Newly crowned IBF heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua insists he will not get carried away with winning his first world title and that bigger and better fights are very much still to come. Joshua crushed the big talking non-delivering “Prince” Charles Martin inside two stunningly easy rounds last night and in light of A.J’s easy win, the jury is still out on how good, or great, the 26-year-old can become.
One man who was, perhaps predictably, unimpressed is Tyson Fury (who reportedly put a £1,000 bet on Martin, who he said he felt would KO “stiff, raw novice Joshua”). The world ruler Tweeted how Joshua was “slow and ponderous” and that he would “slay the lamb.” Joshua insists Fury will never get to him mentally yet he also insists the fight – and one with David Haye – will happen “at the right time.”
Speaking with BBC Sport, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist spoke about two glory eras of heavyweight boxing: the 1970s, when Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier all fought, and the 1990s, when Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis also engaged in a series of thrilling bouts. Joshua says he, Fury and Haye will “have to fight.”
“George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier fought; Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis fought……Me, Tyson Fury and David Haye, we have to fight,” Joshua said. “We can’t get through this whole era without fighting, that would be silly, we will get it on at the right time. It’s just bound to happen at some stage.”
All three potential match-ups, if, or when, they take place will produce huge nights of boxing and already, even before Joshua crushed Martin, fans have argued over who would win. Can Joshua, with his sledgehammer power, speed and timing wipe out Fury and Haye in a similar fashion to the way he despatched his previous 17 KO victims? Or would Fury’s size, reflexes and boxing ability prove too much for the man yet to go past the 7th-round? Would a Joshua-Haye clash prove to be a short and sweet, violent slugfest?
Joshua is not yet the finished article and last night’s win may have deceived a little, what with nothing at all coming back from Martin. Rest assured, Haye and Fury, if they get the chance, will look to unload on the young champ. Joshua will likely, almost certainly, have a “safe” first defence – there is, crazily, talk of A.J making his maiden defence on July 9th, the same night Fury is set to fight Wladimir Klitschko in their rematch; both these fights seemingly headed towards a big stadium in the UK – before signing up to take on a real test. Hopefully this test will come in the form of Fury or Haye.
(Apologies for the error in my Joshua-Martin report piece, where I somehow listed Joshua as the fifth British fighter to have won a portion of the heavyweight title. He is if course the seventh Brit to have won a version, joining Bob Fitzsimmons, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Herbie Hide, David Haye and Tyson Fury)