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Anthony Joshua faces Matt Skelton this Saturday night in step up fight

joshua2By Scott Gilfoid: 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KOs) will be taking a nice little step up fight in taking on 47-year-old Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) in a scheduled 6 round bout at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

The fact that this is being called a step for the 6’6” Joshua kind of gives you an idea of the type of woeful opposition he’s been facing since he turned pro in 2013. His promoter Eddie Hearn has been taking no chances with the 24-year-old Joshua in bringing him up at a snail’s pace despite him earning a gold medal at the London Olympics.

There’s not much to say about this fight other than fact that Joshua needs to shine because Skelton is coming into the fight with consecutive losses to David Price and John McDertmott, and he’s nearing 50-years-old.

I’m frankly surprised that Joshua is being matched against Skelton, because it seems a move that puts Joshua in a situation where he could very well look bad even in winning the fight. I mean, Skelton was stopped by Price in 2 rounds in 2012 and beaten by Kubrat Pulev in 4 rounds in 2010. How do you top what those guys did, and why would Joshua be matched against Skelton anyway.

I don’t see what Joshua can learn from this fight that’s going to help him when he gets put in with a heavyweight that can punch, and take him into the deep waters to drown him. Joshua needs to be put in with a guy with some punch resistance and some respectable power that can test him in a real way. With all those muscles, he’s going to need to show that he can fight a 10-12 round fight without gassing out and keeling over after 6 rounds.

You’re not going to find that out by matching him against Skelton. At best, Skelton will last 2 rounds. At worst, we’re likely talking one minute of the 1st round. As soon as he gets hit with a hard body shot, it’s probably going to be over. That’s not because Joshua is a big puncher, because he’s not a real big puncher. He’s more of an arm puncher. The reason why Skelton will hit the deck is because he’s showing signs of fading as a heavyweight, and you can guess that being 47 probably has something to do with it.

What we’ll likely see is Skelton bouncing a few shots off Joshua’s easy to hit chin before collapsing in a heap shortly thereafter as soon as Joshua lands one to the bread basket. It’s going to be disappointing because it won’t tell us anything about whether Joshua is cut out to be a world class contender one of these days.

I’d have been happier if Hearn had matched Joshua against the guy that beat Skelton recently in McDermott than Skelton. It makes more sense that if he’s going to step Joshua up, he should be looking for someone who won his last fight instead of someone who has lost his last 2 fights like Skelton.

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