Participating on an international teleconference today to further promote this Saturday night’s fight with defending IBF heavyweight champ Charles Martin, London’s Anthony Joshua predicted he will win the fight by KO inside six rounds. Joshua, 15-0(15) also said that while he is the current betting favorite, he considers himself to be the underdog and is mentally prepared and motivated as such.
Joshua said he is using Mike Tyson’s ruthless destruction of Trevor Berbick – the night, 30 years ago this year, when a 27-0 Tyson had his own first crack at winning a world title – as inspiration. “I feel I can come in and annihilate the champion, kind of like when Mike Tyson fought Berbick,” Joshua said earlier today.
“Just don’t give Charles Martin a chance and outclass him and that’s what I want to show. I want to land my haymakers and I know he will crumble. My prediction? Six rounds.”
Tyson, as surely all fans remember (was it really 30 years ago this November when “Iron” Mike electrified the sport like only he could!) took Berbick out inside two rounds, not six. However, Joshua will be going some and no doubt impressing many if he can despatch unbeaten southpaw Martin inside a half dozen rounds. Tyson’s title win was incredible and if Joshua can produce something close in terms of the sheer destruction Tyson displayed, he will have a very good result under his belt (Berbick though, despite not being a great, was a far more proven commodity than is Martin, with the then defending WBC champion at least having wins over John Tate, Greg Page, David Bey, Mitch Green, an ageing Muhammad Ali and Pinklon Thomas on his record upon entering the Tyson defence, this being a far greater list of names than Martin has on his ledger).
But if Joshua can blast Martin, 23-0-1(21) out in stunning fashion, he will give commentators something to shout about. Who can forget Barry Tompkins’ “And we have a new era in boxing!” proclamation that exciting night in Las Vegas three decades ago? Joshua might well launch a whole new era in heavyweight boxing one day, and this will start on Saturday night, if he can make good on his prediction.
Back in 1986, Tyson was as ruthless, as vicious and as dangerous as any young heavyweight you care to mention. Joshua, like Tyson, can punch incredibly hard and with speed and accuracy. But can the 2012 Olympian really bring back the buzz Tyson gave us all those years ago? Some good judges do feel “A.J” will go on to dominate the division he will first be crowned in in five day’s time.
This writer’s prediction? Joshua by KO inside four-rounds.