What challenges are ahead for Anthony Joshua?

Anthony Joshua successfully overcame the challenge of Dominic Breazeale to defend his IBF heavyweight title. The 26-year-old secured the victory in the seventh round by knocking out the American, extending his winning record in the ring to 17 bouts.

Joshua now faces the task of defending his crown against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, in a mandated fight after the 24-year-old secured the challenger’s position.The Brit will now watch Parker’s next bout with interest as he faces off with Solomon Haumono, in a bid to maintain his unbeaten record.

Parker is backed at 1/100 to clinch the 20th victory of his career by Betway to defeat the 40-year-old in Canterbury but due to the New Zealander’s record, Joshua will have to be on top of his game to continue the dominance that he has enjoyed in his career to date.The 26-year-old endured one of the toughest fights against Breazeale, who entered the bout at the 02 Arena with an unbeaten record.

Breazeale boasted advantages in height and weight over the Brit, but Joshua came out firing with a left hook in the first round to put the American on the back foot. Joshua upped the ante in the second round, with Breazeale just surviving a volley of right hands to reach the bell. However, he rallied to cause the champion a few problems in the third to give himself a glimmer of hope.

However, the Brit raised the level of his game over the next few rounds to leave the American unsteady on his feet before a final flurry of punches, including a firm right forced the referee to end the contest.

The fight was the second longest of Joshua’s career, behind his victory against compatriot Dillian Whyte last year; a bout that lasted for a further 26 seconds.

boxing-ring

Joshua is the class of the division, and although Parker has a fine record in his career, he has not faced anyone of the quality of the Brit, making another victory likely for the Watford-born fighter. The 26-year-old could even be in action before facing Parker against Kubrat Pulev following his victory over Dereck Chisora. The Bulgarian has pedigree at the highest level having fought Wladimir Klitschko in 2014, although he only lasted five rounds before he was knocked out.

In spite of his defeat it was the 35-year-old’s only loss in 21 bouts – at that time.  A potential fight against Pulev could be just the experience that Joshua needs before he possibly challenges Klitschko or Tyson Fury in the future.

Joshua has plenty of time on his side at the age of 26, but should he wish to pit himself against one of the best fighters in the sport such as Klitschko, he may have to do so sooner rather than later due to the Ukrainian’s advancing years. Fury and Klitschko were meant to fight in July at the Manchester Arena, only for the Brit to pull out of the match due to an ankle injury in training.

That issue for Fury will push back any bout with Joshua, especially considering that he said he would retire after their rematch.

The pinnacle bout of British boxing would see Joshua and Fury face off in a classic match next year, with IBF, WBA, WBO, and The Ring titles on the line. It would bring out the best in both men, with Joshua’s speed and power battling against the brute force and firm defence of Fury.

However, both men have a long way to go before a potential Battle of Britain clash, although Joshua’s star continues to rise and it seems that their contest will be when rather than if.

Why Ricky Burns should pay close attention to Crawford and Postol fight

Boxing Ring” (CC BY 2.0) by CarlosPacheco 
Newly crowned light welterweight titleholder Ricky Burns made history when he beat Michele di Rocco to become Scotland’s first ever three weight world champion, but is he ready to avenge his loss to Terence Crawford?

Crawford, who is rated as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and is due to take on Viktor Postol on July the 23rd in a unification bout at 140 pounds, is at odds of 1/6 for the fight, according to 32Red UK and Betway.

Burns fought Crawford back in 2014 but the classy American had too much skill and power for his opponent and won on points to capture the WBO lightweight championship.

That result capped off a sequence of poor performances from the Scot which started when Burns moved away from Frank Warren’s stable and joined Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

In his first fight for the new promotion he faced off against Jose Gonzalez and after being outclassed for the first six rounds he came back well in the next few rounds and forced the Puerto Rican to retire on his stool.

It was his next contest against Raymundo Beltran that would cause people to question his future. Burns was put to the canvas in the eighth round but he managed to pick himself up to earn a controversial split decision draw, a result which angered many fans who felt the Mexican had won the fight comfortably.
The Scot’s night didn’t get any better as it was announced that Burns had to have a metal plate installed during surgery following a broken jaw.
The WBO then mandated Burns to defend his title against Crawford in his first match back since the surgery. Crawford dominated the contest and came away with the title.

Since then Crawford defended the lightweight title twice before moving up a weight class to capture the vacant WBO light welterweight title.
Crawford has so far made two defences of his new title but it has been far from plain sailing. Despite being a heavy favourite against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Thomas Dulorme, both caused him problems and exposed the champion’s defensive shortcomings. 

The fight against Postol represents the first real test to see if Crawford is to become boxing’s next big star and as already mentioned, he is odds-on with 32Red UK.

Despite stopping his opponents in 20 of his 28 victories, this fight represents a significant step up in quality. Crawford has yet to show enough punching power to suggest he can stop Postol and the American is evens to win the bout by decision or technical decision, although if you want to cover your basis a bit more you can get a healthy 4/7 for there to be over 10.5 rounds.

So with Burns now back to winning ways and also a world champion in the same division as Crawford, a rematch would definitely make financial sense.
If Crawford maintains his hopes of becoming a huge draw then he will need to unify the division so if he defeats Postol on the 23rd of July then that will leave just two belts remaining.​

Will Tyson Fury defend his titles against Wladimir Klitschko?

Tyson Fury is a monster. The British fighter defied the odds to beat Ukrainian veteran Wladimir Klitschko back in November and the two heavyweight stars are set to go head-to-head again in front of a sell-out Manchester Arena on July 9th. Right now, Fury is working hard to get back into shape ahead of the bout whilst Klitschko is desperate to get his hands back on the world titles before his impending retirement.

via GIPHY

Ultimately, Klitschko is a winner and he won’t go down without a fight. Both men gave everything they had in the first fight and Fury came out as winner on unanimous decision – and boxing fans from all over the world will be hoping for a similar fight next month. It truly was one of the best heavyweight clashes in recent years and Fury, priced at 10/11 in the latest boxing betting markets as of 13th June, will be quietly confident of getting the job done in front of his home crowd.

But if nothing else, the Ukrainian fighter deserves plenty of respect. At 40 years old, Klitschko is in his twilight years but he is still capable of landing a devastating blow and Fury must be wary of his threat. Prior to Fury’s victory in November, Klitschko hadn’t lost since 2004 – an incredible achievement. And on paper, he still boasts the skillset to beat Fury, especially if the Manchester-born fighter doesn’t quite manage to get back into shape.

Fury’s brutal, unorthodox style gives him a great chance of toppling Klitschko again – a result that would almost certainly confirm his place at the top of the boxing rankings. While most publications do class him as the best heavyweight on the planet, some are still sceptical and are waiting for the result of his second bout with Klitschko before giving him the credit that his first performance deserved. Unfortunately, this tends to happen when a rematch is scheduled – it’s just part and parcel of the sport.

The best way for Fury to send out a clear statement is by earning a KO-victory. However, this won’t come easy. Fury isn’t exactly renowned for his knockout ability; having won 18 of his 25 fights by this method in the past. And although a KO-victory isn’t the be all and end all, the 28-year-old would love nothing more than to send the Ukrainian to the floor and defend his titles in breath-taking style.

He is desperate to succeed and will stop at nothing to guarantee victory in this bout. Remember, this is the guy who arrived at a press conference wearing a Batman outfit – he has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to rile and wind his opponent up. And while there is less than three weeks until the fight, there is still plenty of time for mind games and if anyone is going to win those, it’s Tyson Fury.