Since Anthony Joshua emerged on the professional boxing scene, having won gold at the London 2012 Olympics, boxing has been experiencing a renaissance with top-class fighters seemingly more willing to fight each other to create grand spectacles.
Joshua has already defeated the former tyrant of the division, Wladimir Klitschko, in a battle for the ages, as well as adding Joseph Parker’s world title belt to his collection. The Englishman’s eyes are firmly fixed on the last remaining world title, held by the covetous Deontay Wilder.
Negotiations between the two spanned many months but, in the end, a lack of co-operation from the Wilder camp led to Joshua being forced into a mandatory fight against the dangerous Alexander Povetkin. It’s not the battle that fans wanted, but it’s certainly a huge test for the fighter who has become the face of boxing.
But, to keep the hype swirling around boxing and Anthony Joshua, it will need to be a grand rumble, especially to keep more casual fight fans interested in the sport. Before the recent resurgence in boxing, some indicated that it was the rise of mixed martial arts which was drawing fight fans away, so how does the Joshua vs. Povetkin fight compare to the next big UFC bout?
Joshua and Povetkin vs. Nurmagomedov and McGregor
Anthony Joshua is a fan favorite in boxing, bringing the sport back to the limelight while dazzling with his incredible power, skill, speed, and athleticism. Alexander Povetkin comes in as a world title contender having had the chance slip through his fingers many times before, but only once via defeat in the ring – against Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 by unanimous decision. The Russian has long been on the cusp of being a world champion, but failed drug tests have held him back.
In the UFC, Khabib Nurmagomedov is the lightweight champion and is on the longest undefeated streak in the history of the promotion. At 26-0-0, he’s a formidable foe who has earned the favor of many fans since a vacuum was created when numerous UFC stars went inactive at once. Conor McGregor is one such star who has been inactive for a long time. His last fight came in November 2016, at a time when he was considered to be one of the best mixed martial artists in the world. Then he faced Floyd Mayweather in a farcical affair, which he inevitably lost.
Overwhelming favorite vs. close fight
In the betting for the Joshua vs. Povetkin fight, the world champion is the overwhelming favorite at -1400 to his Russian foe’s +700. The betting public most likely sways these odds as Povetkin is an incredibly dangerous boxer. He can endure a huge amount of punishment and still unleash tremendous power in the later rounds.
As for the numbers in the Khabib vs. McGregor Odds, the experts have reeled the odds in to be rather close, with Nurmagomedov at -163 to McGregor’s +137. Again, this may be down to the fandom of McGregor and his immense backing as, given Khabib’s dominance and McGregor’s absence, the Russian should be the heavy favorite.
Betting odds are often good indicators as to the way that fans and experts believe the fight will go. These odds indicate that Joshua will walk over Povetkin, whereas Khabib may struggle against returning star Conor McGregor. But, in combat sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts, all odds and predictions can go out of the window with a single strike.
Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin certainly has the makings of a great fight, with Joshua fans genuinely feeling nervous about their star’s encounter with the powerhouse Russian. Povetkin is certainly more dangerous than he’s given credit for in the odds. Regardless of the result, the fight is set to excite boxing fans once again and keep the momentum going.
Khabib vs. McGregor will certainly deal a crushing blow to one of the two fan bases, but given the disparity between the fighters, Joshua vs. Povetkin is set to be the more impressive fight.