Sunday, February 14, 2016

Anthony Joshua To Challenge Charles Martin For IBF Heavyweight Crown

Joshua sets his sites on a major opponent across the sea

Give Charles Martin this - he's no cherry picker. For, according to British heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua, Martin will face him for Martin's IBF heavyweight title.

"Any challenge presented I take seriously!" Joshua Tweeted minutes ago. "Charles Martin for the IBF World Heavyweight title!" It's been a fast climb to the top for Joshua, or nearly to the top (he still has to get past Martin to be champion). Indeed, the big man's relative inexperience may lead to a more challenging bout than some may expect.

With that in mind, however, it's hard to imagine Martin being favored here. The recently crowned champion is a nice enough guy, but he hasn't impressed a whole lot of people. Still, he's accepting a real challenge in the thunderous punching Joshua, a clear fighter on the rise. Call it a payout fight if you want, Martin is pushing himself here and is therefore worthy of praise.

As things stand, the suddenly interesting heavyweight division has just become even more interesting. Should Joshua win, his name will be right alongside those of Fury, Wilder, Klitschko and the feared Ortiz. Same for Martin, should be pull off the victory. Indeed, people won't be quite so quick to write the current IBF champion off if he hands Joshua a first loss.

Frankly, this is good news in an pointlessly quiet boxing landscape.

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