ALL talk is suddenly of a certain Englishman challenging Charles Martin for the IBF heavyweight title in April which I think is at least 12 months too soon for Anthony Joshua.
I was also reading that even his promoter Eddie Hearn is concerned it might be too early for him. If that’s the case, why then is he letting him take on Martin? Anthony Joshua showed in his last fight against Dillian Whyte that he still has a bit to go before he can be considered the finished article, and would surely benefit by stepping up in class at a more leisurely pace than to go rampaging to the top of the ladder – at least in terms of the title – at great speed, past better fighters than himself, coming unstuck, passing them at an even greater speed on the way down, and then finding it takes a lot longer to get back up there, if he can at all.
Martin and his people must be pretty confident to come into Joshua’s back yard to start with and his record also shows he can punch a bit – then at 6ft 5ins tall he is nearly as big as Joshua, and we know what happened when all of a sudden Wladimir Klitschko met someone as tall as himself. To cap it all he is a southpaw. Eddie Hearn tells us that he put the fight to Joshua and told him if he thought he could beat Martin then he would make the fight. If a promoter had said the same thing to me, and I was unbeaten in 15 fights, and had 15 inside the distance wins, I would also say yes to anyone, for a chance at the ‘world’ heavyweight championship – except of course Mike Tyson, I wouldn’t want to leave the ring with bits of me missing.
If Joshua wins he will need to fight top ranked fighters to retain his credibility and he will have to do it now, not in 12 months, and three learning fights later and with Klitschko, Tyson Fury, Alexander Povetkin and Deontay Wilder lurking in the wings, it is one hell of a risk but is it worth it? I don’t think so.