Monday, June 1, 2015
Fighter Of The Week - Anthony Joshua
I can't begin to tell you how close the race for Fighter Of The Week was this time around.
Chris Algieri made a believer out of me the other night, and perhaps a whole lot of other people. I like to think I had more faith in the guy than most walking in to Friday's bout with Amir Khan, but even I was totally blown away by Algieri's transition at the hands of Sergey Kovalev trainer John David Jackson.
Indeed, Algieri was well on his way to occupying the position of Fighter Of The Week, even though he had lost to Khan on Friday. Yet, in the end, Anthony Joshua simply could not be denied. Have you seen the British heavyweight fight yet? If not, I strongly suggest you get to YouTube right away. I could be wrong, but the gentleman looks to me like the real deal.
Joshua's destruction of Kevin Johnson on the undercard of the Kell Brook-Frankie Gavin fight this weekend served as a warning siren to those big names in the heavyweight division. At least it should have, if men like Klitschko, Wilder and Fury have ears to listen with.
For Joshua on Saturday was what a heavyweight should be - in great shape and in possession of a killer skill set. Johnson wanted to keep out of his path, so Joshua zeroed in - not wildly, but fast and deliberate, like a drone. Needless to say the bout didn't get past the second round, with Joshua earning the win by TKO.
There are those, of course, who will question the man's resume and ability to fight at a top level. And they have a right to question. A perfect record of 13-0 with 13 KOs is a nice thing to have. Yet it doesn't mean much if you can't take your career to the next level - which, of course, poses a problem for fight writers like me.
What do you do with a guy who looks awesome, but has yet to prove himself? You go with your gut and hope you don't end up looking foolish, that's what you do. And my guy tells me Joshua may well be the future of the heavyweight division. Frankly, he's given me no reason to believe otherwise, especially after this weekend's performance.
Why is Anthony Joshua Fighter Of The Week? Because, in a busy weekend, he simply impressed more than anyone. Judging by the level of competition he had, that's saying something.