Preview: Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua

By Robert Ecksel on April 7, 2016
Preview: Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua
“When I get in there and start doing the things that I do in there, you know, he’s gone.”

“I’m an underdog. Kind of like when Tyson fought Douglas. I’m hungry. I’m determined. I’m confident in making people crumble after a few rounds…”

On Saturday, April 9, at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London, England, IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs), the awkward southpaw from Carson, California, by way of St. Louis, Missouri, defends his title against Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs), from Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.

The clash between these two undefeated heavyweights is much anticipated. The fight is the fastest selling event ever at the O2 Arena, selling 17,000 tickets in just 90 seconds and will be televised live on Sky Sports in the UK and on Showtime in the US.

At 26 years of age and with only 15 pro bouts and 32 rounds to his credit, Joshua is not yet a seasoned professional. He is a work in progress. But opportunity knocked and Joshua, who was long ago tabbed as a future heavyweight champion, has decided to knock back.

“If he wants to box, we can box,” said Joshua. “If he wants to fight, we can fight. We’re not here to play games. We’re here to go to war. There are going to be two generals in there and the one with the best army wins.

“I’m prepared to swim through deep waters. I’m prepared to take two to give him five. I’m going out there to try and stop him. I won’t change.

“I want to maintain my knockout ratio. People want to see blood. They want to see someone get chopped down like a tree until they can’t take no more.”

That is music to Martin’s ears.

“That doesn’t bother me,” he said. “The O2 Arena, that’s going to be my Arena. I’m comfortable wherever I go. I’m always here to prove the doubters wrong.

“I know that he’s great. I know that he’s not ready. You know, I’m going to get him right now while he’s great. He going to get tired like he always does. Like he normally gets tired thinking he’s going to go five rounds. He’s going to get tired, and that’s when I’m going to jump on [him], period. You know what I mean?”

During a teleconference call in advance of the fight, the fighters discussed the upcoming bout and what we might see when the fists start flying.

“Moving forward with the fight against Charles Martin, it’s a 96 percent or 94 percent knockout ratio between us both, but the end of the game for both of us is, obviously, hit without getting hit. But someone will go and someone has to be removed and I’m very confident on Saturday night that won’t be me. When I look at Charles Martin as an individual it’s not that I see weaknesses, but I feel that I’m the better man. When I look at the fight itself it’s no problem. I’m an underdog. I’m a challenger that can come in and annihilate a champion. Kind of like when Tyson fought Douglas. I’m hungry. I’m determined. I’m confident in making people crumble after a few rounds.”

If Martin has his way, he’ll do the crumbling.

“Everybody thinks that he’s a superstar,” Martin said, “but I’ve got more fights than him. It don’t matter about who you got in the ring with as a professional and fought because, you know, the experience and getting comfortable is what it’s all about, and I don’t feel that he’s comfortable enough in the ring and especially not with me being in there. When I get in there and start doing the things that I do in there, you know, he’s gone. It’s going to be a different story. It’s going to be a whole different look.”

In his last fight against Dillian Whyte, Joshua looked good but not great.

“He got real tired,” said Martin, “and he doesn’t have any footwork. He can’t box. You know, he can’t move. The only thing he’s relying on is his power, and I got more tools than that. I’m more than just a powerful puncher. I can do it all. So, that’s what I’m taking into the fight. I got more in my arsenal. If he thinks he’s going to be able to land hard punches on me and stuff like that, he’s got another thing coming.”

Joshua said he’s going to KO Martin within six rounds.

“That’s fine by me,” Martin said. “Words are words. They’re nothing more than what they are. I know exactly what I’m doing with this. I don’t have any prediction. Man, I’m not the one to predict. I’m a realist. You know, you come out talking that crap, it don’t mean nothing, you know? Predictions, I’m not a prophet. I’m going to go in there and see what’s in front of me, and who knows how it goes down? If I see an opportunity, then I’m going to take the initiative. I’m just a technician in there, man. That’s all I can say, I’m a technician, a lot of tools.”

Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua will be televised live Saturday afternoon on Showtime starting at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT.

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