British Heavyweight Anthony Joshua retained his IBF World Title with a seventh round knockout of Dominic Breazeale last weekend. Despite being made to work harder than expected by his American challenger, the ease of which he has seen off the majority of his opponents has had the British public clambering for him to take on a bigger challenge.
Under the instruction of promoter Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s last clutch of fights have seen him face the likes of Dillian Whyte, Charles Martin and of course Breazeale and the general consensus has been that he needs to be pushed further.
Older compatriot David Haye who has had much joy in the heavyweight field during his career has been suitably impressed by Joshua but has insisted this hasn’t put him off the prospect of facing him in the ring in the near future.
“I always look at him as an opponent. I watch his punch variety, plus the way he reacts to punches coming at him.
The more I’ve watched him, the more confident I’ve got. He’s looked better winning his fights in style, but the way he’s won them, I don’t believe, is enough to beat me. I’m slipping shots that his opponents take clean in the face.
I’m patiently waiting for when he feels he’s ready.”
A slight ‘wobble’ in the second round of his victory over Dillian Whyte has so far been the closest 26-year-old Joshua has been to hitting the canvas in his three year professional career and with tougher challengers Fury and Haye et al waiting in the wings, the pressure only continues to mount on Hearn to give British boxing fans the high profile fight they so desperately crave.
Deontay Wilder, who like Breazeale, also hails from the US is another name that would whet the appetite and draw the box office viewers in their numbers should he face Joshua but reports suggest New Zealander Joseph Parker is next in line to fight the much sought after British boxer.
Whilst still undefeated and packing a big right hand, the jury is out on whether the 24-year-old is really the right man to face Joshua next. The majority of his 19 wins have come against fellow countrymen such as Kali Meehan who after turning 46 recently, only took to boxing following his retirement from Rugby League. Should the fight the Kiwi man has been clambering for take place (he called out Joshua on social media following his Breazeale win), a match against Joshua in uncharted European territory would be a real baptism of fire for Parker.