The heavyweight bout should be something special to look forward to on Saturday as the two fighters will want to keep their undefeated records clean when they meet at the O2 in London, and most importantly, bring home that IBF championship title.
This is definitely a fight you’ll want to consider for this weekend. A head to head showcase between supreme heavyweight fighters, both undefeated in their records as professionals. It’s the perfect match that heavyweight boxing needs when you compare these two men.
Martin and Joshua represent the US and the UK respectively, two countries madly in love with the sport. I’m sure that ‘Prince’ Martin will want to retain the IBF title and make a legacy for himself like his countrymen who dominated the Heavyweight scene. To be put in the upper echelons of American fighters like Fraizer, Holyfield, Tyson and obviously Ali is a tough feat, but Martin seems determined to do so. Martin faced Vyacheslav Glazkov on January 16th for the vacant IBF world heavyweight championship title and will look to retain it on Saturday
Joshua, also known as ‘A.J’, after winning the Olympic gold in men’s boxing in London 2012, will be looking to put himself on the map globally with another layer of success. This title seems the perfect occasion for it, and there will be many UK citizens supporting the man as the IBF title was not too long ago in the hands of a fellow Englishman in Tyson Fury, stripped of the belt he won in beating Wladimir Klitschko.
The two fighters make this an electric showcase in their different styles. One would have to question if the fight goes in favour for Martin in this case. Can an Orthodox stance in Joshua beat Martin’s awkward southpaw? The Englishman has never had the experience in facing a left-handed fighter, Martin would be smart to play that to his advantage. Terry Edwards, who had coached Martin told the Telegraph “He’s good at controlling the range and temp, he’s a cool and calculated southpaw, and this could come down to who makes the first mistake.”
I feel that Martin has two choices coming into the fight. An intense, strong start and bombardment of left hooks followed by the right which could end things quickly. Another option would be to probe and find Joshua with regularity in the first few rounds, depleting his energy round after round and capitalise on a mistake should he make one, or put his superior footwork to use in the latter stages.
But there is no doubt that Joshua will use his strengths on Saturday. He is known for keeping his composure throughout fights with his athletic demeanour and will have to use that powerful right arm of his. Yes, this is his first world title match, but the heavyweight won’t be going into this match with too much respect for his opponent, even with both sides showing a respectable and professional sportsmanship to each other leading up to the showcase.
This is going to be a very intriguing heavyweight match-up as the two possess both power and size, as well as the skill, speed and athleticism than most fighters in their division lack, you wouldn’t even think it’s a heavyweight bout were it not for their height and dominating size. My calculated bet would go for a Martin winning as much as I would hope for a Joshua to succeed here.
It’ll be a tough one to make a choice on. Who do you think will leave with the title?
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Pictures taken from Sky Sports and Getty images.