Boxing

British Olympic star set for professional debut

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Joshua will hope to become as successful as David Haye. (©GettyImages)
Joshua will hope to become as successful as David Haye. (©GettyImages).

London 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua will make his highly-anticipated professional boxing debut on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London against unbeaten Emanuele Leo.

With the heavyweight division in such a poor state since the retirement of Lennox Lewis, boxing fans are looking for a new hero to take over from the Klitschko's who, despite being very dominant since Lewis' retirement, have not exactly set the world alight with exciting performances and have employed a safety first approach to get them this far.

Could Joshua be what the fans are looking for? I certainly believe he can and this Saturday's fight with Leo is a good way to start his journey.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Joshua said: "It's the start of a journey, hopefully it's a great one and we will get that world title, God willing. I'm with a good promotional team and I'm sure they can pull the strings to make it happen."

He added of Leo: "It is what it is, he's coming to fight and I'm coming to fight. We all train, we're all boxers and someone's got to walk out a winner. That's what I'm preparing to be.

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has found an unbeaten opponent to get Joshua started against.

He told Sky Sports: "I wanted him to have a tough test. We're going to try and potentially move him on, he's going learn every time.

"I want someone who is going to come and try to beat Anthony Joshua, because that is when I think you're going to see the sensational performances and knockouts.

"The people don't just want to see bodies in the ring, they want to see people with ambition. Anthony's got a tough fight on Saturday for his opener," he added.

I'm not sure it will be too tough for Joshua on Saturday night, especially if he is set to go as far as many hope he will. Nevertheless, a debut against a fighter who is unbeaten in eight fights is not a bad way to start this exciting career.

Also on the card will be Scott Quigg's world title attempt as he takes on Yoandris Salinas for the vacant WBA super bantamweight world championship.

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Topics:
Heavyweight
Boxing
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