Joshua vs Klitschko: Wembley showdown the latest battle between Olympic champions
By Neel Khagram
Last Updated: 24/04/17 10:29am
Anthony Joshua’s unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko has a touch of greatness etched all over it.
The Wembley Stadium showdown, live on Saturday on Sky Sports Box Office, pits two Olympic gold medallists gunning for heavyweight glory, bringing back memories of the division's glory years.
So, ahead of Joshua and Klitschko's capital clash, we take a look back at previous contests between Olympic champions in the heavyweight ranks...
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier (March 1971)
‘Smokin’ Joe, the 1964 Tokyo heavyweight gold medallist, and Ali fought three times.
In their first encounter, at Madison Square Garden in 1971, the bout billed as Fight of the Century won The Ring Fight of the year.
The pair put their undefeated records on the line in a back-and-forth contest for the ages. Ali dominated the early stages before Frazier regrouped in the middle stages.
Having dropped his opponent in the final round, Frazier was victorious via unanimous decision, meaning the Philadelphia native retained his WBA and WBC titles.
Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman (October 1974)
Foreman took on Ali in the legendary Rumble in the Jungle, staged in Kinshasa, Zaire.
The contest is famed for Ali’s rope-a-dope tactics, as he bravely absorbed blow after blow from the WBC and WBA titleholder without throwing a great deal back. However, the plan worked.
In allowing the 1968 Olympic heavyweight champion to punch himself out. Having sapped the energy of the champion, he recorded a stunning knockout in the final seconds of the eighth round.
It was a famous victory for Ali - he gambled with his tactics but hit the jackpot, taking both belts to reign supreme in the division again.
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier III (October 1975)
Having won the second rubber in an understated contest in 1974, Ali - now the heavyweight champion - met Frazier for a third and final time in a fight forever known as the Thrilla in Manila.
Fought in the heat of a Philippines morning, Ali started off aggressively and dominated the early sessions.
However, Frazier came back into the contest as the fight wore on, rocking Ali in the sixth before toe-to-toe action ensued in rounds seven and eight.
Exhaustion affected both men, hardly surprising given the stifling conditions, and it was Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, who eventually pulled his charge out before the start of the 15th, handing an exhausted Ali victory.
Muhammad Ali vs Leon Spinks (February 1978)
Spinks, who won light-heavyweight gold at the Montreal Games in 1976, shocked the world in defeating Ali via a split-decision verdict.
It was only Spinks' eighth professional contest, yet he became the new WBC and WBA heavyweight champion.
Ali was the odds-on favourite to retain his titles at the Superdome in New Orleans, but the youth and endeavour of the 24-year-old challenger resulted in one of the biggest heavyweight shocks ever seen in a boxing ring.
The pair met in a rematch seven months later, with a much sharper Ali out-boxing the youngster to win via unanimous decision. In the process,he became the first man to be crowned world heavyweight champion three times.
Watch Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on April 29, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book the event online here or via your Sky remote.