Saturday night was supposed to be the first real test of Anthony Joshua’s short career, yet what actually occurred was a punch perfect, glorified sparring session. Matt Skelton did his usual trick of trying to rush his opponent early on, but the superb jab of the Olympic hero kept him honest all night, and the right hand worked to devastating effect.
Skelton, who had previously been stopped by David Price, certainly shouldn’t be fighting at his age in my opinion, but with the lack of talent in the heavyweight division at the moment he is still deemed a gatekeeper at 47.
He needs rounds.
The big concern that Eddie Hearn should have for his fighter is getting him rounds. We saw with David Price that while he blew everyone away at domestic level, as soon as he stepped up his stamina was questionable at best, not to ignore the worrying punch resistance he showed in the first fight with Tony Thompson. That is an issue though, with Joshua’s power, which fighter would be able to stand up to that cannon of a right hand?
One name that springs to mind, and it looks like Hearn has had the same thoughts is Yaroslav Zavorotyni, the man who recently took Price ten rounds, and has previously taken world title challenger Kubrat Pulev the distance. Not only will he test the Londoners stamina, he will also test his will and quite possibly his chin.
British title shot on the horizon
These are the questions we need answering soon, certainly before he stands in the ring with somebody like Tyson Fury or Dereck Chisora. Despite that, he is ready for a challenge with those two fighters now. There is nobody else on the domestic scene that could challenge them, and if Joshua fought the rest of the top ten this year I would expect him to stop them all before the half way stage.
The next twelve months are huge in his career, while there is no need to rush him, once he gets passed a certain point there is no turning back and he will be forced to look at fights against Deontay Wilder, Bryant Jennings, and maybe even David Price if his comeback continues down the right path. The future of the Heavyweight division certainly looks bright with this exciting prospect moving forward in his career.
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