Like a good number of people, reigning and undefeated WBC heavyweight king Deontay Wilder sees this Saturday night’s IBF heavyweight title fight between defending belt-holder Charles Martin and challenger Anthony Joshua as a very close, hard to call fight. Some say the fight has come too soon in the career of the 2012 Olympic gold medallist, while others say Martin is still very much the unproven article himself.
In terms of potential and how far either heavyweight can go in the sport, it’s a case of who you think has more talent and better all-round attributes. Both unbeaten fighters have predicted a KO win on Saturday, but you can find 100 experts/fans picking Joshua and you can also find 100 experts/fans picking JMartin. It’s this intrigue that perhaps makes the fight worthy of its pay-per-view price tag (that and, it must be said, a pretty good under-card).
Wilder, in speaking with Sky Sports, said the fight is too close for him to call, but that he is naturally supporting fellow US fighter Martin.
“Of course I’m going with my fellow countryman, “ Wilder said today. “I feel Anthony Joshua has not fought a top fighter like this yet. He’s a southpaw and that is a big thing because I don’t think Joshua has faced a southpaw yet, so he is going to find he is very, very awkward – both ways. I make it 50-50 – too close to call. If Joshua wins he’s definitely the man in England. And if he loses, I think a lot of people are going to be heartbroken.”
Wilder – whose own stock went up at the weekend due to how two of his previous title challenger stoppage victims, Eric Molina and Johann Duhaupas, scored impressive stoppage wins of their own, proving they were not the “soft touch” challengers critics said they were – spoke about how exciting the division is right now. Wilder must deal with Alexander Povetkin in May first, but then he sees himself facing “these young fighters fighting to bring excitement.”
“How exciting can it get?” Wilder asked. If the match-ups the fans want to see get made, very exciting. Starting on Saturday night, the division will hopefully see some thrilling back and forth rumbles.