Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko was a professional boxing match contested between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. The event took place on 29 April 2017 at Wembley Stadium in London, England, with Joshua's IBF and the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles on the line. Joshua, 27, won the match via technical knockout in the 11th round. Klitschko, 41, announced his retirement from boxing a few months after the fight. The bout was named Fight of the Year by The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America.
|Date||29 April 2017|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London, England|
|Title(s) on the line||WBA (Super), IBF and IBO heavyweight titles|
|Tale of the tape|
|Joshua defeated Klitschko in the 11th round by TKO|
It was announced in August 2016 that Joshua would be making a second defence of his IBF title at the Manchester Arena on 26 November. This would mark the first time since September 2014 that Joshua would be fighting in the city. Possible names put forward for the fight were top IBF contenders Kubrat Pulev, Bermane Stiverne, Hughie Fury and Joseph Parker. Former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko became the frontrunner after his scheduled rematch with Tyson Fury was cancelled for a second time.
Days after the Fury rematch was called off, Klitschko was approached by Eddie Hearn, who promotes IBF champion Anthony Joshua, to fight on 28 November date they had set for a second defence. Terms seemed to have been agreed for a $30m fight showdown although an initial contract was yet to be signed. After Fury gave up his world titles, it was said that Klitschko wanted the WBA title up for grabs in the potential match up against Joshua and waiting for approval, which the WBA kept postponing. A reason as to why the WBA was delaying sanctioning the fight was due them having a legal settlement with Lucas Browne so he could fight for the vacant title next. Klitschko then turned his attention to fighting Browne instead on 10 December, a date his team had an arena set for in Germany. A deal could not be finalized for Joshua vs. Klitschko, due to the WBA delaying a decision to sanction the fight and Klitschko injuring himself, which put the fight off completely. Klitschko said he would be looking to fight Joshua in the first quarter of 2017. Talks between the Klitschko camp and Hearn remained active with a fight set for the first part of 2017.
Bryant Jennings and David Price were the names being pushed forward to fight Joshua next, however it was announced Joshua would be fighting at the Manchester Arena defending his world title against former world title challenger Éric Molina (25-3, 19 KOs), who was coming off a stoppage victory against Tomasz Adamek, although being behind on the official scorecards. On 2 November, the WBA finally agreed to sanction a fight for their super title as long as Joshua defeats Éric Molina in December 2016. The fight was televised in the United States live on Showtime. After two one sided rounds, which saw Molina hardly throw anything, Joshua knocked Molina out in the third round.
Immediately after Joshua had defeated Molina at the Manchester Arena, Klitschko was invited into the ring by Hearn. It was announced that Klitschko and Joshua would face each other for the IBF and WBA (Super) titles at Wembley Stadium, London, on 29 April 2017. WBA president Gilberto J. Mendoza confirmed that the winner would have to face mandatory challenger Luis Ortiz next, with deadlines due to be set after the unification fight. It was then confirmed that the winner between Joshua and Klitschko had to face Kubrat Pulev next as the IBF's mandatory challenger.
In January 2017, Eddie Hearn announced that more than 80,000 tickets had been sold, a new box office record, overtaking Carl Froch vs. George Groves II. He put a request in for 5,000 more tickets to be made available. London Mayor Sadiq Khan cleared the way for a crowd of 90,000, equalling the British record of Len Harvey and Jock McAvoy set in 1939 and making it the biggest crowd for a heavyweight fight in 90 years.
Ahead of the fight, Joshua was regarded as the 6th best heavyweight in the world by The Ring magazine, while Klitschko was 2nd behind The Ring champion Tyson Fury. The website BoxRec had Joshua ranked number 1 in the heavyweight division. Klitschko was not ranked by BoxRec due to inactivity.
In front of a post-war record crowd of 90,000 in attendance, Joshua won by TKO in the eleventh round. They fought a close and cautious first four rounds. In the fifth, Joshua came out and barraged Klitschko to the canvas. Klitschko rose up and dominated Joshua for the remainder of the round, battering him and scoring his own knockdown in round 6. The next few rounds were again cautious, both men wary of each other, until a reinvigorated Joshua attacked Klitschko in round 11, sending him to the canvas. Klitschko again rose but Joshua knocked him down for a second time in the round, then sent a barrage of punches while Klitschko was against the ropes that made the referee stop the fight.
