ANTHONY Joshua comes across as the antithesis to fellow British boxer Tyson Fury, who will be in his sights if he wins his first world heavyweight title on Saturday night.
Joshua is the polite, smiling and muscular 2012 Olympic gold medallist who challenges American Charles Martin for his IBF heavyweight title at London’s O2 Arena after knocking out all 15 of his professional opponents.
Despite making rapid and destructive progress in the paid ranks, Joshua has not impressed Fury, who has called him “useless”, among other insults, and tipped southpaw Martin to knock him out.
Granite-fisted Joshua, 26, is just the latest target of Fury’s vitriol, which has made the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ one of the most controversial figures in British sport.
And as Joshua approaches the biggest fight of his life, there is a growing sense of inevitability that he will fight Fury if he can beat Martin, who has stopped 21 of 24 opponents, with one draw.
“Let me handle the business in the ring and then we can move forward,” Joshua said.
“Every era has its heavyweights — Ali, Frazier, Foreman, then Lennox, Holyfield, Tyson, and now me, (David) Haye... We have to get it on. Even if it’s in 12 months’ time, we have to get it on.
“We can’t wait any longer because we’re all coming to the top of our games, we’re all peaking. It’s a fight (against Fury) that has to happen sooner rather than later.”