By Terence Dooley
Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) may have been billed as the star attraction at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night, but Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 early) insists that he will leave the ring with his IBF heavyweight title as well an Olympic scalp on his resume and is not there to make up the numbers.
Joshua and domestic rival Tyson Fury have been swapping barbs via social media. Fury believes that Joshua is too muscled, comparing him to a bodybuilder, and has predicted a win for the IBF titlist. Joshua, though, insists that the heavyweight world Champion is jealous of his physique.
Amidst all of this, Martin has predicted that his style will be too much for his 26-year-old challenger to handle.
“I've been 208lbs when I first started boxing, with guys who are 250lbs,” he said when speaking to the Daily Mirror’s David Anderson. “Of course they had the power to knock my head off, but did they? No. So that ain't nothing new, a guy that's more muscular than me, more buffer, taller. It don't matter, because I'm a smart fighter, and I'm sneaky.”
He added: “You mess up and you come in too hard and—pump—you get caught! It is what it is.”
Fury’s prediction of a Martin win rests on his belief that the American has a more fluid boxing style, arguing that this will be a key factor come the night. The 29-year-old southpaw echoed this belief when discussing his tactical approach.
“Sneakiness is the key for me because (of) the way he sets up and commits,” he said. “You've gotta be careful with committing because counter-punchers knock you out. You gotta be careful when you come in. Yeah, he's a big bloke. This leg is stiff like I don't know what, I'd be surprised if I see him bend his knee when he steps out. If he bends his knee, I'll be like 'oh s**t, I'm impressed'.
“Joshua said he was going to get me out of my rhythm, because I am so calm. One thing about me is I can adjust. If I wasn't as good and as confident as I am with this sport, I wouldn't do it, because it's a dangerous sport.”
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