Anthony Joshua Vs Charles Martin – Preview and Prediction

Anthony Joshua looks to become IBF world heavyweight champion in only his 16th professional fight as he takes on American Charles Martin at the 02 Arena, London.

The popularity of the Olympic Gold Medalist has risen dramatically since turning professional two and a half years ago, tickets for this world title tilt sold out the 02 Arena in seconds and PPV numbers are expected to be big.

When Anthony Joshua fights, boxing in the UK becomes a mainstream sport for a night and this weekend will certainly be no different. He has an opportunity to call himself a world champion in just his 16th professional fight, a feat not many achieve so early in their professional careers.

However so not to confuse matters it is WBA and WBO holder Tyson Fury who is the true champion of the division as it stands, and regardless of the result this weekend that will not change, Fury is the man they all need to beat if they want to be regarded as number 1 in the division.

In Anthony Joshua’s path is an awkward southpaw with knockout power in Charles Martin, Martin adopts a fairly safety first approach and is quite a contrast to the offensive explosiveness Joshua brings to the table.

Martin likes to utilise his jab frequently as a defensive tool, a range finder and a point scorer whilst looking to land straight left power punching counters, there is nothing too flashy or eye catching about Martin but he is effective in what he does and looks an awkward guy to get past.

There is little we don’t already know about Joshua at this stage in his career, he is a devastating athletic offensive fighter who puts together blistering combinations with a good punch variety and power, to date no body has taken Joshua the distance.

His toughest test to date was a thrilling encounter with domestic rival Dillian Whyte who tested Joshua in a hard fought bout last December but was mostly dominated and finally put to bed in the 7th round with an uppercut in brutal fashion.

While Joshua is most certainly an exciting prospect he is not perfect and there are some flaws in regards to a lack of head movement and being quite upright at times, but I do believe his offensive qualities and the buoyant home crowd at the 02 Arena should be enough to see him pass the Charles Martin test this weekend.

Here we have two unbeaten and arguably green heavyweights, both have been fed many journeyman types as expected early in their careers and neither have fought what could be regarded as true world level opposition.

It has to be regarded as a bold move by Joshua and his team to fight for a world heavyweight title at such an early stage in his career, but completely understandable given Martin’s credentials.

I believe it will be a bold move that will prove very fruitful and after a cagey opening couple of rounds I am expecting Joshua to come through an awkward customer in his usual explosive fashion to wipe out Martin somewhere around the middle rounds.

There isn’t any value in this fight if you are looking to back a Joshua KO/TKO victory he is just 2/7 to stop Martin which leaves us hunting around in the round group betting markets or even round markets if you want some longer odds.

PREDICTION: JOSHUA KO7

BETTING TIP: £20 on Joshua in rounds 7-12 9/2 Sky Bet 

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