By Dean Bain: Anthony Joshua has taken a lot of stick since winning the IBF belt in his 16th fight, firstly this is due to the level of the fighter he beat to win the belt and then the level of fighters he has fought to defend it. Let’s be honest he is only champion due to smart match making by Matchroom.
AJ is a money machine and the most marketable heavyweight boxer in the world, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom had AJ travel the UK to build him up. The question is has Matchroom hindered the credit Joshua gets due to his match making so far? I would say in UK no but it has to the American boxing fans. The problem is that he won the belt too early, he was never ready for the top guys in the division when he won the belt, the belt fell in to his lap after fighting Charles Martin who was nowhere near good enough to be Champion.
Joshua won the belt too soon, if Joshua had the same record but without the belt and was going into a fight title fight with Wladimir Klitschko then I believe the world would be raving about him. Let’s forget AJ has the belt and let’s rate some other heavyweights 19th fights.
AJ: People wanted his to step it up and there isn’t many better than Klitschko. He will defend his IBF belt and the vacant WBA will also be on the line. Win this fight and AJ becomes the man.
Luis Ortiz: Santiago De Paula was beaten by a TKO, he had a record of 13-9-1 before the fight.
Deontay Wilder: WBO champion Wilder KO’d Daniel Long in his 19th fight, his record at the time was 17-3-1. He has then lost all 3 fights after the Wilder loss.
Kubrat Pulev: The Bulgarians 19th fight was against Joey Abell for the IBF international belt, Abell retired in this fight to give Pulev the win. His record was 29-6-0 at the time.
Joseph Parker: The WBO champion beat Carlos Takam by UD in his 19th fight, this is a good level, Takam was 33-2-1.
Lucas Browne: Browne beat Clarence Tillman by KO, he was 11-14-2, he had lost the previous 6 fights before fighting Brown and lost the following 12. Brown also beat him in his 6th fight.
Christian Hammer: A UD win over Konstantin Airich was the current European Champions 19th fight. He was 19-7-2.
Wladimir Klitschko: WBC international belt was on the line against Cody Koch back in 1998, Cody was 25-1-0, he was knocked out. He was never seen inside the ring again after this loss.
Tyson Fury: The man who everyone will want to fight on his comeback, his win over Klitschko changed the heavyweight division after years of it being stale. His 19th fight was against Vinny Maddalone who was 35-7-0, Fury won by TKO. Speedy recovery champ.
Jarrel Miller: The American prospect had his 19th fight back in August, he beat Fred Krassi, Krassi who was 18-5-1 retired in the fight.
Bermane Stiverne: A draw with Charles Davis was his 19th fight, Davis was 17-17-1. He had lost 9 of his previous fights before drawing with Stiverne.
Without a doubt Klitschko is the toughest 19th fight of any of these guys, in fact apart from Parker most of the guys were still fighting journeyman level fighters. AJ record at 25 fights will look impressive, if he wins against Klitschko then I can see him fighting Parker.
2017 in the Heavyweight division will be a good one, there is lots of potential big fights if the fighters will go for it. I would love to see a tournament like the super 6 a few years back. For all the titles, Wilder – Fury – Pulev – Joshua – Parker – Ortiz, how awesome would that be.