Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko: Betting odds and predictions

Telegraph Sport
Wladimir Klitschko shakes hands with Anthony Joshua - Getty Images Sport

The IBF heavyweight title is on the line on Saturday night as home favourite Anthony Joshua prepares to go toe-to-toe with Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium, London, in the most anticipated heavyweight bout in recent memory.

Will Joshua maintain the unbeaten start to his professional career or can Klitschko bounce back from his defeat to Tyson Fury and re-establish himself as the undisputed heavyweight champ?

We take a look at what the experts are saying:

Carl Froch

This could go one of many ways, but if I had to guess right I would say Joshua’s going to bang him out, he’ll just have too much for him.

He’s big and strong, and has the youth and ambition at 27 years old, which could prove decisive. 

But Klitschko is in position where his whole legacy is at stake and it’s Wembley stadium, it’s probably his last fight. He talks about being obsessed and all these things are bad news for Joshua. His lack of experience at world level could see him getting outboxed and outpointed, and shown up to be every bit the novice that he is.

Carl Froch is backing a Joshua victory but warns that the Briton's inexperience may count against him Credit: Getty Images

If Klitshcko is as motivated and obsessed with this fight as he says he is, which I can empathise with because I was in the same position when I fought Groves, then he can be a real threat.

Assuming Klitschko goes in with the mindset that I had of leaving no stone unturned because his legacy is at stake, then he has a chance.

That said, I expect Joshua to win by knockout, but not early. He will win with educated pressure, not just swinging wildly and missing because Klitschko will make him miss - he's been knocked out a few times and doesn’t like getting hit. He’s scared now, and even though he fights well behind his jab, if Joshua can put him under pressure with his feet without overworking and overloading himself then by rounds seven, eight and nine Klitschko should be showing every year of his 41-year-old body.

I expect Joshua to win, but I can see how Klitshcko can beat him.

Carl Froch was speaking at the partypoker MILLIONS Event, Dusk Till Dawn Nottingham. For information visit www.partypoker.com

Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko story grid

Lennox Lewis

When I lost for only the second time in my professional career to Hasim Rahman in 2001, the critics all insisted that it was all over for me. They said that’s it – he’s done.

The opposite was true. It re-kindled a flame that had been dwindling. I went back seven months later and knocked him out in the fourth round in the re-match. All I wanted to do was show the doubters that they were wrong.

Will that be the case with Klitschko? Will his defeat by Tyson Fury have re-lit his flame? Now Klitschko knows he has to work hard again. This could motivate him for one big night.

Lennox Lewis believes that Klitschko could be inspired by his defeat to Tyson Fury in November 2015 Credit: Reuters

This is Anthony’s time now, but its still hard to pick a winner. I don’t know [who will win] yet – but I will be able to tell you after two rounds in April.

We’ve seen a lot of Anthony Joshua’s fights but he’s knocked out everybody so I say what has he learnt? Where’s the experience? Wladimir’s almost up to 70 fights, so you’ve got the experience and the old and you’ve got the new and the strong – which one are you gonna take?

This may be a fight too many for Klitschko. AJ may walk all over him. Klitschko fell asleep in his last fight. Will he be asleep again or will he have been spurred to get his title back? That is why it is so intruiging.

If Manny [Steward - Klitschko's legendary former trainer who died in 2012] was still here, Klitschko would still be the champion, and he would be a better fighter. I would have made him the favourite to beat Joshua if Manny Steward was here.

As told to BBC Sport

George Foreman

[This fight] matches the old and the new, the aggressive and the smart

If I were a gambler, I'd see Joshua as a 6-5 favourite. So I'd put him just in front.

Klitschko knows how to win and how to use his body size. It will be a difficult fight. Klitschko's a good fighter. He has a good left jab and once you develop a good left jab, there's no such thing as your best days before or behind you, you are a fighter that can last forever.

If he wins the world title again - on my God, imagine that! If Klitschko wins, the boxing world will flip out.

As told to Sport Bild and Sky Sports

Two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman is going for a narrow Joshua victory Credit: Reuters

David Haye

You can only go by current form and the fight he had against Fury he refused to let his hands go. He couldn’t pull the trigger.

He’ll be 41 by the time the fight happens and he’ll have been out of the ring for pretty much 18 months. It’s terrible preparation for fighting someone so young and who’s been fighting so regularly.

The thing I worry about is the lack of punch volume from Klitschko. When he needed to, he put his foot down and there was no gas in the tank.

I’m not sure if he still has it. It’s the perfect fight for Joshua. It’s the perfect time.

Klitschko is still a big name in the division but Joshua is too young and too fresh, and his form is too good.

As told to Sky Sports

Deontay Wilder

My heart is for Joshua but my mind is always for Klitschko.

We can't count Klitschko out. I don't think Joshua has had the well enough training or experience for Klitschko in my opinion.

I'm not saying that Joshua would lose off that, but when you're fighting a certain type of calibre of fighters and then you move all the way up to the guy who at one point in time was the ruler of the division and held the belts for a long time, it's a big leap.

We will see, maybe they got an idea or a plan that they are going to stand by, we'll see what happens. It's great that those guys are fighting, just to get the ball rolling.

As told to ESPN

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is backing a Klitschko win Credit: REX

Hughie Fury

I do think it's a tiny bit soon for Joshua, but I do wish him all the best and I hope he wins. I would go with Klitschko with the experience. I just think it's a tiny bit too soon for Joshua. Definitely a knockout.

He [Klitschko] wasn't an 11-year champion for nothing. Like I say, you cannot rush into big fights like him, thinking 'yeah I'm just going to knock him over like every other man'.

He's not going to stand there to be hit. He's not had the experience to go with someone like him.

As told to Sky Sports

Eddie Hearn

I really feel that Klitschko will turn up the heat on AJ on fight week and do all he can to get in his mind. This is an absolute must-win for Klitschko and the mental lessons learned from the Fury fight may spur him to try and unsettle Anthony.

I watched Anthony spar 14 rounds last week with three different sparring partners. He is in a brilliant frame of mind and although this fight makes me extremely nervous, I am so excited to watch this all unfold.

Hearn was writing in his column for the Daily Mail

What are the odds?

  • Anthony Joshua to win: 2/5 
  • Wladimir Klitschko to win: 15/8
  • Anthony Joshua decision: 11/2
  • Wladimir Klitschko decision: 7/1
  • Anthony Joshua KO: 4/6
  • Wladimir Klitschko KO: 10/3
  • Draw: 33/1

 

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