At the time of stoppage, Joshua was ahead on two judges' scorecards 96–93 and 95–93, and the third judge had Klitschko ahead 95–93. CompuBox stats showed that Joshua landed 107 of his 355 punches thrown (30%), and Klitschko landed 94 of 256 (37%). Joshua called out Tyson Fury in the post fight interview, "Tyson Fury, where you at, baby? Come on -- that's what they want to see. I just want to fight everyone. I'm really enjoying this right now."
After the bout, the fight was met with critical acclaim. Both fighters were praised for their performances, with many critics and fans believing that the fight lived up and exceeded expectations. The fight, according to The Economist, "will be remembered as a spectacular one, perhaps even as a classic, for its dramatic swings in momentum and the ferocity of the punching" and for waking heavyweight boxing "from a prolonged slumber" during the years of unrivalled Klitschko dominance. ESPN.com called it "the biggest heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis knocked out Mike Tyson". Associated Press called it "the biggest heavyweight title fight in more than a decade".
In the press conference after the fight, Joshua said he would have no issues with having another fight with Klitschko, "I don’t mind fighting him again, if he wants the rematch. Big respect to Wladimir for challenging the young lions of the division. It’s up to him, I don’t mind. As long as Rob thinks it’s good I’m good to go." Eddie Hearn said Joshua's next fight would likely take place at the end of the year, possibly at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. On 3 August 2017, Klitschko announced on his official website and social media channels that he was retiring from boxing.
|Heavyweight||Anthony Joshua (c)||def.||Wladimir Klitschko||TKO||11||2:25||Note 1|
|Featherweight||Scott Quigg||def.||Viorel Simion||UD||12||–|
|Lightweight||Luke Campbell||def.||Darleys Pérez||TKO||9/12||1:28|
|Women's lightweight||Katie Taylor||def.||Nina Meinke||TKO||7/10||0:57||Note 2|
|Super featherweight||Joe Cordina||def.||Sergej Vib||TKO||1/4||1:59|
The domestic television rights to the fight were held by Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view, while radio rights were held by BBC Radio 5 Live. In the United States, as rights to Joshua and Klitschko's fights have historically been held by the two networks respectively, an arrangement was made for both Showtime and HBO to hold rights to this fight. In a contrast to Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, which was broadcast via a PPV jointly produced by both networks, HBO and Showtime produced their own separate telecasts as part of their respective HBO World Championship Boxing and Showtime Championship Boxing brands, and Showtime beat HBO for exclusive rights to broadcast the fight live in the U.S. (where it occurred in the afternoon hours in the Eastern Time Zone). Likewise, HBO broadcast the bout on tape delay later in the night.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn stated that "it takes a special fight to break down barriers and boundaries but also networks and executives who believe in working with the best interest of fight fans in mind", and thanked both networks "for their perseverance and allowing America to see one hell of a fight at our national stadium."
In the United Kingdom, the fight set a domestic PPV record, with 1.532 million buys, exceeding the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. At a viewing price of £20 ($26), the Joshua–Klitschko fight grossed approximately £31 million ($40 million) in pay-per-view revenue. In total, the fight generated an estimated £50 million ($67 million) in revenue from all sources, including live gate, pay-per-view, and overseas broadcasting.
In the U.S., the fight averaged 659,000 viewers on Showtime; Nielsen reported that the fight peaked between rounds five and six with 687,000 viewers, beating a record for Showtime afternoon fight ratings previously set by Joshua. The delayed broadcast on HBO (which fell during U.S. nighttime hours) was seen by an average of 738,000 viewers and peaked at 890,000.
In a press release, German TV channel RTL announced the fight was watched by an average 10.43 million viewers. The whole card averaged 9.59 million viewers. This was higher than the 8.91 million that tuned in to watch Klitschko vs. Fury in 2015. It did lower numbers than Klitschko's win over Mariusz Wach in 2012, which was watched by 11 million and Klitschko vs. Haye, which was seen by over 16 million. In Ukraine, the match averaged 4.4 million viewers, becoming the most watched sporting event of 2017 in the country.
