WEMBLEY, England – The much-awaited heavyweight boxing match between champion Anthony Joshua and former long-time title-holder Wladimir Klitschko just got more massive.
According to this report, a deal has been put in place that guarantees 90,000 people to be able to attend the April 29 showdown at the Wembley Stadium in London. The said match will equal the previous British record set by Jock McAvoy and Len Harvey in 1939 at the White City Stadium.
Normally, crowds during games are not permitted to exceed 80,000, mainly due to transport network capacity. However, Mayor Sadiq Khan was willing to make an exception since it was he himself who asked for the “biggest fights” to be brought to his city. It was a request that promoter Eddie Hearn granted.
As far back as December, massive numbers were already expected to be drawn from the Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko fight. According to this report, television revenues alone is expected to go over £30m ($37.5 million USD), which will surpass Carl Froch vs. George Groves 2 in May 2014. To date, the said match is considered to be Britain’s richest fight, with post-fight revenues amounting to £22 million.
The 27-year-old Joshua, who also bagged the gold medal during the 2012 Summer Olympics, will be putting both his undefeated record and IBF heavyweight title on the line. He holds a win-loss slate of 18-0 (all wins by knockout), and he last fought Eric Molina in December where he won via third round stoppage.
The 40-year-old Klitschko, meanwhile, is aiming to get back on the win column as he tries to erase the stigma of his 2015 loss to Tyson Fury, his first taste of defeat after eleven years. He was supposed to face Fury in a rematch in 2016, but the fight fell through after the latter was suspended due to medical issues.
While fighting may be a young man’s game which favors the champion, the challenger is still deemed to be one of the best heavyweights in the game today. Will Anthony Joshua be able to use his youth to his advantage, or will Wladimir Klitschko bounce back and further prove that he is still indeed one of the elites?