Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua could be ready for a British Title shot by the end of next year, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.
“It's such a weak division. Obviously Haye v Fury is the fight everyone is waiting for now and personally I think the winner of that will fight Wladimir next," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"There just aren't the opponents out there. How they are filling out arenas for these fights I don't know, they put on great shows but in time the winner of Haye vs Fury makes sense."
"Domestically you've got those two, Derrick Chisora is still battling away, and David Price I feel will be back. He's still British and Commonwealth champion, still got a lot to fight for."
"Beneath that you've got Anthony Joshua. He looks the real deal and now he's got to get in there and show it. He's got a lot of learning to do and that starts on October 5 at the O2."
"I think Britain should be excited about this young man's future. He's got all the attributes of a fantastic heavyweight."
"I hope we'll get into double figures in the first year but these are big guys landing heavy shots and injuries do come into play. But after 10 fights we'll be looking for a British title.
"Joshua he will have three or four fights before the end of the year."
For me Hearn has raised several good points here. The heavyweight division is quite weak with the vast majority of so-called world-title contenders well below what should be expected. The likes of Kubrat Pulev and Bermane Stiverne who are both in mandatory positions for shots at a world title are just not good enough in my opinion to fight for a title.
On a domestic level there just aren't that many decent level boxers in the division compared to some other weight divisions in which even at a British Title level there are good, competitive fighters. I mean you look at say the lightweight scene in which you have Derry Mathews, Tommy Coyle, Anthony Crolla and Gavin Rees all at British level. They are all top fighters and fighting each other improves each of them.
There just isn't this level of competitiveness in the domestic heavyweight scene. Yes there are good British heavyweights but they have moved on and are fighting at world level now.
It is sad that the glamour division of the sport has been in such decline in recent times although there does appear to be cause for optimism with a group of British heavyweights looking as though they are ready to make a big impression in the division.
The likes of David Haye, Tyson Fury, Dereck Chisora, David Price, Anthony Joshua and Hughie Fury are all talented boxers with high aspirations. For me the most promising boxer out of all of them is Joshua who has height, speed, power and good technique.
I am however slightly concerned at Hearn already looking at British title shots in the future when Joshua is yet to make his professional debut. For me, I would like all talk to be on Joshua’s debut and just concentrating on where he is at this stage in his career.
It is natural that we expect Joshua to go on and fight for titles but to be talking about that so early on is dangerous. It could lead to over-confidence which is a fatal error. I can’t see Joshua getting ahead of himself as he seems to be a really switched on guy with what it takes both mentally and physically to go right the way to the top.
It is pleasing to hear that Joshua will be kept very busy as a professional with Hearn looking to get him in the ring 3 or 4 times before the end of the year. Keeping active early on in your professional career is a very important factor as you are put in with opponents that you are expected to beat and often you beat them easily. Such fights often don’t mean a lot to the young pro as they aren’t really learning a lot.
I would personally like to see Joshua given some decent tests in the first year and a half as a professional. The likes of John Mcdermott, Matt Skelton and Sam Sexton are all fighters who I would like to see Joshua in with after several fights.
These would be fights in which Joshua would actually learn and progress as a young boxer. I would expect Joshua to come through such fights well and I believe that the recent losses suffered by David Price are a big wake-up call in how to develop a heavyweight.
I think that heavyweights need to be matched harder as they progress so that when they step-up in class of opponent it isn’t such a big jump as Price had.
I am very excited about this young man as he has all the ability to be a fantastic professional and could be the answer to the problem in the heavyweight division and I have no doubt that he will be ready for a British Title shot within the next 2 years but I urge a lot of caution against looking too far ahead.
Anthony Joshua the brightest spark in the relighting of the heavyweight scene!
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