This Saturday 9th April Britain’s Olympic gold medalist will step into the ring at the O2 Arena to fight for the IBF world heavyweight title against Charles Martin.
Are you ready? I certainly hope AJ is as he’s just 4 days away from the biggest fight of his career so far at his home the O2 Arena to fight for a world title. In what will be his biggest fight yet, he hopes to become Britain’s second heavyweight king alongside Klitschko-conquerer Tyson Fury despite having boxed just 15 opponents.
The 6ft 6″ heavyweight from Watford has become a favourite amongst Britain’s boxing fans and has attracted admirers from all across the globe due to his explosive knockout power. ‘AJ’ has boxed a total of 15 opponents, knocking all 15 out and just once going beyond the 3rd round, in his grudge match against Dillian Whyte which reached the 7th.
He will face off against unbeaten southpaw American Charles Martin (23-0-1) who beat Vyacheslav Glazkov via TKO in January to win the IBF belt Tyson Fury was stripped of due to him not being able to defend it against a mandatory challenger. Martin was relatively unknown before he won the belt with some people suggesting he will surprise Joshua. One of these people, former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price, spoke to Sky Sports recently regarding Martin.
“He [Martin] is an unknown quantity even though he’s a world champion.”
“I’ve tried to find footage, just to have a look, but it’s difficult to find much footage of him in competition and that unknown element can make things a little bit tricky.” – David Price
We all know how explosive AJ is, but us Brits are not quite sure what Martin will bring to the ring (other than his world title, of course). We know he’s an awkward southpaw, but if Joshua has prepared properly this should not be much of a problem, hopefully. With most of Britain willing Joshua on, you would hope he can get through this fight and come out on the other side with a world title strapped around his waist. Some people are going to be much more nervous than others and if we see the Joshua that came out all guns blazing against Whyte it might just be us Brits that are the ones watching behind our hands. He needs to be defensive, box off the back foot and pick his chances carefully when they arise. Going in swinging looking for the first round KO, like Eddie Hearn has suggested he will do, is a massive risk and could land him in trouble like we saw early on against Whyte who caught him on a couple of occasions.
If AJ can do this, and it is a big IF, he will surely open up the opportunity for many huge domestic fights against the likes of David Haye or a unification bout against rival Tyson Fury. That’s as much as i would like to touch on his future beyond this fight for now, wouldn’t want to risk jinxing it although i probably already have.
So, 4 days from now, will we see a new British world heavyweight champion? Or will it all end in disappointment as Martin successfully defends his belt which would really put a fairly large spanner in AJ’s rise to the top of heavyweight boxing. Im not sure i want to make a prediction, its that close, and I’m obviously going to be biased as this is a British boxing blog and i really want AJ to do it. Im going to stick my neck on the line and say Joshua will win by KO late on. Bold prediction i know, but i can’t see this fight, especially one involving AJ going the distance.