Anthony Joshua (4-0, 4 KO) is one of the brightest young heavyweight prospects to come along in a long while. The 6'6" Brit is an Olympic gold medalist from the 2012 London Games, and he has stopped every opponent he's faced professionally within two rounds.
On Saturday at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, he'll be looking to remain undefeated against journeyman heavyweight Hector Alfredo Avila (22-15-1, 14 KO).
In Joshua's last fight on Feb. 1, he stopped Dorian Darch in the second round. Needing only a one-month turnaround, Joshua is already jumping back into the ring.
If all goes well, he tentatively has another date set for the middle of April with an as yet unnamed opponent, as noted by Eddie Hearn in the Daily Mail.
This fight figures to be more about Joshua's blooming in-ring talents and less about a competitive scrap. It's one of the undercard bouts on a card that features the WBO lightweight title fight between champion, and local product Ricky Burns and challenger Terence Crawford.
It should be a packed house. Here's how you can watch the bout.
When: Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. EST
Where: Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, Scotland
TV: Sky Sports
Live Stream: Sky Broadband Unlimited (Subscription Required)
The Book on Joshua
Joshua is big, powerful and he possesses the type of endearing personality that not only the British can get behind but fans stateside might gravitate to as well.
Everyone knows Joshua is merely cutting his teeth on the opposition his promoter Hearn thrusts in front of him, but it's hard not to imagine what his ceiling is.
Because of his size, he doesn't have to worry about concerns over whether he's a legitimate heavyweight, or if he has the requisite power. One look at his fights thus far tells you that the kid can punch.
From an athletic standpoint, he's not a big stiff with a bodybuilder's body. There's fluidity to his punches and his footwork is good and improving. The only thing left is the professionalism and commitment to his craft.
Per Hearn's column, neither should be a concern. He writes:
When I talk about his brain power, what I really mean is his understanding of strategy. He is always watching fights, always learning. In sparring, you see it. He loves figuring a fighter out. I think that is why he has achieved so much. He had only 45 amateur fights and in that time he won the ABAs twice, won the Haringey Cup, won silver at the worlds and then picked up gold at his home Olympics. He is a prodigy.
Even though it seems people are always telling Joshua how good he is, he doesn't buy into the hype as much as he's motivated by the criticisms. Check out this tweet:
To improve at your craft it's like you need someone constantly reminding you how average your work is!! Frustrating but understandable— Anthony Joshua MBE (@anthonyfjoshua) February 20, 2014
After Saturday, Alfredo Avila will probably be wishing Joshua hadn't worked so hard on his craft.
The Book on Alfredo Avila
Up to now, Alfredo Avila's claim to fame is that he lasted nine rounds with Dereck Chisora before being stopped back in April 2013.
Humor me. Who wins Joshua vs. Alfredo Avila, and how?
With little to no chance of beating Joshua, his new claim might be that he was once in the ring with a future world champion. Chisora could ultimately reach that same level—as long as he doesn't have to fight Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua has far more potential, thus this will probably be Alfredo Avila's most difficult fight.
If Klitschko hung around long enough for the kid to get up to speed, he might be the final mountain the young Brit climbs before winning the title.
Alfredo Avila is six inches shorter than Joshua, a lot slower and less powerful. Joshua will win by second-round KO—again.
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