Boxing

Joshua and Klitschko pose for their upcoming bout at Wembley.

Anthony Joshua's trainer explains when Wladimir Klitschko’s reign at the top ended

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Anthony Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken is backing the Brit to inflict more damage on Wladimir Klitschko at the O2 Arena on April 29.

Klitschko’s last fight was in 2015, when he lost to fellow Brit Tyson Fury, and McCracken went as far as to say that he believed the Ukrainian’s reign at the summit of heavyweight boxing ended that day following his defeat at the hands of the Gypsy King.

Joshua’s trainer still maintains that Klitschko is from the ‘top tier’ but confidently backed his fighter to come out on top later this month.

"You have to rate him (Klitschko) massively. He's been the heavyweight of the last decade really, some fantastic performances," McCracken said, per Sky Sports.

"He looked devastating against (Kubrat) Pulev three years ago, then he beat (Bryant) Jennings, and Tyson Fury shocked the world and took the titles away from him."

McCracken explains when Klitschko's reign ended

McCracken continued: "He'll argue it's one bad night in more or less a decade, that Fury night, but we'll see if he is the fighter he was before the Fury fight - we'll find out.

"He is from the top tier of boxing and he's had a hugely successful reign, but all things must come to an end, and his reign ended when he boxed Tyson Fury."

BOX-HEAVYWEIGHT-GER-UKR-UK-KLITSCHKO-FURY

Questions surrounding Klitschko

There are significant question marks lingering over the head of Klitschko in the run up to his fight with Joshua. Is he past his peak? Did his career end after his shock defeat to Fury as McCracken suggests? Does the former WBA (super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion still have what it takes to compete at the very top?

The very idea that such questions exist makes it easy to understand why Joshua is the bookies’ favourite going into the fight at Wembley.

Joshua's Wembley experience in 2014

McCracken himself is looking complete his own personal Wembley double after guiding Carl Froch to victory against George Groves back in 2014. That night, Joshua was on the undercard.

"He boxed on the same night Carl boxed at Wembley in 2014, fairly early on in the bill," said McCracken. "It is a huge stadium, he did the ring walk, got in the ring and performed that night.

"I think that's a big plus and that will help him, but it's the same as anything in boxing - you're always going into the unknown."

Carl Froch v George Groves - IBF & WBA World Super Middleweight Title Fight

What's your prediction: Klitschko or Joshua? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Heavyweight
Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao
Wladamir Klitschko
David Haye
Boxing

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