The huge challenge for Joshua will be overcoming the vast experience the Ukrainian has amassed in a 68-fight, 20-year career, in which Klitschko, an Olympic champion himself, became the dominant force in boxing’s blue-riband division.
Joshua, elevated rapidly to world champion status, remains a novice and was a mere sparring partner for Klitschko 16 months ago, having sought out the kingpin to gain experience.
His principal task will be to nullify the Ukrainian’s jab, which Fury did so effectively.
It could be a true test and remains a 50-50 fight, pitching Joshua’s youthful ebullience against Klitschko’s long tenure in the ring.
Joshua, who has had just 41 rounds in 17 fights – to Klitschko’s 368 rounds – boxed 20 rounds with Klitschko in training camp in Austria, remarking at the time how “effective and dangerous” the then champion’s jab was.
“That’s why I went out to the camp. Some people go out there to spar Klitschko and prove themselves, but I wanted to speak to him,” Joshua said.
“Early on in his career he was knocking guys out and getting a lot of praise and attention, and he loved it. He got beat and a lot of people that were interested in him were no longer interested in him.”