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McCrory compares Anthony Joshua to Mike Tyson after win over Bakhtov

joshua676By Scott Gilfoid: Last night, heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (9-0, 9 KOs) defeated the much older and smaller 5’11”, 34-year-old journeyman Denis Bakhtov (38-10, 25 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout at the O2 Arena in London, UK to win the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) International heavyweight title.

It was such a mismatch in terms of size, age and talent that you really couldn’t get anything from the fight because Bakhtov was just too short, old and limited to do much with Joshua. In other words, it’s a fight that wasn’t worth putting together. I said before the fight this was a lateral move for Joshua from his previous opponent Konstantin Airich, who Joshua knocked out in 3 rounds last September, and it turns out I was 100 percent correct.

If anything, Airich was better than Bakhtov. I knew this because I’d actually see Bakhtov fight many times, and seen him get easily beaten by the likes of Manuel Charr, Alexander Ustinov and Vyacheslav Glazkov. When I say easily beaten I mean easily beaten. Bakhtov was like a punching bag in those fights, so I knew he was going to be a punching bag for Joshua as well.

What’s interesting is how a lot of the Sky commentators were all over Joshua after his win over Bakhtov, making it seem like he’d actually accomplished something rather than him having beaten a guy that his promoter Eddie Hearn carefully dug up to get him a chance to shine. Commentator Glenn McCrory of Sky Sports is another one on Joshua’s band wagon seemingly, as he compared him to former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson last night.

“Mike Tyson was pretty much going through the heavyweight division and creating a storm – and everybody loved it,” McCrory said via Sky Sports. “And nobody loves more than a heavyweight who knocks people out. They don’t want to see long 10-round fights, they want to see people getting knocked out – exactly what Anthony Joshua did.”

This is what I was afraid of. Joshua getting hyped after fluff wins over journeyman level opposition. Boxing fans are going to likely be in for a big disappointment when/if Joshua turns out to be the next Audley Harrison once he’s put in there with a live body instead of the guys that are being dragged in.

I’m sorry but I don’t see the same talent in Joshua as I do in Mike Tyson. The speed isn’t there, the power isn’t there, and the talent isn’t there. I don’t see Joshua as being improved from two years ago when he won a disputed Olympic gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics. If anything, I think Joshua was a better fighter then than he is now, because he was carrying around less muscle on his upper body, and he wasn’t as rigid and slow like he is now.

The way I see it I believe Joshua will struggle once Hearn stops matching him against guys like Airich, Michael Sprott and Bakhtov. I hope I’m wrong, I really do, but I see Joshua getting blown out once he gets put in with a puncher with some size, power and a good chin. With the way Hearn is matching Joshua, we may not see that happen until he gets a world title shot in a year or two, but I believe it’s going to happen none the less.

“He’s also got the speed and the power and Bakhtov couldn’t get near him and got peppered with big, solid jabs then the big right came in,” McCrory said.

I personally didn’t see Joshua as being all that fast. I mean, he’s not in the same league as Wladimir Klitschko or Deontay Wilder in terms of hand speed. He’s also not as powerful as them. Speed equals power, and that might be one of the reasons why Joshua seems to lack power.

I think another part is his lack of flexibility. He seemed almost musclebound last night against Bakhtov due to all the muscles he’s carrying around on his upper body, and that made him really flat-footed and less explosive as other heavyweights.

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