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Froch analyzes Martin vs. Joshua fight

BOXINGBy Scott Gilfoid: Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch says he thinks Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) will defeat IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) in their fight tonight at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Froch doesn’t really given any concrete reasons why he believes Joshua will win other than him being a good friend of his.

I’m not sure if that’s a good reason to be picking a fighter to win. I mean, you kind of have to look at more than the fact that he’s your friend when analyzing whether he’s going to win or not, don’t you? Froch says Martin has a chance if he can land a shot at some point in the fight. Froch believes that Martin won’t just come in and give up the IBF belt to Joshua without putting up a tough fight first.

18,000 fans will be showing up to watch the fight at the O2 Arena tonight. You have to assume that most of those fans will be rooting for Joshua. That’s both good and bad. The bad is Joshua will fight off the crowd noise rather than using his brain like normal fighters do.

The good is that the crowd noise might help Joshua win a fight that he otherwise would lose if there wasn’t support for him. I frankly think the crowd will be a negative for Joshua, because he was almost knocked out in his last fight against Dillian Whyte in the 2nd round when he thoughtlessly attacked him like an amateur. Joshua was then staggered and only made it out of the round due to Whyte’s injured left shoulder not being able to throw with power after he aggravated it in that round.

This is Joshua’s first fight against a talented fighter without a major injury. Martin has the goods, and hes a southpaw as well. This is going to be a nightmare for Joshua if he can’t bum rush Martin in the first two rounds and bang him out like he’s been doing against the fodder opposition his promoter Eddie Hearn has been finding for him to pad his record against.

Martin is still around after three rounds, it could be curtains for Joshua because it means he’ll need to carry around his huge muscles into the later rounds, and I don’t think he can do that. There’s too much work involved for him to be able to do that.

“How tough is this fight for Joshua against Martin? This is a tough, tough test,” said Froch. “This is his [Joshua] acid test and it’s for a world title, so he now needs to step it up everything. He needs to step up his fitness, step up his boxing brain in the ring, and he’s probably going to need to fight for a few rounds as well. He’ll probably go late unless somebody gets caught. This is heavyweight boxing. Joshua could get caught early. Martin could get caught early. Don’t rule that out. If Mike Tyson can get knocked out, trust me, anybody can get knocked out. This is going to be a fight that’s almost unpredictable. If you’re going to ask me, Joshua’s my friend, I think he’s a fantastic, so my heart is going with Joshua. I think Joshua does the business. I’m not going to tell you how. I’m going to save that for the viewing public at home. I think Joshua does the business, but I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination it’s going to be easy. I think win Martin won the world title, he wasn’t gifted it, but he really didn’t have to work for it, as much as he would have liked to as a fighter. You want to go in there and take that title. With Glazkov’s knee injury in round three, I believe it this fight is now his world title fight. So I think he’s going to turn up here away from home against somebody [Joshua] that has the whole bandwagon behind him. The whole British public, and rightly so, because Joshua is one of those guys that you want to get behind. You want to see him do well. Olympic gold medalist, world title fight at 16 fights, He’s still very much a raw novice in boxing terms. Charles Martin will not be turning up to die down and give his belt up. That belt is probably in his bedroom. Each morning when he wakes up, he’ll look at the IBF belt, beautiful red and gold, shining belt and think, ‘you know what? I’m the champ, and I want to keep that belt and take that with me.’ So expect fireworks,” said Froch.

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Since Froch is saying he’s a friend of Joshua, I have to dismiss everything he says and completely ignore it. If you’re openly admitting that you’re a buddy of one of the fighters in a contest, and then you pick that fighter to win, that kind of gives the boxing fans a pretty good indication that there’s some bias there. It’s better if you have no axe to grind or no dog in the hunt. In the case of Froch, I think he’s hoping more than anything that Joshua wins the fight, and that doesn’t work. You can’t know anything when a fighter is hoping that someone will win.

Other fights on tonight’s O2 Arena card are as follows:

Lee Selby vs. Eric Hunter
Matthew Macklin vs. Brian Rose
Jamie McDonnell vs. Fernando Vargas
George Groves vs. David Brophy
Ohara Davies vs. Andy Keates
Ted Cheeseman vs. Mario Petrov
Kamil Laszczyk vs. Ignac Kassai
Conor Benn vs. Ivailo Boyanov

“He wants me out of there quick,” said Joshua via skysports.com. “The longer he’s in there, the harder the fight. He will probably want me out of there ASAP. He might come to me, because he will want me out of there quick. He don’t want to be in there long with someone that can knock him out, has got the same power. It’s a dangerous place to be for 12 rounds.”

Joshua says that Martin will probably want to get him out of there quick tonight. You can honestly make the same argument in the opposite direction. Joshua is probably going to want to get Martin out of there as fast as possible so that he doesn’t have to feel his power for 12 rounds. Martin can really punch, and the last thing that Joshua needs is to be hit by a guy with that kind of massive power for 12 long rounds.

It’s just a bad idea if you ask me. Another reason why Joshua will want to get Martin out of there is because of his poor stamina. Like I said, Joshua has packed on a lot of useless muscle since he turned pro three years ago with his weightlifting/body building exercises. The added weight has slowed Joshua down to the point where he fights like he’s underwater throwing punches. Joshua was never fast to begin with, but he’s even slower now. Joshua’s fans think Joshua is fast, but they clearly don’t have any idea what fast is.

Joshua is an arm puncher for the most part because of all the muscle he’s carrying around. When he throws his shots, it’s usually just him throwing arm shots over and over. Nine times out of ten, Joshua’s opponents have backed themselves up to the ropes in a sparring partner move. I think the reason they do this is because many of them have been journeyman level fighters, and I imagine they probably help different fighters out as sparring partners.

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If you look at sparring partners, many of them have a bad habit of hanging on the ropes for some reason. It’s really stupid because I would never do something like that as a sparring partner. Never the less, Martin won’t be hanging on the ropes tonight. If Joshua is counting on Martin putting his back against the ropes tonight, then I think he’s going to be disappointed.

I see tonight’s fight breaking down to these areas:

Power: This is an equal area. Both guys have the same power. Joshua has more knockouts because he’s been fed fodder opposition, and he’s been able to throw flurries of arm punches against his opposition when they stupidly back up against the ropes.

Speed: Martin has the edge in hand speed. Joshua is very slow because of his muscles. I don’t think he was born with a lot of fast twice nerve fibers in his upper body. They say Joshua can run the 100-meter dash fast, but unfortunately that speed didn’t translate to hand speed.

Experience: The experience goes to Martin because he has a win over Vyacheslav Glazkov, who was a top rated contender in the IBF’s recent rankings. Joshua’s biggest win of his career was against the injured 2nd tier fighter Dillian Whyte. As such, the edge in experience goes to Martin.

Boxing IQ: This is another area Martin has the edge. If you watch Martin’s fights, you can see that he fights smart. You’ll never see a fight by Martin where he just rushes his opponent straight out of the blocks in throwing arm shots until the referee stops the fight with his opponent still standing. Martin takes advantage of his opponents by throwing counter shots, and using head movement to avoid return fire. In contrast, Joshua doesn’t move his head or upper body much. He pretty much just moves forward and throws arm punches.

The one thing Joshua has going for him tonight is crowd support, and it’s unknown if that will help him or not. It could work against him, as I pointed out earlier. If it goes to the cards after 12 rounds, then being at home could help Joshua when it comes to the scoring of the fight.

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