British boxing prospect Anthony Joshua will face the toughest test of his career as challenges IBF Heavyweight champion Charles Martin on April 9th at the O2 Arena in London. Both boxers are undefeated going into this fight, with Martin’s record at 23 wins and 1 draw, Joshua has a fine 15 wins with neither a loss or a draw to his name.
Martin’s last fight was on January 16th, a third round stoppage of Vyacheslav Glazkov to win the vacant IBF belt. Joshua on the other hand hasn’t boxed this year, but did defeat fellow Brit Dillian Whyte in the seventh round at the O2 Arena in London on December 12th last year. Previous to this encounter, Joshua had never gone passed the third round, stopping all of his opponents in expert fashion. This bout proved to be his toughest test, with Whyte even stunning Joshua at times in the fight.
‘Prince’ Charles appears to be the more experienced out of the two, having been in more fights and, of course, being involved in a world title fight. Joshua doesn’t have these types of credentials to look back on, going into this bout but with his fearsome record of fifteen straight knockout victories, any fighter facing the Hertfordshire heavyweight will be extremely wary of his abilities in the ring.
Many people have given their opinion on this engrossing match up, with the unified heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury having his say. Fury has predicted that his fellow Brit will lose to Martin, with the champ stating “Charles Martin stops Joshua as he’s a 6ft 5in punching southpaw with combinations, who’s not afraid of people just because they’ve got muscles.”
The southpaw stance of Martin may trouble Joushua as he is yet to encounter a boxer who is like this and at only one inch shorter than his 6ft 6in frame. Another factor could be the reach of the two men, Martin again being on the slightly shorter end of the spectrum with a reach of 80 inches. This could be the key element to whether or not Joshua has the upper hand, with his reach at 82 inches. Age difference will more than likely not come into play in this fight, with Martin ages 29 and Joshua 26. The three years between them shouldn’t be an issue for either of the fighters, nowhere near as much as it was when Wladimir Klitschko fought Tyson Fury in Dusseldorf last year, proving to be the downfall of the Ukrainian.
With the fight being held in early April, there is just over a month to go for the event. Hype for the fight has already started to build, particularly here in the UK with people intrigued to see whether or not ‘AJ’ can take the next step up in class, willing him on to achieve his life long ambition of becoming a world champion. If Joshua can get past this tough test, he will surely be considered to go on and challenge the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in the future.
Prediction: Anthony Joshua to win by KO Round 10
Written by Joe Dutton
Sources: Tyson Fury Quote – Sky Sports.
Images – Sky Sports, Daily Mail, AJ Boxing