There’s very little not to like about the UK’s Anthony Joshua, an exciting heavyweight with concussive fists, who represents the sport of boxing in a positive light. But we must not forget he’s still learning his trade and there are many questions he’s yet to answer, despite landing a heavyweight title fight this weekend.
I personally believe Joshua is not all just hype and that behind his chiseled physique and destructive knockout run, there is a young man highly eager to improve his skill set and progress his all round boxing arsenal in the ring.
This hunger is consistently conveyed to me through his humility exhibited, showing his feet are firmly on the ground as he looks to ascend to not only the top of heavyweight boxing but potentially superstar sports status, if he’s as good as many believe.
There’s no doubt that his defense could be tightened up and it would be nice to see more head movement from him, but that will come.
However, there’s one other crucial question he’s yet to answer for me as pertaining to his boxing game – his stamina.
Having met Joshua a few years back in Ireland, the chap easily towered over my 5’8 Irish frame and after observing him evolve physically fight to fight since then, packing on the muscle, I just wonder could that eventually become a hindrance for him if he’s taken into the later part of a championship fight.
In his last win in December 2015 against Dillian Whyte he answered many questions. The main one at the time for me being that he has a solid chin and is able to come back from adversity.
His fighting heart and willingness to go into the trenches came across that night.
But he did look like he tired a bit in the mid rounds, granted after considerably exerting himself to ultimately force a fantastically explosive finish.
But fatigued gradually as the fight went on nonetheless.
(Joshua hits back at Tyson Fury for commenting on his body-building physique via Press Association):
Whyte by his own admission wasn’t in the best condition himself that evening, so perhaps that bout isn’t exactly a fair barometer of how Joshua would cope with an extremely fit heavyweight – who can push a pace for a full twelve rounds.
IBF champion Charles Martin who he faces this weekend has looked a little soft around the mid section in some of his prior fights, but if he were to come into this match-up in pristine condition on Saturday with a game plan to take Joshua into deep waters, it would be interesting to see how Joshua’s gas tank would cope if forced into the later rounds.
Many will remember famed heavyweight champion from the UK Frank Bruno struggling with his stamina during his career in big prizefights, largely because of the considerable amount of muscle and bulk he had to carry in the ring.
Pundits have long said that the bodybuilder type physique is not suited to professional boxing for this reason, not to insinuate in anyway that Joshua is just a body builder, mind you.
He’s undeniably a talented fighter.
I’m sure Joshua’s strength and conditioning program is to such a high scientific level in 2016, that it would not allow for any such issues to occur like they did to Bruno, but the question will still remain for me until we see how Joshua performs when he gets taken into rounds 10, 11 and 12.
If he’s taken into those rounds this weekend, that is.
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