Wembly Stadium, London, April 29
By Peter Lim
Over a decade ago, I predicted that once the Klitschko brothers were gone, the heavyweight division would return to normal with the average fighter standing 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4 and weighing in between 220 and 230 pounds. Anything above 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, I believed, posed more of a liability than an asset to a fighter in a 20X20 square foot ring. The Klitschko brothers were merely an anomaly in the sport.
How wrong I was. The heavyweight division has undergone an unprecedented growth spurt over the last 15 years leaving the division in a perpetual state of gigantism.
Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) is the quintessential example that a bigger, bulked-up frame need not necessarily impede agility, movement or explosiveness. His jab proves not only faster than Klitschko's, it is harder as well. First on the draw, Joshua catches Klitschko with one-twos throughout the fight. In the seventh round, Joshua, 27, closes the show with a picturesque straight right as emphatically and decisively as Klitachko (64-4, 53 KOs) used to do with that same punch throughout his career.
Klitschko, 41, finally retires and the long overdue changing of the guard is official.