Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) faces Charles Martin tonight at the O2 arena in what will be the Britain’s first shot at world title glory.
Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) will make the first defence of his IBF heavyweight title at Joshua’s home of The O2 Arena
The American is making his first trip overseas and Martin claimed the vacant IBF title when Vyacheslav Glazkov retired from their fight with a knee injury. This is the same title that was stripped from Tyson Fury after the dethroned Wladimir Klitschko.
Charles Martin had the title gifted to him, he didn’t have to work for it at world level to become champion, this fight will be interesting as it will be both fighters biggest test to date.
Anthony Joshua’s biggest fight before this was at domestic level against Dillian Whyte, a bout which saw Joshua hurt badly early in fight after he decided to trade with his opponent.
Dillian Whyte was able to land plenty of left hooks when they met last December and this fight tonight we will see whether Joshua has learned his lesson from that fight.
“I was getting hit with the backhand a bit by not defending it, slipping it and countering,” said Joshua, who is aiming to become Britain’s 12th reigning world champion.
Anthony Joshua will need to be careful of slugging it out with Martin, he is the first southpaw that Joshua has faced since turning pro, he possess more of a threat with those left hands, a threat which could see Joshua get knocked out. as the American can bang.
Joshua will need to attack the American early on and launch an aggressive assault to bring the title home, if the fight goes past 6th round or 7th round it will take the Olympian in to deep waters and place I don’t think Joshua will be comfortable with.
Charles Martin will be looking to wear his opponent down stop him late on, Joshua needs to be aware of this and try to capitalise early in the fight and blast Martin out with his power.
“I’m not breaking anything down. I’m going to break him down and I’m going to stop him. It doesn’t matter how it comes. I’m not picky. I live for these sort of moments,” said Martin.
British champion Joshua is aiming to become only the third man to win a professional heavyweight world title while still a reigning Olympic champion.
Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, won light-heavyweight gold in 1960 before dethroning Sonny Liston in 1964; Leon
Is this fight to soon for Joshua?
Well his promoter Eddie Hearn admits while Joshua is still learning his trade and is still progessing, he feels that Martin doesn’t have too much experience and feels both fighters match-up well against each other.
“Josh is not the finished article by any means and if he’d fought for a world title in six fights’ time, I wouldn’t have been as nervous,” said Hearn.
“But Charles Martin isn’t that experienced either. So I expect them to go toe to toe.
“That’s great news for fight fans, but bad news for anyone close to Josh. I expect they will be watching the fight through their fingers.
“But there will be 25-year-olds down the pub watching this, as well as 85-year-old grandmothers knitting jumpers. Josh transcends the sport of boxing.”
This is heavyweight boxing, so whoever connects flush could be the winner.
Joshua will need be on his game, keep his discipline, land the big shots early and this should see him become heavyweight champion in only his sixteenth pro fight.
Both fighers are undefeated and we could see a cagey first and maybe second round while they feel each other out, but once the hands start to go expect fireworks.
Should Joshua come through this fight and pick up his first world title and Fury beat Klitschko in their rematch on 9th July, a blockbuster meeting between the two Britons would be inevitable with a big opportunity to unify the division.