Joshua vs Povetkin
Joshua makes his 6th Defence Of the IBF Heavyweight title as well as the 3rd of the WBA and 1st of the WBO, in what is on paper, his 2nd best name on his resume.
Make no mistake, Alexander Povetkin in his mind, and many others has not come just to make up the numbers, such as (with respect) the likes of Eric Molina, Carlos Takam and Charles Martin, Povetkin and his team will feel they are very capable of causing a monumental upset. What certainly is not on the 39 year old Russian fighters side is age, as he aims to become a Bona Fide World Champion (he has held the WBA Regular title) in what is surely his ‘last chance saloon’.
You can’t help but feel that Sasha, should he have any real prospect of winning, have to do this early; we know he has huge power in both hands, especially the signature overhand right, and even at 39, this power will not have waned yet.
I believe that Povetkin will probably put it on Joshua very early in the fight, attempting to end it within 3/4(BetVictor leading with a 50/1 rounds 1-3 finish for Povetkin), or seriously buzzing him for a slightly later finish.
It’s hard to stake a case for Povetkin, in my opinion, trying to outbox, outwork and outpoint the younger, stronger and fitter Joshua over 12 rounds, especially without the well documented “help” of any PED use.
I’d expect Joshua to come through the opening 4 rounds, although Joshua going down(anytime) is a healthy 6/1 and 10/1 (multi bookmakers offer) to go down but still win the fight.
I personally feel that Povetkin, spent from the early onslaught could well be caught and finished with a Joshua flurry during the mid rounds, with BetFair offering 16/5 for Rounds 4-6 or 11/5 for Rounds 5-8.
Selecting a specific mid-round finish for Joshua 4,5,6,7 or 8, is priced around 11 or 12 to 1 with William Hill.
I myself have gone for a 5th Round TKO in favour of Joshua. Should it go to the later rounds, Joshua can be picked at 9/2 for Rounds 9-12 and Povetkin 28/1 for the same prediction, both with SkyBet.
It’s fair to say that if Povetkin pulls off a shock, this will easily be awarded Upset Of the Year, though the upset would not be near the scale of a Tyson/Douglas upset.
As for Joshua, assuming no upset, this is a very decent win and arguably his 2nd best name on his resume and should he win via TKO, becoming the 1st and only man to stop Povetkin, this would be a truly legitimate Great victory.
Joshua to win 1/8 SkyBet Povetkin to Win 15/2 PaddyPower