Hollywood-based Nigerian boxing promoter Nnamdi Moweta speaks to Tunde Koiki ahead of Saturday’s big heavyweight fight between Nigerian-born Briton Anthony Joshua and Ukrainian veteran Wladimir Kiltschko…
Complete Sports: Thanks you so much for talking to us once again ahead of what promises to be the biggest fight in a decade.
Nnamdi Moweta: Pleasure is mine. It is the biggest heavyweight showdown in the UK, but in America here, it is not asbig fight (laughs).
CS: Really! Why don’t Americans talk much of this fight? We are talking of a man who is a legend, who alongside his brother defines an era in boxing and another man who a lot of people think probably has the best chance in almost 15 years to actually unite the heavyweight division?
Moweta: Well, even with all these things you mentioned, we cannot put Wladimir Klitschko side by side with Lennox Lewis or Iron Mike Tyson. Klitschko has this boring style of fighting. His last fight with Tyson Fury re-confirmed that and everybody in the United States of America still talks about his boring style of fighting. I can understand in Britain, Africa and Europe but in America, no way.
CS: A lot of people have said that this is the fight that will define both men and if Klitschko wins, he’ll become a three-time world champion and definitely be regarded as one of the all time greats in heavy weight boxing. But if Joshua wins, he will definitely become a major threat to all the other world title holders like Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and probably the biggest in the division. Do you agree?
Moweta: No, I don’t agree with you. It depends on how Klitschko wins. If he wins with 12 boring rounds of jabs and sends 90,000 people in the stadium and millions of eyes around the globe to sleep and talking about one negative boxing bout, no way. We’ll come out and ask, who did he beat? He beat a guy that punches nobody. Then if Joshua wins, he beat up a faded 41-year-old that has not been in the ring for a long time. It's a no-win situation for both guys but at least, if Joshua fights and if he goes in there, fights toes to toes and knocks him (Klitschko) out cold, then it is great.
CS: From what you know of both fighters, their contrasting fighting styles, their abilities, the age difference, the experience gaps; Klitschko has had over 630 rounds and Joshua has fewer that 100 professional rounds. Do you think this fight will last a distance or do you think we might see a stoppage?
Moweta: The only way we can see a stoppage is if Joshua will fight the right fight; which means he must fight Klitschko inside, he must stay away from standing and waiting for Klitscko to jab him all night. He must be able to go fight the jab of Klitschko. And the best way he can do it is to set up his big right hand with his left jab, not just any left jab but a strong jab that could push him back and the two combinations, not just one hook or two hooks, but one, two, three, four, bend, bend, bend, break down Klitschko with his body, forget about his head, go into his body, stay inside, run the combination, break his ribs and ensure we can see a knockout. But if he tries to wait and jab with Kiltsckho, it’s going to be a boring fight of 12 rounds.
CS: Do you agree with what people are saying that Joshua is biting more than he can chew? That he definitely needs more experience before he fights an experienced fighter like Klitchko. Do you agree that he’s going too early?
Moweta: I don’t agree with these people. This is boxing; you strike when the iron is hot. Iron is hot right now. Ninety thousand people will be at the Wembley Stadium and this is the second time that there will be a fight at Wembley. This is best time to get Klitschko; remember he has not been in the ring for quite some time, he looked confused against Tyson Fury. What happens if Klitschko goes into the eight rounds or gets caught up in the first round? So, I disagree with those people, the time is now.
CS: How much do these two men potentially stand to win from this fight?
Moweta: This is a big fight. Do you know how much the tickets for the ringside seats are sold for now? Couple of days before the fight, the tickets for the ringside are going for like $50,000. And you have not talked about pay per view in the UK, you have not talked about all foreign TV rights. These two guys are going to walk away with $20,000,000 apiece.
CS: $20,000,000 apiece?
Moweta: More than that, more than that, my brother.
CS: Let’s look at the possible win and lose scenario for both men. If Joshua wins, surely, he cannot run from Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder but if he loses, I think it will affect his career somewhat. If Klitschko wins, definitely he is a major contender in heavyweight boxing again but if he loses, the career is over for him. Do you agree with that belief?
Moweta: I disagree with that, my brother. Joshua has no need to fight Wilder and Parker right now, that’s not where the money is. The money is with Tyson Fury in the UK at Wembley in front of 90,000 people; that is where the money is. Forget Wilder, forget Parker, who are those guys when it comes to paying big money? Wilder cannot draw pay-per-view audience but Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in the UK is huge for pay per view. Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua in the UK does not mean much even in the US, not to talk of Joseph Parker; who is he, who did he fight? The fight should be Anthony Joshua against Tyson Fury. Talking about Klitschko, a win for him is a not a big deal. People are going to say who did he beat? He beat a guy that is just few years above 25. Who did Anthony Joshua beat to be in that position? People will come around and say Klitschko beats nobody.
CS: From what you know and everything you’ve seen so far, you follow both men and obviously you are not a fan of Klitschko’s fighting style and obviously you are a big fan of Joshua’s fighting power. Who do you think will win this one?
Moweta: I’m a Nigerian. I’m an African man. I cannot go against my home boy. I will love to see him go in there, destroy Klitschko, knock him out cold. It is definitely Anthony Joshua.