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Anthony Joshua: Skelton is the toughest test of my career

Anthony Joshua Matt SkeltonBy Scott Gilfoid: 2012 Olympic super heavyweight Gold medalist for Britain from the London Olympics Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KO’s) will be fighting what he refers to as his toughest fight of his pro career against 47-year-old Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) in less than two weeks on July 12th at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

Joshua, 24, will be meeting Skelton in an 8 round bout on the same card as Nathan Cleverly vs. Alejandro Emilio Valori and Tony Bellew vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos. For an Olympic gold medalist, Joshua has been matched against disappointingly soft opposition by his promoter Eddie Hearn.

When you see Olympic gold medalists like Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1) having captured the WBO featherweight title recently on just his 3rd fight, and then compared that to Joshua, it sends out alarm signals that maybe Hearn sees something in Joshua in waching him spar that makes him want to match him so carefully, because Joshua really shouldn’t be stiffing fighting feoder opposition.

“Matt is my toughest test in the pros, there’s no doubt about that,” Joshua said. “I hope he’s training hard so that we can put on a good show in Liverpool, it’s my first fight in the city and it’s on a great bill so I’m looking forward to a really big night and looking to put in a performance worthy of the stage.”

Instead of worrying about 47-year-old Skelton training hard, Joshua should be taking with Hearn about giving him a huge upgrade in talent so that he can learn some things because it’s not going to help him if he’s matched against weak old guys or little known fighters with losing records. Joshua needs to be put in with some good fighters.

Joshua said “I am sure he’s going to come to make a statement and he’s certainly a different type of challenge, he’ll be sitting on my chest, putting pressure on me and throwing shots and testing my chin so I have had some new things to work on in the gym and that’s what it is all about for me, working on the inside, working on my defence and my counters and looking to keep it long and using the double jab.”

It sounds like Joshua is trying to build up Skelton to make him seem better than he is, because there’s no way you can get excited about this fight. Skelton has lost his last two fights against John McDermott and David Price. The obvious question is why didn’t Hearn match Joshua against the guys that beat Skelton rather than Skelton.


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