This past weekend Anthony Joshua showed once more just why British boxing fans are so excited about what he can go on to achieve in the noble art.
Joshua, aged just 25, has taken the heavyweight division by storm so far as a professional, with this latest fight being his tenth consecutive knock out. Joshua faced off with fellow Brit Michael Sprott on the undercard of the Bellew v Cleverly rematch in Liverpool's Echo Arena. His rival, aged 39, is a highly experienced campaigner, and had 42 wins and 22 losses on his record coming into the fight.
The two heavyweights are at opposite ends of their career, with Joshua just starting out as a professional and Sprott in the twilight of his time as a boxer. Despite Sprott clearly being a fighter on the decline the manner in which Joshua dispatched of him was thrilling.
Fight Didn't Last Long
Joshua worked away with the jab for the first minute of the fight before landing a big shot on Sprott, who immediately backed up. Joshua didn't give him a second to recover or try and escape. He pounced on Sprott and threw a flurry of heavy shots which landed on the target.
The referee Terry O'Connor should really have stepped in a few seconds earlier as Sprott was defenceless and taking punishment. Joshua blew Sprott away within 90 seconds and at the moment he looks like a rare talent that can bring excitement back to what should be the glory division of the sport.
In years gone by the likes of Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson and so many others have thrilled fans, but in recent times the current generation has failed to ignite public passion.
Joshua To Reignite Glory Days?
Joshua seems to have the potential to bring back the glory days. He is tall, powerful, quick, fit, has very good boxing skills and is a very humble and determined young man. He appears to have all the assets needed to excel in the sport.
Kevin Johnson Next
Following the fight it was announced that Joshua will face off with the defensively savvy American Kevin Johnson in January at the 02 Arena in London. Johnson, aged 35, holds a record of 29 wins, six losses and one draw.
Johnson has never been stopped inside the distance, which considering he has faced off with the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora is no small achievement.
Johnson has a way of getting through fights without taking punishment and the hope is that he will give Joshua some good rounds in which he can develop as a fighter. This would seem the perfect fight at this stage of his career.
Although Johnson hasn't been stopped so far in his career I expect Joshua to end that streak. The power with which he punches and the way in which he sets up his power shots through his jab will prove too much for Johnson.
Be Excited But Realistic In The Coming Year
As mentioned previously it is completely understandable that British boxing fans are getting excited about this young man, but caution must be urged all the same. He is yet to face someone who has the ability to fire back at him and put him under pressure. We haven't seen his chin tested and we haven't seen him in with an opponent who is expected to give him some trouble.
Be intrigued about Joshua but don't expect too much too soon. Suggestions from some of fighting Wladimir Klitschko sooner rather than later are way off the mark and he has a lot to do before he is ready for such a fight.