It’s not the blockbuster bout he or the public wanted, but Anthony Joshua steps back into the ring against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night.
Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO titles will be on the line at Wembley. And to get the lowdown on the fight, we spoke to our boxing trader Tommy Young.
Ladbrokes News: There was plenty of talk about Joshua taking on Deontay Wilder before this fight got announced. Why is he taking on the Russian instead?
Tommy Young: The Wilder fight looked to be on and both sides were making a lot of noise, but they couldn’t agree terms and so now Joshua is facing his WBA mandatory challenger in Povetkin and Wilder will probably face Tyson Fury.
LN: Povetkin doesn’t have Wilder’s reputation, but could this still be a good fight?
TY: Everyone is down on the fight and that’s understandable when the biggest fight in boxing seemed so close. However, this is a good bout. Povetkin is one of the top heavyweights and it will be pretty impressive if Joshua comfortably beats him.
LN: AJ’s the clear favourite here. What sort of form is he in?
TY: Joshua is 1/10 for the fight and 4/11 to win by stoppage. Last time we saw him he beat Joseph Parker by unanimous decision to add the WBO World Title to his IBF and WBA straps. It was the first time he’s failed to stop an opponent, but he never looked in trouble.
However, I think the fans were hoping for more after his slightly disappointing performance against the unfancied Carlos Takam. He only got the stoppage there because the ref stepped in way too soon.
LN: Povetkin’s got a decent record himself. Does the hometown hero need to be wary?
TY: Povetkin has been around for a long time having turned pro in 2005 after winning Gold at the 2004 Olympics. His only defeat since then came to Wladimir Klitschko back in 2013.
Since then he’s beaten several fringe contenders and he was due to take a seat at the top table of the heavyweight division against Deontay Wilder in May 2016 before failing a drug test. He’s clearly no slouch. He’s a 6/1 shot here.
LN: How are you expecting this one to go?
TY: I still think Povetkin is being slightly overlooked for this fight and Joshua isn’t on his A-game. Povetkin definitely has the tools to punish him but I’m not quite sure I’d back the Russian for the win.
LN: Any bets you like the look of?
When is it?
Saturday night, the 22nd of September.
Where is it?
How can I watch it?
Sky Box Office
Click here for the latest Joshua v Povetkin odds.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication