Anthony Joshua faces Jason Gavern on Saturday
By Scott Gilfoid: Making his first appearance since suffering a stress fracture in his back last November in his fight against 40-year-old Michael Sprott, unbeaten British heavyweight Anthony Joshua (10-0, 10 KOs) will be back in the ring this Saturday, April 4th against journeyman Jason Gavern (26-19-4, 11 KOs) at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom.
The 6’6” Joshua sees the Gavern fight as a showcase fight for him to show off his talent against a guy who is just there to give him rounds. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn still isn’t taking any chances with him by putting him in against dangerous opposition that might beat him.
What makes the Gavern fight so difficult is that he was recently beaten by the 6’7” knockout artist Deontay Wilder, who defeated him in a spectacular performance. It was before Deontay captured the WBC heavyweight title. But for Joshua to look good in the Gavern fight, he’s going to need to be able to do a better job against Gavern than Deontay did.
There are a lot of question marks about Joshua in terms of his ability to compete against quality heavyweights. He was beaten in the amateur ranks by Dillian Whyte in a fight where Joshua was knocked on the canvas.
Joshua would go on to win a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics. However, several of his victories in the Olympics were highly controversial, especially his fights against Roberto Cammarelle and Erislandy Savon. A lot of boxing fans felt that Joshua lost both of those fights.
“It was going on since October but heavyweights have big muscles to support your bones, so when it happened the muscles tensed up around the bone when I was training,” Joshua said to Skysports.com about his injury to his back. “I took two weeks off after the Sprott fight, the muscles relaxed and I didn’t realise it was a bone injury, I thought it was the muscle that was hurting. I got it checked and they said it was a stress fracture.”
You have to wonder whether the injury to Joshua’s back is just the beginning of what could wind up as a career long injury problem. This isn’t the first injury that Joshua has suffered in the last year. He suffered a shoulder injury not long ago that caused him to miss a couple of months of action.
The thing is Joshua is only 25-years-old, and he’s already suffering injuries left and right. The thought is that maybe the injuries are a product of all the muscles that he’s carrying around on his frame. Some fighters that are over-muscled suffer injuries left and right, and Joshua’s recent injuries could be the beginning of chronic problems for him.
Joshua has a fight scheduled on May 30th against Kevin Johnson at the O2 Arena in London, UK. This is another showcase fight for Joshua. He’s been talking about the fight for ages now, as if it’s a big deal. He would have already faced Johnson by now if he hadn’t suffered the back injury.