SPORT: Is Anthony Joshua a legend in the making?
As the date of his much-anticipated clash with Joseph Parker on March 31st approaches, we take a look at how Anthony Joshua can continue his upward trajectory and cement his place in boxing history.
The man himself would prefer not to be considered a legend. The incredible progress AJ has continued to make since his Gold Medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, however, points to the fact that one day in the future we may well be talking about him the same breath as Ali, Marciano, Tyson, et al.
As it stands, Anthony Joshua’s professional boxing record reads as 20-0. Each of those victories have come by the way of stoppage. And, should Joshua overcome undefeated New Zealander Parker on March 31st, he’ll find himself in possession of the WBO title to go along with the IBF and WBA belts he already holds. Not only that but the 6-foot 6-inch Brit would no doubt be lined up for what would surely be the biggest heavyweight battle of the last twenty years, against Deontay Wilder – providing the American dispatches Luis Ortiz on March 3rd. If all goes to plan and AJ does go head to head with Wilder this year, he’d have the chance to become the first undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World since Lennox Lewis in 2000. Despite his tender age and relatively low fight count, surely that alone would be enough to secure legendary status.
Of course, all of the above is easier said than done.
Overcoming Parker this Spring is not going to be a cake-walk; the Kiwi has not been knocked down so far in his own career. The giant Wilder, AJ’s likeliest opponent after Parker, is also no pushover. He himself has remained undefeated in 39 bouts – registering a formidable 38 KO’s along the way.
It’s a big year for Joshua and one that could play a key role in his legacy. If he does indeed manage to see off the challenges of the likes of Parker and Wilder then perhaps the only other fighter who could stop him is Tyson Fury, providing ‘The Gypsy King’ can overcome his much documented personal problems and get back to his best.
One thing is for certain is that, at the time of writing, Joshua is young enough, strong enough and hits hard enough to leave the rest of a resurgent heavyweight division in his wake – and remain at the very top of his game for many years to come.
A legend in the making? We’re about to find out.