Saturday, April 30, 2016

Is Anthony Joshua ready for blockbuster clash with Tyson Fury?

It's been on the lips of every fan and pundit since Anthony Joshua knocked our Charles Martin inside two rounds. The 6'6" heavyweight looks the part and, thus far, is delivering the goods. His calm, collected demeanour is admired as the perfect antithesis to likely future opponent, Tyson Fury.
Likeable, powerful and undefeated, Joshua raised his stock even further by acquiring his first world title against American fighter Martin. It might not be the most coveted of the various straps, but with just 16 professional bouts to his name, it is a testament to his ability as a relative novice to the professional game.
Every one of the 16 men he has faced to date have succumbed to his power inside the distance. The much anticipated clash with Dillian Whyte in December saw him reach round seven but, other than that, everybody else has been dispatched within three rounds.
By contrast, Tyson Fury was 24 fights in before he won his first world title. He didn't quite have the same 100% strike rate as 'AJ', but he has beaten the man, Wladimir Klitschko. With that win came a slew of world titles and he's now the number one heavyweight boxer in the world.
Unlike Fury, Joshua isn't one to blow his own trumpet. The finishes do plenty of talking and promoter Eddie Hearn is also a more-than capable mouthpiece.
"This is going to be the biggest star in world boxing," Hearn stated after Joshua’s win over Martin. "He is so humble and down-to-earth, and he can beat them all."
Every promoter is prone to some hyperbole, but Hearn could be right on this front. We don't know yet, but it probably won’t be too long until we see whether he has the ability to unify the belts.
The rate of improvement is impressive to see and even UK boxing great Ricky Hatton understands that Fury would be better served to defeat the up-and-comer before he gets even better.
"I would want to get Joshua sooner rather than later," Hatton revealed, knowing full well that the 26-year-old has plenty of time to add to his repertoire. Unlike many of the top boxers, Joshua wasn't born into it, nor was he a child Phenom. He has less than a decade of training having just started out when many competitors are reaching three figures in bouts.
Fury can't push Joshua to the front of the queue, however, even though his usual trash talk has seemed to focus on the Watford man of late. He has a huge return clash with Klitschko to contend with first, and the latest boxing odds have him neck and neck with the formerly dominant champion.
As much as Fury can say Joshua is an easy pay day, in reality, he knows that won't be the case. There's a threat to sovereignty and all of the heavyweights recognise it.

There's time for Joshua to continue building his experience, although it's likely he'll be pushed on faster than usual. Bermane Stiverne, Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale could all come first, but we won't be surprised if we see the all-English tussle within the next year.