Joshua to fulfil his prediction and be crowned champion in later rounds
The Olympic gold medallist will strip Chris Martin of his IBF title, but it will not be easy against the first southpaw of his career
Anthony Joshua fights Charles Martin for the IBF world heavyweight title on Saturday and the Brit is set to grasp the opportunity with both hands at the O2 in London.
The 2012 Olympic champ (15-0) has blasted through all of his opponents as a professional, knocking out each and every one of them.
They may not have been of the highest standard, but his terrifying power is clear to see no matter who is on the end of it.
It is hard to imagine anyone surviving 12 rounds with Joshua given the force he can unleash from his right hand.
Opponents will have to try and take him out before he lands, unless they show Floyd Mayweather-esque defensive skills which are rare in the heavyweight ranks.
It is hard to say how good Martin (23-0-1) is, given that he has also faced little competition of note.
He won the IBF strap by beating Vyacheslav Glazkov, but the Russian was injured so that was not much of a barometer.
Other than that, his opponents have been worse than Joshua’s thus far.
However, just because he has not been tested does not necessarily mean that he is bad.
He is tall at 6ft 5in, powerful – with 21 KOs from his 23 wins – and is a southpaw.
Joshua has never faced a southpaw in his professional career and Martin’s stance will make things tricky for the gold medallist.
Joshua himself has admitted that this is not going to be an early blow-out and has predicted a seventh-round stoppage – one which is easy to see playing out.
It is Martin’s first defence of his title and Joshua’s first crack at a world crown.
Both will be cautious and wary of the other man’s power.
The opening rounds will be cagey with champion and challenger feeling each other out and looking to establish their jabs.
As mentioned, though, Joshua’s power will make the difference. When he lands it will be very difficult for Martin to endure.
AJ has proved himself to be ruthless in pouncing on opportunities when he has hurt opponents, and he will look to do the same on Saturday.
It is not always wise to back a fighter’s prediction, but in this case Joshua seems spot on.
Martin seems good enough and tough enough to make it through the opening six, but he is unlikely to make it past nine – with Joshua 6/1 to win in rounds 7-9.
Joshua will take his time to work round his lead right, but he will manage it eventually to become world champion.