Joshua out to revive boxing from the pits

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  • EVERYBODY’S talking about Anthony Joshua, the bombastic British boxer.

    After Joshua stopped Vitaly Klitchsko last weekend, he immediately earned tons of adulations.

    Well, the fact that Joshua survived a fourth-round knockdown and then scored an 11th-round knockout is not something to sneeze at.

    Applause, applause! It is always a thrill to see someone emerging victorious from a potential debacle.

    Consider that this was a clash between heavyweights both standing 6-foot-6, massively built.

    By being able to rise from near obfuscation, against a foe of scary credentials, Joshua deserves a second look.

    To be sure, Joshua, from pre-fight hype and all, was the heavy favorite and he should, therefore, win with ease.

    Far from that.

    Look, at 41 years of age, Klitchsko is old fogey.  Rested quite a bit long, rust has slowed down the champ whose reign lasted a decade.

    He was perfect for the slaughterhouse.

    There’s only one Bernard Hopkins, who was collecting world crowns even in his late 40s.

    But Hopkins is more of boxing’s exception than the rule.  He was born to box, retiring at age 51 I guess when, finally, Father Time decided it was time for him to retire.

    Will Klitchsko go on fighting after Sunday’s 11th-round KO loss to Joshua?

    Hard to tell.  Boxers are the most stubborn, often lulled to believe they didn’t really lose a fight. Every setback is just another bad day in the office.

    Klitchsko was Joshua’s 19th straight knockout victim in 19 fights.

    If that’s not awesome enough, what is?

    The Ukrainean has but one precious consolation:  He was the first to last more than 7 rounds against Joshua, who is 12 years Klitchsko’s junior.

    Joshua’s left hook that sent Klitchsko crashing down in the 11th was boxing’s big shot in the arm as well.

    Long lacking of high-impact fights, the blast has revived a sport slumbering in wasteland.

    With the Pacquiao era fast fading, boxing’s popularity seems on the wane.

    Until Joshua knocked Klitchsko out.

    At 29 years of age, Joshua has the sport in his fingertips.

    A guy surnamed Fury is being lined up this early against Joshua.

    Furious Fury is for real?  Like No-Joke Joshua?

    Bring it on.

    By AL S. MENDOZA

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