Anthony Joshua could fight on May 9th Birmingham card, says Hearn
By Scott Gilfoid: In the latest boxing news, Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn is thinking of inserting unbeaten #7 WBC heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua (11-0, 11 KOs) on the May 9th Birmingham card in place of welterweight contender Frankie Gavin, who Hearn is thinking of pulling off the card.
Hearn is in negotiations for a fight between Gavin and former two division world champion Tim Bradley for an IBF welterweight eliminator match. If that fight takes place, then it’s possible that Gavin’s May 9th bout against Chris van Heerden will be cancelled in order for Gavin to take the bigger fight against Bradley.
Gavin also is a potential possibility for IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook’s next fight on May 30th at the O2 Arena in London. That’s not the ideal fight that Hearn is looking for though, as he prefers to put Gavin in with Bradley if possible.
“Potentially May 9th,” Joshua said to IFL TV about when he’ll be fighting next.
“We’ve got the Gavin situation to sort out,” Hearn said via IFL TV. “He could be fighting Tim Bradley. We want to get him [Anthony Joshua] on May 9th. We’re doing it the right way. Kevin Johnson is just the fight for him. You know what’s coming after Kevin Johnson. Be careful what you wish for. If we decide to give Dillan Whyte a pay day, great; we’re up for that. If we decide to give David Price a pay day, great, we’re up for that. It’s only a matter of time. We just want to do it the right way for Anthony Joshua. Kevin Johnson, Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury, they’re all going to get it.”
The opponent for Joshua’s May 9th fight would obviously be 35-year-old journeyman Kevin Johnson (29-6-1, 14 KOs) rather than the dangerous Dillian Whyte (14-0, 11 KOs). The only reason that Hearn mentioned Whyte’s name is because his name is getting brought up more and more by boxing fans due to his previous win over Joshua during his amateur days.
Whyte put Joshua on the canvas and was able to nail him with big shots repeatedly during their fight. Whyte showed himself to have the better power of the two in that fight, and was able to nail Joshua like clockwork with big shots to the head. However, I think it’s safe to say that Hearn has no interest in putting Joshua in with Whyte because this guy is a dangerous heavyweight for anyone. He’s not huge like the 6’7” Deontay Wilder, but he’s definitely a major puncher with either hand.
The guy that Hearn wants to put Joshua in with next, Kevin Johnson, has lost 4 out of his last 5 fights and was recently dominated by Manuel Charr. That kind of tells you the type of opponent that Hearn is looking for to put Joshua in with. In contrast, Dillian Whyte is the complete opposite side of the spectrum. He’s a potential future world heavyweight champion and not just another soft job for Joshua to showcase himself against like he did last night against 36-year-old journeyman Jason Gavern.
Joshua lost his cool in the Gavern fight in getting frustrated that he couldn’t take him out with ease. Instead of the fight being an easy one like it was for Deontay Wilder in his fight against Gavern in 2014, Joshua had to throw a lot of punches before he was able to get Gavern out of there. Wilder threw very few punches in the Gavern fight, as he appeared to carry him for four rounds. But what’s interesting is that each time Wilder hit Gavern, he would drop to the canvas. I mean, Deontay didn’t need to throw combinations like Joshua did in order to drop Gavern. Deontay was able to knock Gavern down each time he hit him with solid right hands. The difference between Deontay and Joshua’s punching power was pretty dramatic in looking at those two fights. Wilder showed in the Gavern fight that he has true one-punching knockout power.
With Joshua, he showed that he needs to beat on his opponent over a matter of rounds before he can eventually get them out of there. For Joshua to have success, he needs a stationary fighter that will just sand there so that he can bludgeon them into submission. What appeared to anger Joshua was the fact that Gavern used a little movement to make him chase him around the ring, and it looked like Joshua was not comfortable with that. He wanted a stationary guy that would follow the same routine that the 10 previous fodder opponents that Joshua had fought followed. That fight showed that Joshua will have problems later in his career when he faces guys that can box and move around the ring. Luckily for Joshua, there aren’t too many fighters in the heavyweight division that can move around the ring right now other than Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder, Bryant Jennings and David Haye. I think all of those fighters would give Joshua huge headaches to fight because Joshua is so huge at 245, and he doesn’t move well because of his bulky frame. You can expect his mobility problems to get worse as he ages and gets even heavier than he is now. The 25-year-old Joshua will likely wind up being a 260+ heavyweight, possibly even 270 at some point, and ending up as a very, very slow fighter.
Like now, Joshua will do well against stationary guys that stand directly in front of him so that he can beat on him with his shots, but if he has to move around the ring to chase someone for 12 rounds, you can expect to see Joshua fade badly with him gassing out and possibly getting knocked out.
I would favor Whyte over Joshua right now. I think he’s the better prospect with the better future. Whyte is a diamond in the rough and someone who can be a very good fighter in the future if he’s managed and brought along correctly. I see him beating Joshua 100 out 100 times they face each other. He’s just got the punching power and the chin to make Joshua miserable. That’s why I don’t see Hearn letting Whyte anywhere near Joshua.
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- Tyson Fury on fighting Usyk & Joshua: “I don’t think they want to fight me”
- Eddie Hearn wants Joshua vs. Whyte rematch in August