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17th Apr 2017

Fight fans left frustrated by latest episode of The Gloves Are Off

Not impressed by Anthony Joshua or Wladimir Klitschko

Darragh Murphy

The finishing touches are being put on the respective fight camps of both Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.

There’s less than a fortnight to go until the monster heavyweight showdown in Wembley and that means time is running out for both men to do their utmost to pique the interest of fight fans and persuade them to buy their pay-per-view.

Recently we saw Klitschko attempt to get the trash talk started with a bizarre and out-of-character series of tweets about his upcoming opponent.

It seemed fake and forced and fans let him know all about it but surely we’d be treated to some genuine disdain when Joshua and Klitschko came face-to-face in Sky Sports’ studios.

We’re all accustomed to the tension that makes their flagship boxing programme, The Gloves Are Off, so very compelling.

When Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora were separated by nothing but a table and host Johnny Nelson, all hell broke loose.

David Haye’s pre-fight meeting with Tony Bellew made for fantastic television and certainly boosted the pay-per-view success of that particular grudge match.

But when Joshua and Klitschko sat down in one another’s company last week, it was very… meh.

Mutual admiration was in abundance between ‘AJ’ and Klitschko and the discussion boiled down to an analytical breakdown of the bout

“We look alike, size-wise. Arm length is pretty much the same,” Klitschko said.

“Biceps? Maybe in this smaller T-shirt you look better. Punching power, we don’t need to talk about.

“There are a lot of equal things. Preparation, camp, altitude training, nutrition. We can name a lot of things. The more I look at it, it’s a copy. Different, but in a certain way it’s a copy.”

There was no real intensity, not an inkling of tension and while there’s nothing wrong with respect between opponents, fight fans were left frustrated by the friendliness on show.