Anthony Joshua v Charles Martin: Champ won’t cope in the “lion’s den”

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The raucous home support will see Anthony Joshua over the line in his attempt to dethrone IBF Heavyweight champion Charles Martin this weekend.

That is according to the Olympic gold medallist who has described the O2 Arena as a “lion’s den” that will chew the American up and spit him out.

Joshua goes into his first title fight as the 2/9 favourite, with unbeaten American Martin deemed the 7/2 underdog.

However, Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn believes this is a genuine 50-50 fight and Joshua himself has acknowledged that the 6ft4in southpaw is a risky opponent in just his 16th professional bout.#

AJ remains confident, though, and claims the Greenwich venue which he has made his home will house a crowd that will make it extremely hard for Martin to find his rhythm.

“He has come over to the lion’s den. He’s going to have to deal with that, going to have to deal with the heat. There will be thousands of people on Saturday night,” the Watford man explained.

“They have got their song, it takes one person to start singing. No matter how big or strong you are, even [Mike] Tyson said he was scared as hell walking to the ring in his little documentary.

“Everyone feels the pressure, so he will definitely feel a different pressure with that negative energy being chanted down on him.”

With a perfect record of 15 knockout wins from 15 fights Joshua is largely expected to win this fight inside the distance and should Martin, who is yet to fight outside the US, suffer the stage fright AJ predicts another quick conclusion could be on the cards.

Joshua has only once been taken past three rounds, in his domestic dust up with Dillian Whyte last time out, and the 2/1 on AJ to win inside three this time round could yet prove the value bet of the night.

All markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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