The Guardian reports that Brit Anthony Joshua, the reigning Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist, is to turn professional and join the ever expanding Matchroom Sport stable.
Speculation as to whether Joshua would turn pro has been rife ever since he won the medal at last year’s home Olympics.
Aged just 23, Joshua understands that he is still a young man with a lot to learn about the sport.
It was very impressive to see Joshua take all the time he needed to weigh-up his options and what is best for him, before making a decision to either remain amateur and compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016 or, as he has chosen, enter the pro game.
Taking his time and speaking to as many different people as possible about the move, including the great Lennox Lewis (who won an Olympic gold medal himself), shows a real maturity about Joshua. The boxer really seems to be switched on mentally which backs up his obvious boxing talent brilliantly.
Joshua has had money being thrown at him to turn professional and it is great to see that he has taken his time and not been blown away by the proposed deals. Joshua is more concerned with winning than money and that is a great attitude for a young man.
Joining Eddie Hearn was the obvious choice for the fighter as he will get all the exposure necessary to make him even more of a star. Hearn’s deal with Sky Sports will allow Joshua to box regularly and be seen by a wide audience. Hearn has also taken on Olympians Luke Campbell and Thomas Stalker so there is no doubt that Joshua would have taken their advice.
Despite having only been boxing for a few years, the 23-year-old's progression is unbelievable and has rightly got everyone very excited about what he can go on to achieve in his professional career. He started boxing aged 18, and to then go on and win a gold medal a few years later is almost unheard of.
He has all the assets to be a world champion so as long as he is managed correctly and continues his desire to improve and work hard.
Standing at 6ft 6in he is an imposing figure with great power and an athletic build. He has a chiselled physique unlike many heavyweights and benefits from good speed. He has all the natural elements to be a great boxer. All of these assets will only further develop as he progresses through the paid ranks.
Joshua is to make his debut live on Sky Sports, October 5 at the 02 Arena in a six-round contest. This will be a fantastic night to mark the professional debut of a young man who has got the boxing community very excited.
He will of course be matched with a fighter that he will be expected to beat easily and that scenario will be repeated for his first few fights.
Given his talent, Joshua shouldn’t really be tested as a professional for a while and I’m sure he will look mightly impressive in destroying those in his way. It will be of great interest to follow the career of Anthony Joshua and see how he progresses as he may well be the next great British heavyweight. To make such a statement is very premature but given his pedigree, it is understandable.
Joshua will need to keep level-headed and remain the humble young man that he is if he is to be a great. He will need to avoid getting sucked into the hype that will surround him and realise what he is ultimately entering the sport for; to win fights and titles.
It will be interesting to find out who his trainer will be as that could be a key factor in how he develops. I personally would love to see him trained by Adam Booth. Booth has done a fantastic job with David Haye over the years and is now making George Groves a top young fighter.
Booth has brilliant tactical awareness and is someone that will push you to your limit to make sure that you are fulfilling your potential.
Joshua has already shown that he doesn't mind taking his time to make the right decision and I’m certain he has thought long and hard about his potential coach.
I cannot wait to see Anthony Joshua in action and I am excited at the prospect of me as a new, young, boxing writer developing, whilst Joshua is starting his professional career. I’m certain that in the coming years this man will feature heavily in my work.
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