Eddie Hearn is often criticised for the calibre of boxing that finds its way onto PPV, under the banner of his promotional outfit, Matchroom Sport. Saturday night will thankfully not be one of those occasions. It is a night of boxing that fully deserves to be on pay-per-view.
British heavyweight superstar Anthony Joshua will challenge Charles Martin of the United States for his IBF world heavyweight championship in what promises to be one of the most electric, yet tense affairs in recent memory, possibly parallel only to Carl Froch-George Groves II.
Joshua's maiden attempt at world honours will pique the interest of the entire boxing universe, primarily because many deem it a massive challenge, considering the relative infancy of Joshua's career. Secondly, the re-emergence of David Haye as a force in the heavyweight division, as well as Tyson Fury's recent victory over Wladimir Klitschko make British heavyweight boxing arguably the most attractive in all the weight classes.
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Bookmakers make Joshua the resounding favourite to beat Charles Martin on Saturday night, with many saying the fight will not go the distance. However, in searching for future unifications with both Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, as well as a possible super fight with David Haye, Joshua will be sure not to overlook a very game opponent in Martin, who boasts an unbeaten, yet unheralded record.
Martin won the IBF heavyweight strap in January, when he challenged Vyacheslav Glazkov for the vacant title; the title that had been stripped from Tyson Fury for opting to fight a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, which he was contractually obliged to do, rather than fight mandatory challenger, Glazkov.
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Martin took the belt in somewhat bizarre fashion, with a knee injury to Glazkov ending the contest in round three, the official decision being a technical knock-out victory for Martin. He later called out Anthony Joshua, and the fight was subsequently made, with tickets selling out in an estimated one-and-a-half minutes.
Big fights await either man. The victor on Saturday will have the heavyweight boxing division at their feet, and it would be expected that at least one of the major unifications will be made within the next year. Martin has the chance to make an immense statement and spring an upset that is somewhat uncommon considering he is the defending champion.
Whatever happens, sparks will fly, and it is not expected that we will hear the final bell after twelve rounds of boxing - it seems this contest will be race to the knockout.
Elsewhere on the card, Lee Selby of Wales, defends his IBF featherweight crown against Eric Hunter of the United States, whilst Jamie McDonnell defends his WBA 'regular' bantamweight title against Fernando Vargas of Mexico. Both are expected to routinely win and go on to face bigger challenges later in the year; Josh Warrington of Leeds for Selby, and possibly Juan Carlos Payano of the Dominican Republic - the WBA 'super' world bantamweight champion for McDonnell.
Nigel Benn's son Conor, will make his professional debut also, whilst George Groves fights David Brophy in the super-middleweight division. Matthew Macklin and Brian Rose also participate in a cross-roads fight, with arguably both careers on the line in what is a true 'pick 'em' fight. It is perhaps the most intriguing contest behind the main event.
What must be said of Saturday night is the depth of the card and the quality of the main event. Joshua will hopefully supply the fireworks and Martin will do his best to extinguish them, whilst a wealth of quality operators on the under-card will keep the crowd enticed in the meantime.
This is a truly defining night for British boxing, with one of its brightest prospects given the 'acid test' that his hoped legitimacy will require.
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