Tonight will see the coming together of two young undefeated heavyweights to contest the IBF heavyweight championship of the world at London’s 02 Arena. Ahead of the fight, here’s what some our panel of team writers predict will be the outcome.
Joshua vs Martin Predictions
My initial instinct whenever this fight was made is that Martin is handing his belt over for a cash sum. Rather than risk the title against inferior challengers, who could possibly beat him for much less than the reported 3.5m speculated to be on offer here, he is cashing in early.
Having said that, Martin is clearly a big guy who can punch a bit. His level of opposition has been extremely weak and not fitting for someone claiming to be a ‘world’ champion. His elevated status says more about the manipulation of the rankings system within title organisations than Charles’ actual world class abilities.
Taking all of this in to account I can only see Joshua winning. He is a relative novice himself and not ready for a genuine, proven world class opponent which the title holder, rather bizarrely, is not. But AJ’s team sniffed a cheap belt grab and are understandably going for it. Power to them. There was a queue forming to fight Martin once he won the belt. Al Haymon wanted Deontay Wilder to unify with him but it is believed that the WBC rightly held firm on Wilder defending against Povetkin.
I’ll go for Joshua inside four rounds on Saturday night but if Martin comes out swinging and goes for it….who knows.
Charles Martin is big, strong and a southpaw. A bad combination for the apparent British heir Anthony Joshua. Martin has come out of the American heavyweight fog like a man on a mission. Martin by late round stoppage.
The opponent himself has not come too soon for Joshua – with all due respect to Martin – however it is the burden of becoming champion of the world that may prove Joshua’s toughest challenge. Joshua provides the power in this contest, while Martin – while not the most awkward of southpaws – will take the challenge of dragging Joshua into deep waters late on. At this level any fighter can bang, so Martin’s power will be felt by AJ, but the Brit has shown great maturity against high class opponents with greater experience in the amateur days, and he should do the same again here. If Martin survives those dangerous early stages he should hear the final bell, only to see his belt taken away in his maiden defence.
I think this fight will go the distance with Joshua winning by a unanimous points decision. I also think Joshua will get wobbled in the middle rounds.
Despite the farcical promotion of this fight as a ‘world title’ clash, Charles Martin strikes as a decent opponent for what Anthony Joshua remains at this point in his career; a supremely talented contender. AJ is far from a mere hype-job, but his technically weak defence is susceptible to a short left hook in particular. Martin certainly possesses the shot to trouble Joshua as Dillon Whyte did last time out, but the Great Sky Hope will prevail by mid-to-late stoppage in his premature inauguration.
Joshua is in a different class to Martin and though this IBF world title bout has come earlier than expected, I’d be surprised if the bout is not over by end of round seven. A.J. was a worthy Olympic Gold medallist at London 2012, despite Martin’s jibe that he only got that Gold due to the judges being biased. That would set us up nicely for a Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury ‘battle royal’ later this year or early next year when Fury’s short reign will come to an end. Shame that the Heavyweight title has become fragmented but not for long. As David Haye said:
“Charles Martin is not the ideal opponent for Anthony but it is the gateway towards Anthony becoming a world star and very rich.”
I really hope Joshua wins to become another Great British success at world level, but after coming through a tough fight with Dillian Whyte, he has his work cut out with Charles Martin. I can see this playing out similar, with Joshua having to fight his way back from a wobble to win!
I know there’s talk of Joshua’s faults in his previous fight with Whyte, but as someone who started relatively late in this sport, he is clearly a quick learner. I also believe he allowed that fight to turn into a scrap because he wanted it to and I’m sure he will be a hell of a lot more disciplined with a world title on the line and the lessons learnt from that. I have not been impressed by Martin in his performances and especially in the way that he won the IBF belt via a knee injury! I predict an early stoppage to AJ. Although explosive, I’ll expect a somewhat tentative start, perhaps giving away a little respect to the world champ to begin with but as soon as he begins to warm up, find his range, inflict his power, then it’ll be an early finish from AJ in either round two or three. Prince Charles does deserve respect as the world champ he is a southpaw who carries his hands low so he will be a tricky customer, not to be underestimated.
Charles Martin’s first defence of his IBF World heavyweight title sees him cross the ‘pond’ to fight Britain’s Anthony Joshua in what has been labelled as an opportunity for the American to ‘sell out’. That may be the case, but Charles Martin is an awkward southpaw that knows the task that awaits and is extremely unexposed. He has a ferocious left hand though has not yet encountered what he will be presented with when he ring-walks at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday. This may be too soon for Joshua, but his early hiccup against Dillian Whyte last December will have been an invaluable experience and one I see him learning plenty from. He’ll start fast and finish Martin inside three.
Both of these fighters are very much unproven in the professional ranks to date, which makes this fight intriguing, both finished a high majority or all of their opponents inside the distance in devastating fashion, I believe we will crown a new heavyweight champion. Joshua will stop Martin inside four rounds.
The fight between Anthony Joshua & Charles Martin will be a very, very interesting match up. On one hand you have a very young, very young strong puncher in Joshua. If he lands he will hurt you. On the other hand you have a pretty good counter-punching boxer in Martin. Martin is young himself but has the edge in pro rounds, which I think will matter a lot in this particular fight. He also has a sneaky left hand that he was able to land in his last fight against Glazkov before the infamous ending. I’ve always loved a boxer, and I think Joshua is still green enough for Martin to pull it off. Martin by UD.
