According to the IBF, Anthony Joshua is the World Heavyweight Champion. That, of course, is an absurdity. The IBF heavyweight title has less credibility than any belt in the alphabet soup universe. The IBF lost all credibility when they withdrew their recognition of Tyson Fury and put their trinket up for grabs in a fight between Vacheslav Glazkov, an undefeated contender with a number of questionable decisions on his resume, and Charles Martin, and undefeated prospect who hadn’t defeated a single opponent to make him worthy of contender status.
Glazkov injured his knee and was unable to continue and suddenly Martin was the least qualified heavyweight belt holder in history. Joshua knocked Martin out last April. I don’t care what the Idiotic Boxing Federation says about the matter, knocking out Charles Martin doesn’t make anybody a world champion.
However, Anthony Joshua is quite possibly the most exciting young heavyweight on the planet. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist from England is now 16-0 with 16 KOs. He’s knocked out some decent journeymen like Denis Bakhtov, Jason Gavern, Raphael Love, Michael Sprott and Kevin Johnson. Martin was the third straight undefeated prospect Joshua knocked out. When Joshua goes into action, boxing fans around the world pay attention.
He’ll be in action again this weekend at the 02 Arena in London, against fellow unbeaten Dominic Breazeale. Like Joshua, Breazeale was a 2012 Olympian, although the American was beaten soundly in the first round. As a professional, the former college football quarterback has shown some promise. In 2014, he won an eight round decision over the very experienced Nagy Aguilera. He knocked out Victor Bisbal and previously undefeated Cuban Yasmany Consuegra in 2015.
Breazeale picked up a big win in his last fight, against fringe contender and tough veteran Amir Mansour. Breazeale came back from an early knockdown, hung tough, and landed a big right hand that caused Mansour to bite through his own tongue. Mansour subsequently quit on his stool, allowing Breazeale to earn the TKO victory.
To call this a world title fight is an embarrassment. But it is a very interesting fight, just the same, between two large, athletic heavyweights. I’ll be very surprised if Anthony Joshua does not extend his KO streak. But it does provide him with a suitable test in his still developing career.