Yesterday’s news regarding how unbeaten British heavyweight hope Anthony Joshua will face newly crowned IBF heavyweight champ Charles Martin on April 9th caused quite a splash, with everyone from Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye and Tyson Fury commenting on the big step in the career of the 2012 Olympian.
But in some ways, the bigger story is what could come next for “A.J” if he comes through okay against the southpaw who will be making his first title defence. Indeed, Martin has been almost the forgotten fighter in the match-up, with most everyone – including the bookmakers – fully expecting Joshua to win, and win in style, in April. Naturally, Martin disagrees with such thinking, and is predicting a KO win over Joshua, but the fact is, Joshua is both the star and the favourite in this fight.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, speaking with Sky Sports, feels the sky will be the limit for his fighter should he do the business against “Prince” Charles:
“Of course, if Anthony is successful, we would look to get him out again in the summer and he can fight anyone he wants,” Hearn said. “There’s David Haye, Tyson Fury – although he is most likely to be tied up with Wladimir Klitschko. There are a lot of people saying he’ll have to learn on the job with some defences. But we will take it fight by fight.”
Should Joshua win the IBF title, he would have no mandatory commitments for some time, possibly allowing him to make a voluntary defence against a big name. Haye has already been mentioned by plenty of people as a potential Joshua foe in the summer, in what would be an absolute blockbuster for British boxing. Haye wants the fight and has wanted it for some time; Joshua having a major belt around his waist would only make the fight more appealing for Haye, who must first win his second comeback fight, against TBA, on May 21st.
And as for a Joshua-Fury collision next year, that would be even bigger; if Fury can keep his belts and unbeaten record in the meantime. Fury is yet to officially announce his next fight, and it could be that return with Klitschko or, judging by his recent Tweet, it could be someone else. One thing is clear, the heavyweight scene in Britain is both thriving and exciting right now.
But will Charles Martin spoil the best laid plans?