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Anthony Joshua set for a knockout performance at Wembley

Povetkin dangerous in early rounds

Anthony Joshua (left) goes head to head with Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium
1 of 1

WBA, WBO, IBF & IBO heavyweight world titles
Sky Box Office, 10pm approx Saturday

Anthony Joshua returns to Wembley Stadium on Saturday to defend his heavyweight titles against 39-year-old Russian Alexander Povetkin, and if he can survive the first few rounds he should come away with a comfortable victory.

Povetkin is a tough, well-schooled fighter with bags of experience, having been a world and Olympic champion as an amateur, and he has been beaten only once as a pro - by Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 - so the 9-1 underdog is no mug. 

He also possesses plenty of power to go with that experience. Povetkin has stopped 24 opponents including Carlos Takam, who Joshua beat last year, and he flattened David Price on the Joshua v Joseph Parker undercard earlier this year. 

The Price fight was interesting for several reasons. We witnessed first hand the power Povetkin possesses at close range - he floored Price with a lovely punch in the third before cleaning him out spectacularly in the fifth, but he received a standing count himself after a right hand from the big Scouser. 

It was also notable that Povetkin was showing signs of fatigue just before he found the winning punch, and that could be an ominous sign for his contest with AJ. 

Although Joshua holds the belts questions persist over his place at the top of the heavyweight tree, but his athletic ability is not in question and at 28 he should hold a significant advantage in stamina the longer the fight progresses, as well as four inches in height and seven inches in reach.

 

Povetkin is known as a brawler, and he is likely to come out all guns blazing in the first four or five rounds when he will look to rough up AJ on the inside and connect with big power shots at close range. 

If he connects, Joshua could be in trouble, but the Brit will be well aware of the Russian's power and should have enough boxing ability to keep him at range and avoid disaster. 

Once the fight goes past five rounds Povetkin's energy levels may dip and it if that happens it will be Joshua's game. 

Joshua's last three fights have gone 11, ten and 12 rounds but despite Povetkin having been the distance many times before he may struggle to live with Joshua's pace. 

AJ was criticised for a lacklustre performance last time out against Parker - it was the first time he had failed to win a pro fight by KO - and he will be eager to give his Wembley fans a knockout victory.

He is just 1-3 to win by KO at any time, but he may be wary of Povetkin's power in the opening stages and backing him to win in rounds seven, eight or nine at 7-2 may be a better-value option.

Recommendation
A Joshua in rounds seven, eight or nine
1pt 7-2 Betfair, BoyleSports, Paddy Power


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Once the fight goes past five rounds Povetkin's energy levels may dip and it if that happens it will be AJ's game
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