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Charles Martin fight is not too early for Anthony Joshua

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Opportunity knocks for Britain's most promising fighter, as it was announced that Anthony Joshua will fight Charles Martin for his IBF Heavyweight title on April 9 at the O2 in London.

This announcement caught many off-guard, seemingly due to both Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn's continual insistence that any path to a world title shot would be handled meticulously.

And after being seriously troubled at times in his most recent fight with Dillian Whyte, many were of the opinion that Joshua would need a few more domestic level fights before he made the step-up to a world title challenge.

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Upon reviewing that fight, it is not such a witless point to make. Joshua showed symptoms of immaturity against Whyte, he let personal hatred for his long-time nemesis blind him from the game plan at times.

Yet what must be asserted is that, in purely boxing terms, Dillian Whyte is no mug. He was labelled Joshua's toughest task to date and he certainly proved that.

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But in the end, he was blown away in brutal fashion and that is what matters. Such a conclusive finish should not be belittled.

So it is rather surprising to see that Tyson Fury and uncle Peter have both played down Joshua's chances in his first world title challenge, claiming that Martin will have too much for the north London man.

Really?

Whilst Martin should, of course, be credited for becoming world champion, the triumph was far from emphatic. His opponent, Vyacheslav Glazkov, was forced to withdraw in the third round as a result of a knee injury.

Deontay Wilder v Artur Szpilka

Martin was probably in front up until that point and boxed well though it was by no means breathtaking. He is a very tidy, well-organised fighter who can pack a serious punch, but so can Joshua.

Throwing him in at the deep end is a great risk by Eddie Hearn, being that his last fight with Whyte is his only serious test to date. In fact, it can even be proclaimed that Joshua has been spoon-fed a chance at glory.

Is it fair to say he has truly earned his stripes? The overall calibre in his list of previous opponents do not really do him justice. Then again, the same can be applied to Martin.

A fight with Dereck Chisora would have definitely furthered his progression and roughened him up around the edges, thus Eddie Hearn will be in for serious scepticism should Joshua prove too guileless.

But, although it is a risk, Joshua is definitely capable of beating Martin. And if he does, Hearn should rightly be praised for putting his most prized asset on the line so early in his career.

Boxing at The O2

There is a reason Martin himself was calling for the fight. Joshua is a scalp, a forced to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division. You only have to look at the interest he is drawing from the likes of David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko, in particular, to know he is a mouth-watering talent.

Powerful, with fast hands and as demonstrated last time out, a decent chin. Nevertheless, sheer strength and speed are not his only impressive attributes, his technique is flawless and perhaps underrated. You do not win an Olympic gold medal without craftsmanship.

It may be his introductory venture into world-level boxing, but it had to come at some point, and Anthony Joshua has all the tools to become champion.

If anything, Charles Martin should be the more fearful of the pair come April 9.

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Topics:
Boxing
David Haye
Derek Chisora
Wladamir Klitschko

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