead slip as the fight wore on, losing the decision. A similar tale in Wembley is good value at 11.00.

 

Wladimir Klitschko to be disqualified – 101.00

Okay, hear me out on this one. If this fight really is a changing of the guard and Klitschko finds himself overwhelmed, he only knows one way how to deal with being flabbergasted – the clinch. He’s not called ‘Clinchko’ in some quarters for nothing and his not-so-endearing style is one of the big reasons why he’s never been a big hit in the United States.

The referee for this fight, David Fields, is an American and does have previous with disqualifying fighters, with Roberto Acevedo losing his fight with Ray Robinson by DQ in 2007 for excessive fouling. Obviously, the clinch is not a foul, but excessive use of the clinch is. Might it become the only way for Klitschko to hang on? It’s a long shot to come in, but by no means out of the question, so at 101.00 it is worth a (very) small stake.