Men want to be him, Women want to be with him.
Having brushed aside previous World Champion Charles Martin in a mere 2 rounds, you could forgive not just the UK, but the whole world for thinking Anthony Joshua is the man to beat.
It may be naive of me to say I’d never heard of Martin before the fight, but having won the title while it was vacant always suggested he had a point to prove, and his failure to make the 10 count last week in his first IBF World Heavyweight title defence was equally as questionable. Don’t take anything away from Joshua, the man is a machine. He comfortably beat a 6ft 5in, 17st 7lbs World Champion just 1 and a half minutes into the 2nd round of the biggest fight in his career – that takes some balls, and the respect between the two of them after the fight was admirable in any sport.
However, although the businessman in me wants to see Joshua go on and fight the likes of David Haye, Tyson Fury, or even Wladimir Klitschko at a time when heavyweight boxing is booming, I can’t help but feel it’s still too early. The athlete in me says to continue to climb the ladder at a steady pace. Boxing has evolved over the years, and a fighter’s reputation is damaged significantly by just a single defeat, look at George Groves for example.
Joshua needs to resist the crafty way that tactician Fury is trying to manipulate a bout, and get a few defences out of the way before taking on another world title shot. He’s a grounded individual, and he’ll be the first to say that he needs to go further than his current average of just over 3 rounds. Fury knows Joshua is only going to get better and better, and the sooner the fight takes place the better chance he has of winning – hence Charles Martin actually making the challenge to Joshua… although that didn’t work out to well for him.
Eddie Hearn has got a decision to make regarding the path they choose to go down. They don’t want to have the fight prematurely and boxing’s most exciting fighter gaining a mark in the loss column, but they also don’t want to wait too long where it becomes a Pacquiao-Mayweather situation. I also think he should take a fight to the states in order to become a global phenomenon – the pay day would be worth it too.
The ladder for me, if everything goes to plan, should be; Stiverne (O2) – Chisora (O2) – Haye (Wembley) – Povetkin (O2) – Wilder (Vegas) – Klitschko (Germany) – Fury (Manchester).
I for one cannot wait to see how everything unfolds.
Will Wood, Leeds Beckett University, Sport Marketing Student
BoxRec (2016) Anthony Joshua. [Online] Available at: http://boxrec.com/boxer/659461 [Accessed: 14 April 2016].
BoxRec (2016) Charles Martin [Online] Available at: http://boxrec.com/boxer/631078 [Accessed: 14 April 2016].
Boxing Legends TV (2015) Anthony Joshua best Knockouts (15-0). [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhJ1mELpmWw [Accessed: 14 April 2016].
Brady, L. (2016) What’s next for Anthony Joshua? [Online] Available at: http://roundbyroundboxing.com/whats-next-for-anthony-joshua/ [Accessed: 14 April 2016].
Robson, J. (2016) When is the Anthony Joshua v Charles Martin fight and will it set up a super fight with Tyson Fury? [Online] Available at: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/boxing/anthony-joshua-charles-martin-fury-10916243 [Accessed: 14 April 2016].