Anthony Joshua v Charles Martin: What the experts think
Anthony Joshua will attempt to become the first British heavyweight to win both Olympic gold and a world title when he faces IBF champions Charles Martin this weekend.
The Watford man (15-0-0 KO15) is the 2/9 favourite to snatch the American’s (24-0-1 KO21) belt, with the man nicknamed Prince priced up at 10/3 but what do the experts think?
Here, Ladbrokes News looks at some of the sport’s biggest names to see where they think the title will be heading after the final bell rings at the O2 Arena on Saturday – Back to America or staying right here in the UK.
Joshua is going for one of just two Heavyweight titles that Fury doesn’t hold and that’s only after the IBF harshly stripped him of their belt days after his victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
The Mancunian seems to be on a collision course with Joshua should he prevail so his words should be taken with a pinch of salt. He does, however, seem to think AJ has bitten off more than he can chew.
“If I had to put my money on it, I’d say Charles Martin stops Joshua as he’s a 6ft5in punching southpaw with combinations, who’s not afraid of people just because they’ve got muscles,” he said.
“It’s a difficult fight and this could be a banana skin pretty similar to Tim Witherspoon v Frank Bruno or Tony Thompson v David Price. They are the two that spring to mind for the heavyweights with the Americans coming over when it’s supposed to be easy and then they get chinned.”
Never one to shy away from a fight, The Cobra knows all about taking risks and he believes this fight poses a massive risk for Joshua. It is one he can get through though, according to the Nottingham man.
“I remember when I’d won the WBC world title, my first defence was against Jermain Taylor out in America,” he explained.
“That was a risk and this is a risk for Joshua. I do think it will pay off and he will become world champion, but don’t think for a minute this will be easy.”
With Chisora due to fight Kubrat Pulev in an IBF eliminator next month the two Brits could soon meet in a domestic world title fight. Chisora claims he’s happy to face either man but expects Joshua to be stood in front of him if he beats the Bulgarian.
“Personally, I see AJ taking this fight a long distance and keeping himself composed. Then in the later rounds he’ll take him out,” he predicted.
Joshua is on the cusp of completing the journey Harrison set out to accomplish over a decade ago. The 2000 Olympic gold medallist fell short when his world title chance came against David Haye but the 44-year-old expects AJ to go one better and deliver the goods.
“I just think Anthony Joshua has got that George Foreman, Frank Bruno brutish strength – that ingredient that is hard to hold him off,” he said.
“Charles Martin will be gallant, brave and it’s a great fight potentially. But I can’t see him keeping back the steam train that is Anthony Joshua.”
Without being too brash, Joshua is supremely confident and can see nothing stopping him in his quest to dominate the Heavyweight division.
Anyone prepared to back the Brit should consider a KO win, as AJ claimed this one won’t hear the final bell, saying: “He will get sparked out, this fight is not going 12 rounds. I’m going to win. This is my destiny. He is just holding the belt.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing