Charles Martin a bad choice for Anthony Joshua. Or not?

By matthias - 02/15/2016 - Comments

Image: Charles Martin a bad choice for Anthony Joshua. Or not?By Matthias Predonzan: During this month, boxing fans have been taken surprise with the announcements of the Amir Khan vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and the Anthony Joshua vs. Charles Martin fights. Canelo-Khan was really shocking news for everybody, and the Joshua-Martin fight announcement last Sunday was equally surprising that nobody expected. Joshua, 26, will be fighting IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) for his title on April 9 at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) himself and his promoter Eddie Hearn were previously very firm stating that it was too early for him to fight for a world title. Less than 2 weeks ago, Hearn articulated precisely the reason why his fighter was not going to fight against the 29-year-old Martin.

Hearn said that even if Joshua is already fully capable to defeat Martin, to win now the world title was then putting the young and quite inexperienced boxer in a position to be mandatory to fight who IBF would decide to put in front of him. In other words, having the title will make Joshua lose the privilege to choose his own opponents.

Now that the very opposite was announced, meaning that on the 9th of April, Joshua will fight in London for the IBF title against Martin. A lot of criticism is rising against Hearn and his questionable deontology. It’s hard to disagree with this, the contradiction in terms is clearly there. But if we look with a bit of detachment, I have the feeling that the in Faustus decision is not illogic, at this point.

We need to ask to our self the question – what was the alternative? To fight easier fighters in order to give Joshua the time to mature and maybe in one year or two, to take the title shot. Obvious but we must consider the following point as well. Joshua fought a very poor opposition in his previous fights. He won all his fights within the 3rd round except his last fight against Dillian Whyte. That fight was a slight rise in level from the technical perspective but a huge rise in terms of media impact. It was a pay-per-view event and had a big success in term of numbers.

So, if in one way the fact – that even against a second level opponent Joshua showed flaws in his boxing, looking not good at all in the fight, getting badly hurt, showing a very poor defense – should make us to think that Joshua is too green to fight for a world title (and then defend it), on the other hand the Rubicon was crossed. This is the point. Now, forget about the poor management of Joshua’s career against too weak opposition. He must move forward. And to move forward means to raise his level of opposition.

Names were made by Hearn too such as Bermane Stiverne, Carlos Takam , Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora or Tony Thompson.

Fighting these guys would represent the same risk than fighting Martin, who was nobody until yesterday and won a title against an opponent [Vyacheslav Glazkov] that lost primarily because he injured himself in the fight. The difference is that these guys do not bring a world title.

I think Hearn realized that at this point he has to take risks and Martin is not riskier than Stiverne or Takam.

In case Joshua will beat Martin, all the story of the mandatory defenses is nonsense. If you look at the IBF standing, you will find the very same names that were in the to-do-list of Hearn: Takam, Parker, Stiverne, plus Glazkov, Steve Cunningham and Andy Ruiz Jr.

What was done remains done.
Joshua career was not, in my opinion, administered in the best way but at this point, it doesn’t look to me that this last choice was the worst.

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