- Metro.co.uk, Coral Barry for (23 September 2016). "Hughie Fury has been approached by Eddie Hearn about fighting Anthony Joshua". Metro. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- "Anthony Joshua has announced the date and venue for his next fight, and people are already predicting victory". The Irish News. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Parker Ready For Anthony Joshua on 11/26 - If Fight is Offered - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko Fight in Play After Fury Withdrawal". Boxing News and Views. 24 September 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko Close to a Deal - Tha Boxing Voice". Tha Boxing Voice. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko date to be announced". The Independent. 16 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- WBN. "WBA decision on Joshua v Klitschko ruled out until Monday". WBN - World Boxing News. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Klitschko-Browne to clash for WBA crown? | Boxing News". Boxing News. 20 October 2016. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- WBN. "WBA decision on Joshua v Klitschko ruled out until Monday". WBN - World Boxing News. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- "Wladimir Klitschko wants to fight Anthony Joshua in March or April". Sky Sports. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- "Wladimir Klitschko Out of December 10 Fight With Injury - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Anthony Joshua set for spring bout with Wladimir Klitschko". BT.com. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- Jay, Phil D. "WBA resolution: Joshua v Klitschko sanctioned; Ortiz out; Browne v Briggs ordered". WBN - World Boxing News. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina a done deal for Dec 10? - Boxing News". 28 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- "Showtime to air Joshua bout Dec. 10 - The Ring". The Ring. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- Dirs, Ben (11 December 2016). "Anthony Joshua to fight Wladimir Klitschko after win over Eric Molina". Retrieved 11 December 2016.
- Elliott, Ryan. "Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko signed for April 29th". Boxing News TV. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
- "Anthony Joshua or Wladimir Klitschko will advance to meet Luis Ortiz, orders WBA". Sky Sports. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- "Luis Ortiz lined up to face winner of Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko fight". 20 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- "Joshua-Klitschko winner to face world-title dilemma". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Joshua vs. Klitschko - Over 80,000 Tickets Sold". Boxing Scene. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "JOSHUA'S CLASH WITH KLITSCHKO SELLS OVER 80,000 TIX". 16 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko to match UK attendance record". 27 January 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Heavyweight boxing is waking from a prolonged slumber". The Economist. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Ratings - The Ring". 11 February 2017. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017.
- "Joshua Gets Off The Floor, Knocks Klitschko Out in Eleventh - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "BBC Sport". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "Joshua rallies to stop Klitschko in 11th round". ESPN.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "Klitschko: The Best Man Won, It's Really Sad That I Didn't Make It - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "Anthony Joshua knocks out Wladimir Klitschko in heavyweight title fight – as it happened". Guardian. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- Mcintosh, Jane (29 April 2017). "Joshua takes on Klitschko in 90,000 sell-out Wembley boxing title fight". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- "Joshua rallies to stop Klitschko in 11th round". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Anthony Joshua KOs Klitschko in heavyweight dream bout". New York Post. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- "Joshua On Board For Klitschko Rematch, Principality Stadium Eyed - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "Decision". KLITSCHKO. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "KMG". k-mg.de. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Reddy, Luke (28 April 2017). "Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko: Step to greatness or will veteran Klitschko win?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
- "HBO and Showtime will share April 29 Joshua-Klitschko heavyweight telecast". USA Today. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "Showtime to televise Joshua-Klitschko live in the US". SportsPro. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Anthony Joshua vs Klitschko PPV Buys Are Mind Boggling". Boxing News and Views. 2 May 2017.
- "Weekly viewing summary (Sky Box Office Events buys in week ending 30 April 2017)". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- McKenna, Chris (31 March 2018). "Anthony Joshua to receive stunning record purse for Joseph Parker fight". Daily Express.
- http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/sky-sports-confirm-mayweather-mcgregor-breaks-uk-record-for-ppv-buys/ Sky Sports confirm Mayweather-McGregor breaks UK record for PPV buys
- "Here's how much Anthony Joshua made for his stunning Wembley showpiece". Joe. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Joshua-Klitschko Live Broadcast Drew 659K Viewers for Showtime". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "HBO's Replay of Joshua-Klitschko Peaked at 890K Viewers - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "Joshua-Klitschko produce ratings for Showtime and HBO : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA". mmapayout.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Ratings: Joshua-Klitschko pulls in 659k in US, exceeds 10 million in Germany". Bloody Elbow. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Бой Кличко на "Интере" стал самым рейтинговым спортивным событием года. Что будет дальше?". Inter. 3 May 2017.
- "KOMPAS TV on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
vs. Éric Molina
| Anthony Joshua's bouts
29 April 2017
vs. Carlos Takam
vs. Tyson Fury
| Wladimir Klitschko's bouts
29 April 2017
D12 Orlando Salido
| The Ring Fight of the Year
Canelo Álvarez W12