By Scott Gilfoid: Instead of taking a step up after his victory over 38-year-old Matt Legg last Saturday night, heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KO’s) will be making more of a lateral move in fighting 47-year-old journeyman Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) on July 12th next month in Liverpool, UK. It’s hard to figure out why Joshua is being matched against Skelton, because this guy hasn’t fought in over a year since March of 2013. By the time he steps foot inside the ring to fight Joshua next month, it’ll have been almost a year and a half since Skelton last fought.
I don’t know if it’s very sporting to fight someone who has been out of the ring for as long as Skelton. His advanced age is one thing, but look all the time he’s been out of the ring. How in the world is the British Boxing Board of Control sanctioning this fight?
The soon to be 25-year-old Joshua says he’s not in a hurry to push his career along by fighting better opposition, so he’s fine with the pace with which his promoter Eddie Hearn is pushing his career.
Indeed, it probably really helps Joshua’s career that he’s being moved slowly because if he were to be put in with a champion like Wladimir Klitschko or one of the top contenders such as Deontay Wilder., it would likely go really badly for Joshua at this point because he’s still looking very slow, flat-footed and sluggish in his fights. You don’t want to put a flat-footed fighter in with Wilder or Wladimir because they would tear that type of fighter apart.
“Hopefully I will get another victory against the veteran Matt Skelton and then I think early next year it will be interesting to see where my management take me heading towards the British title, but what an honor it would be to fight for the British title,” Joshua said to Skysports.com.
Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury will be fighting for the vacant British heavyweight title next month on July 26th. Would Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn push Joshua in against Chisora or Fury? I kind of doubt it. That doesn’t seem like the type of move that Hearn would make, to be honest. He seems to take his fighters in the slow lane and keep them there until they fight for a world title. I see Joshua maybe fighting someone like Tom Dallas or Big John McDermott by 2015. And by 2016, maybe they move him up against someone like Audley Harrison.
Skelton doesn’t seem to be the fighter he was 10 years ago. The 47-year-old has lost his last two fights to David Price and John McDermott.