Charles Martin, the recently crowned IBF heavyweight champion, isn’t just going to defeat Anthony Joshua next month, he is going to knock him out and go on to become recognised as the best southpaw in boxing history. At least this is what a supremely confident “Prince” Charles told Sky Sports recently.
Martin – whose sole victory of note came against Vyacheslav Glazkov in a fight that ended in an unsatisfying manner when Glazkov’s knee blew before the fight could really get going – believes he is destined for greatness.
“My skills are going to prevail on April 9,” the unbeaten Martin told Sky Sports. “I’ve got the skill and the will to win. I’m the best champion. I’ll go down in history as the best southpaw that ever put on a pair of gloves. I’m that guy and I’m going to prove it. Big shout outs to my coaches Henry Tillman and Jamal Abdullah. We’re learning how to be better, more explosive, more powerful, and with more technique and with better footwork. It’ll be the key to spark him out. We’ll keep it awkward for him. He won’t know whether to look out for the hook, the straight left hand or the uppercut, the crosses – I’ve got it all.”
Whew! Martin, a naturally gifted talker, certainly knows how to sell himself and the upcoming fight with the unbeaten 2012 Olympian. But can Martin back up his boasts? If he can, he will be on his way to some massive fights. As to whether he can get himself into a position to be called the best southpaw in the sport’s history, well, what would left handed greats such as Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Joe Calzaghe, Vicente Saldivar, Manny Pacquiao and Pernell Whitaker have to say about this particular issue! Some people would say Martin is not even the best southpaw heavyweight currently fighting: pointing to unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz.
However, Martin makes some good points about his upcoming fight with Joshua. Martin says the 15-0 Londoner has got “big muscles” and that he will get tired in the later stages of the fight. Martin insists he will get stronger the longer the fight goes and that he will KO Joshua with a shot he “won’t see coming.”
Interesting. Joshua does have an impressive physique that reminds some fans of his countryman Frank Bruno, the chiselled champ from the 1990s. Bruno, as we found out when “Big Frank” was at around the same stage of his pro career Joshua is currently at, faded in the later rounds of a fight and was not blessed with a great chin. The combination of Bruno being musclebound and a little chinny proved disastrous in a number of his big fights. Could Joshua be cut from a similar cloth, as Martin suggests, at least regarding the muscles? Maybe.
The April 9th fight is a big test for both Martin and “A.J,” and nobody really knows what is going to happen. Will we see a short slugfest or a long and hard battle of attrition? Martin seems to think the fight will go late and that he will stop a fatigued Joshua. Other fans/experts/pundits seem to feel Joshua will win via early stoppage.
We’ll soon see!