This weekend reigning Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua will face off with the veteran Michael Sprott, on the undercard of the bitter grudge match between Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly in Liverpool.
Joshua, aged just 25 and standing at over 6ft 6 tall, is in supreme physical condition and has so far looked brilliant as a professional. He has destroyed all nine of his opponents within three rounds and is yet to be truly tested, a stance that is unlikely to change this weekend.
Sprott is an experienced campaigner
At 39 years old Sprott is at the other end of the experience scale as a professional, with a record of 42 wins and 22 losses. He has been in with a series of good fighters, including the likes of Corrie Sanders, Danny Williams, Ruslan Chagaev, Audley Harrison, Lamon Brewster, Alexander Ustinov, Alexander Dimitrenko, Kubrat Pulev and Robert Helenius to name a few.
The problem for Sprott is that against most of the aforementioned names he has come off second best. Yes many of these fights are likely to have been taken on short notice, but he has become a good test to see where a developing boxer is at.
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Huge incentive for Sprott to give everything
This time around Sprott has had a good notice period for this fight and as such has been able to prepare as he would like. This is a massive opportunity for him to fight on television and to make a real name for himself and to produce one of the biggest upsets in living memory.
If he is to somehow pull off the upset win then there will likely be big offers for a rematch for him to cash in on. It is however expected that Joshua will prove too young, too big and too powerful for a man entering the closing stages of his career.
Joshua's credentials are imposing
Joshua has so far shown immense punch power combined with a good solid jab and the maturity not to underestimate any opponent he has been in with. Joshua comes across as a very grounded young man who realises just how much work he has to do to fulfil his undoubted potential.
Joshua is expected to enter the ring on Saturday night and dispatch of Sprott in emphatic fashion. Sprott is a savvy old pro who will look to spoil Joshua's work and make him look unimpressive.
Expect another quick knock out
This is expected to be just another step in the successful career of this rising star and a knock out win in the first 3three-four rounds seems the most likely outcome.
There are talks about Joshua facing off with the likes of fellow Brits Dereck Chisora, David Price and Tyson Fury next year but caution just be urged. These are all more experienced fighters than Joshua who have campaigned at a higher level than he has so far.
Chisora and Price look likely future tests
Chisora is a good, solid pressure fighter who could provide a good opponent for Joshua at some point next year but the other two would be more risky at this stage in my opinion.
Despite David Price's two devastating losses to Tony Thompson he is still a legitimate threat. He possesses great punch power and he would only need to land one clean shot and the fight could be over.
What about Fury in 2015?
Fury has shown his heart and desire and could make for a really tough fight for Joshua at this stage of his career. He is big and strong and is an undefeated fighter.
Joshua needs to continue to face slightly lesser opponents than the likes of Chisora, Price and Fury for now. Someone like Kevin Johnson who is a durable, defensively good fighter would be a decent learning fight for Joshua before such fights take place.
Hearn must tread carefully with top talent
It does however seem that at the moment Joshua is going to learn more from his sparring and training than he will in the ring. He should look to get top sparring partners in and travel the world sparring the best as he did with Wladimir a Klitschko earlier in the year.
There is no doubt that Joshua is highly talented and seems to have everything needed to be a real star of the sport but he has to progressed at the right pace and not rushed too early.
Yes be excited about him but please don't push him too far, too soon.
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