Taking away Martin’s IBF belt, which rightfully belongs to Tyson Fury – who was unfairly stripped by the IBF – it could be argued that Martin is just another prospect, and the caliber of opponent Joshua should be facing as he increases his fistic education. Both men can punch, and the fight will not go twelve, but Joshua in his previous fight against old rival Dillian Whyte, showed he could take a lick from a power-punching heavyweight, and keep coming. On the other hand no one has really cracked Martin on the chin yet. He hasn’t faced anyone with Joshua’s bone-breaking power, and come the end of the evening he will regret taking the unusual step of calling out his challenger.
(Sky Sports’ ‘The Gloves Are Off’ segment between the two fighters. Hat tip to YouTube account DaveyBoy EssexUk):
This is definitely the biggest test of Joshua’s short career so far but all signs have pointed towards him being ready for this step-up to World level. For all that Charles Martin is a World Champion, he is somewhat of an unknown quantity and that should make for a cautious first few rounds as AJ learns to deal with the size and power of the American Southpaw and Martin learns to cope with being on the bigger stage. For me it’s a mid-late stoppage for AJ but I expect him to be dragged into the trenches first.
I’ve been massively impressed with Charles Martin’s confidence and self-belief since the fight was announced and I’d love to see him surprise Joshua, but based purely on their performances to date I can’t see beyond AJ’s power and speed doing the job inside the distance. I’d love to be wrong though as boxing thrives on shock results and needs more characters like Martin.
I will keep my prediction for this fight short and sweet because that’s exactly how I see this fight playing out. Martin will be in it for the early rounds but his habit of holding his left low will leave him open, add to that his poor balance = Joshua by the 5th round or earlier.
I feel this is the easiest route to a word title for AJ, Martin is good but easy to hit. I don’t know if he will stand up to AJ’s power. The flipside is that Dillian White was able to land good shots on Joshua. What happens when it’s a world class opponent. This is a gripping match up.
I expect a slow start from both men given the magnitude of the event. Martin to become more aggressive as we approach the middle rounds. Joshua I feel will really start to take over in the second half with his superior skills and strength, have Martin down a couple of times before ultimately finishing him off in the final quarter of the bout.
Joshua by KO. I believe AJ will dominate the heavyweight division for years to come and I think Saturday we will see the start of that domination. Martin is undefeated and as a southpaw he will cause AJ problems but I think Joshua has learned a lot from the Dillian Whyte fight, if he takes his time and doesn’t rush in and get caught with a silly shot I think he will grind Martin down and finish him by late stoppage.
Really looking forward to this one as neither fighter has experienced a fight of this magnitude. We all know what Joshua brings to the table with his knockout power, but Martin brings a punch of his own with the majority of his wins coming via stoppage. Someone’s 0 has got to go and I don’t think it will go the distance. Joshua via referee stoppage between 6-8 for me.
Anthony Joshua is taking a risk here, but it’s one that will be rewarded. Joshua KO in the 4th.
Neither has fought strong enough opposition to know their full potential but Joshua seems the more refined and powerful fighter and should get a mid rounds stoppage.
This bout is a tough one to call for me, but I definitely don’t see it going the distance. Joshua, who possesses serious power in his own right, will have the home field advantage, although he will be making a serious step up in competition against the defending champion in Martin. I feel as if Martin’s southpaw stance, as well as his combination of speed and power will get the job done here. Martin by TKO victory.
Although I’m not able to watch most of Martin’s fight but based on his previous outing, I think he’s there to get hit. He fights straight up. And Antony Joshua there to hit. Not just hit, but he hits hard. Joshua by KO/TKO.
I’ll be honest I’m not convinced that Anthony Joshua is this all conquering future megastar that Sky, Matchroom and others have been painting him as. Yes his record shows a perfect KO streak and his in ring performances show that’s clearly talented, but to me he’s a flawed talent, who still has more questions to answer than he really should having coming into a world title bout. Luckily for Joshua however the same could be said about IBF champion Charles Martin, who may have a title, but lacks level of the wins that we typically expect of a world class talent. Given what we have seen of the two men it’s easy to pick Joshua, however I’m going with the under-dog, I think Martin is getting to Joshua before he has had time to correct his flaws, and whilst he is a physical beast there is so many holes in his defense that I do question whether his team have rushed him into this fight.
Both untested at anywhere near world level, but Joshua’s superior amateur pedigree & home advantage to win out. I see it ending early, perhaps in the second round.
The question that clouds this fight is whether it comes too early for AJ, my answer to this is it shouldn’t be for a world title as neither man is worthy. Anyhow I believe that Joshua will have too much for Charles winning by knockout once again.
Anthony Joshua will reach the goal I’ve forecast since I first saw him at the 2011 World championships. AJ to become IBF champ in six rounds or sooner. Then the real fun will begin!
I personally haven’t seen very much of Charles Martin, which perhaps highlights the legitimacy, or lack thereof, of his world title. To put it in simple terms, Martin is a world champion because his opponent had a hurt leg. Eddie Hearn wouldn’t put his golden child in against anyone he didn’t think Joshua would comfortably beat, and that’s what I feel he will do.
Stewart John Lawrence
Again British boxing is at the forefront and another future heavyweight champion from these shores could be crowned. I believe Joshua should of took this fight, but think it might be too early for him. Martin is a well schooled fighter, who’s awkward and has power. It is a case of who lands first wins, I just don’t see Joshua doing it. I predict Martin to win this one.
***Closing Editor’s Note and Final Prediction Count: And there you have it folks, we’ve got it in favour of an Anthony Joshua win by 24 votes to 5. Enjoy tonight’s fight.”
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