If you're a WWE or wrestling fan, you've heard the term squash matches. For those who are unaware, these are the matches set up by the wrestling promotion to make a new—usually monstrous—star look good against lesser—or completely unknown—guys.
Once this part of a wrestler's popularity has been established, he starts to get matched against bigger and better talent. That same process often happens with heavyweight prospects in boxing, although the in-ring action isn't scripted.
Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KO) is the big star English boxing is selling, and most who have seen him fight are buying. He's looked good for as long as his fights have lasted, but he's made quick work of every jabroni he's faced.
Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn yuck it up in this video, while Joshua delivers his best impersonation of The Rock. Oh yeah, he did that.
Hearn also talks about his fighter's bright future and their relationship.
On Saturday, he'll get his next test from veteran Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO) in the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Skelton is 47 years old, so he's literally almost twice the age of Joshua, who is 24. Perhaps Skelton's guile and experience can force Joshua to work a little more than he ever has.
Maybe he'll just thrash him the way he has all the rest of the opponents he's faced up to this point. At any rate, here's how you can watch:
When: Saturday, July 12 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Echo Arena in Liverpool
TV: Sky Sports
The Book on Joshua
Joshua is coming to the end of his squash match tour. The 6'6", muscle-bound and physically gifted heavyweight has smashed every tomato can put in his path through six fights.
Charlie Morgan of The Telegraph gives us the image of Joshua standing next to 168-pound world champion Carl Froch. AJ is pretty big.
Awesome photo. If you were ever in any doubt as to 1. how hard boxers work or 2. what a monster Anthony Joshua is: pic.twitter.com/pVqranGICM— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) June 3, 2014
None of his opponents have made it out of the second round.
That's a great and impressive thing on one hand, but on the other, it's made Joshua's extended body of work hard to get a bead on. Is he really this devastating, or have his opponents simply been so bad, none could expose whatever weakness he may have?
Joshua and his team have already begun to seriously eye big things, but he's careful not to get too far ahead of himself. Per Sky Sports, Joshua said:
Six fights now and seven on July 12. Hopefully I will get another victory against the veteran Matt Skelton and then I think early next year it will be interesting to see where my management take me heading towards that British title, but what an honour it would be to fight for the British title.
The British title seems like a natural goal for Joshua at this stage of his career. He has only had six fights, and while his talent may imply that he should be calling out a Klitschko, the reality says taking it slow is the best bet.
The Book on Skelton
Pushing 50, Skelton has accumulated a wealth of experience in the ring, but that has only gotten him so far.
It's true that Skelton has been in the ring with quite a few notable heavyweights in his career. He's faced David Price, Kubrat Pulev and Ruslan Chagaev. Unfortunately for Skelton, he lost to all three. A lack of talent is perhaps the missing ingredient for Skelton when it comes to ascending in boxing.
Almost everyone hopes Skelton gives Joshua at least three rounds of work before he says night-night, but it's imaginable that the previous six opponents had the same aspirations.
Perhaps he'll hold excessively just to make sure he lasts six minutes. That might be his only hope.
Joshua is too big, strong and talented for Skelton. Chalk up another KO victory; this one won't make it out of the second round either.
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