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Anthony Joshua vs. Matt Legg on Froch-Groves 2 card on 5/31

joshua55By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has decided to go soft for heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua’s next fight by matching him against 38-year-old Matt Legg (7-2, 3 KO’s) on the Carl Froch vs. George Groves 2 undercard on May 31st at the Wembley Stadium in London, UK. Instead of putting Joshua in against a decent quality opponent like Michael Sprott, who had been rumored to be a possible opponent for Joshua, Hearn has opted for Legg.

You can look at this match and kind of see why Hearn would want to put the 6’6″ Joshua against an easy mark like Legg. First off, the 6’6″ Joshua hasn’t looked lightning fast or particularly explosive in winning his five previous fights. Joshua, who won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics via a series of controversial decisions, has looked flat-footed and slow as a pro. But by matching Joshua against a no hoper like Legg, Hearn can make Joshua look like a star in front of the 80,000 fans that will be packing the Wembley Stadium to see the Froch-Groves rematch.

It’ll be a miracle if Legg makes it past the 1st round. I mean, we’re talking about a fighter who was blown out in just 3 rounds last November by 45-year-old James Toney. If Toney was able to get Legg out in 3 rounds, then you’ve got to figure that Joshua will do it in 1 round. The Joshua-Legg fight has early knockout written all over it. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Joshua knocks Legg out in the first 20 seconds of the fight, and that’s not because Joshua is a huge puncher, because he’s clearly not. The boxing fans that will be packing Wembley Stadium on May 31st, probably won’t know that Joshua is fighting a guy that is light years away from him in the talent department. As such, the fans will see a Joshua knockout of Legg and think he’s the guy at heavyweight, and will jump on board the Joshua express.

Had Hearn matched Joshua against a stiff puncher like Sprott, the outcome would be far less certain, because Sprott can actually punch, and as we’ve seen in Joshua’s previous five fight as a pro, he’s very, very easy to hit. I mean, finding the slow-footed Joshua with right hands and left hooks is quite easy. Joshua tends to plod forward and square himself up to his opponents while throwing arm punches. Sprott might take Joshua’s head off if a fight were made between them. It’s far better for Hearn to keep matching Joshua against soft touches until he gets his world title shot in 4-5 years, and then he can be thrown to the wolves.

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