Joshua v Klitschko: The Olympic Undercard

Joshua v Klitschko: The Olympic Undercard

28 April 2017 / 13:03

The eyes of the world will be on Wembley Stadium on Saturday night, with Anthony Joshua's bout against Wladimir Klitschko undoubtedly one of the boxing highlights of the year.

London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Joshua is battling to keep his unbeaten 18 fights, 18 win record alive, while Ukrainian Klitschko is a wounded warrior looking to strike back from defeat to Tyson Fury in his last encounter.

However, that is not the only fight happening this weekend.

The undercard for this 90,000 seat extravaganza is packed full of punching pedigree, with four Team GB boxers looking to make the most of their time in the spotlight.

The full undercard is:

Scott Quigg v Viorel Simion

Luke Campbell v Darleys Perez

Katie Taylor v Nina Meinke

Lawrence Okolie v Russ Henshaw

Joe Cordina v Sergej Vib

Josh Kelly v Faheem Khan

Luke Campbell

As a man with 16 wins and just one defeat from his 17 fights, Luke Campbell certainly has what it takes on the big stage.

As an amateur he enjoyed plenty of success, punching his way to an Olympic gold medal in the home rings of London 2012 in the bantamweight division, following up World Championship silver the previous year.

Since then the 29-year-old has gone from strength to strength, currently holding the WBC silver title since 2016.

Now the next step is to take on Darleys Perez, battling in a WBA Lightweight title eliminator against a man who is a former interim holder of that title.

Perez himself is a man of pedigree having issued 21 knockouts in his time, but the last two fights against British opponents have not gone his way, drawing and losing on separate occasions to Anthony Crolla.

There is an added incentive to this bout however, with the winner set to be in number one position to challenge current champion Jorge Linares.

Lawrence Okolie

Barely a month has passed since Lawrence Okolie made his professional cruiserweight debut, but he has undoubtedly shown he is more than just a man to make up the numbers.

Indeed, he needed just 20 seconds to get the first win under his belt when knocking out Geoffrey Cave in Manchester in March.

A second win was to follow against Lukasz Rusiewicz, again via first-round knockout, with this clash with Russ Henshaw his third time as professional in the ring.

However this is not spotlight moment for the 24-year-old, who represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

At that point he was competing as a heavyweight, beating Igor Pawel Jakubowski before missing out to Erislandy Savon.

A meeting with Henshaw however will be one much overdue, set to face each other for Okolie’s debut fight, only to be forced out due to a stoppage in his previous outing.

Joe Cordina

Competing in your second professional fight in front of 90,000 people may be enough to put some people off, but not Joe Cordina.

The Rio 2016 Olympian faces off with Sergej Vib, looking to impress in front of Joshua – the man he met at a Team GB initiation in 2010.

Now the 25-year-old super-featherweight is looking to follow in the footsteps of Joshua, with the best opportunity to get another win on the professional stage after stopping Jose Aguilar in the fourth round only last week.

While he knows this will be a step into the unknown for the European champion, who missed out on his full potential at the Olympics.

He has got his hands on a medal previously though, winning gold in the European Amateur Championships in 2015.

Josh Kelly

It could be a waiting game for Josh Kelly come Saturday night, but the welterweight insists he will be more than ready if his time comes at Wembley.

Kelly drew lots third after Okolie and Cordina, and now faces a nervous wait to see if he will be in the schedule, hopeful that some contests don’t go the distance.

Should he take to the stage however, Kelly will face Faheem Khan just a week after making his professional debut.

The Rio 2016 Olympian has a one-from-one record however, one he certainly won’t want to see end on the biggest night of boxing in 2017.

Kelly is keen to keep his feet firmly on the ground, and is set to treat the occasion as just another day at the office.

Khan meanwhile has had a mixed record in his previous bouts, winning nine and drawing two of his 21 fights to date.

Sportsbeat 2017

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