Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Anthony Joshua V Kevin Johnson
Saturday 30th May. Sky Box Office
London’s O2 Arena hosts a mouth-watering night of boxing on Saturday night and fans are already eagerly anticipating a bill that is headlined by Kell Brook v Frankie Gavin.
Also on the card, Kevin Mitchell and Lee Selby are in action against Jorge Linares and Evgeny Gradovich respectively. However, some of the biggest hype has been reserved for Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua, who faces his first major test in the professional ranks against Kevin Johnson.
It should be a cracking night of boxing and this heavyweight bout could well be the highlight. Let’s get ready to rumble.
AJ Bidding For Win 13
Watford-born Joshua is one of the hottest properties in British boxing right now and the WBC international heavyweight champion is already being tipped for world titles in the future. We should have a much better idea of his quality after this 10-rounder against a much stronger opponent than in his previous 12 professional fights.
The 6ft 6in Brit seemingly possesses all the skills needed to thrive and this challenge should be a great chance to test himself further. Nobody has pushed the Brit beyond three rounds yet, largely thanks to his array of attacking arsenal. Fans will be eager to see him breakthrough Johnson’s defence is similar fashion.
Having warmed up for the bout with a quick 2nd round destruction of Brazilian Raphael Zumbano Love, Joshua will be confident. However, he knows this is a tougher test and will be fully focused on getting this job done.
For the first time in his pro career, Joshua might not have things his own way. If he wins well, though, it will be the biggest triumph so far.
Can Johnson Cause A Shock?
Make no mistake; the expectations lie solely with British star Joshua heading into Saturday’s showdown. However, the veteran American is no fool and has openly voiced a belief that he can defeat an opponent who he has dismissed as a ‘hype man’.
Johnson’s record of 29 out of 36 professional bouts is pretty impressive but the biggest standout factor is the fact he’s never been stopped. The 35-year-old has pushed the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora to 12 rounds, underling his decent defence and he could yet cause an upset against an upcoming British star who has yet to face that level of endurance.
The American could be dangerous on the counter, especially if Joshua gets sloppy. Also, there are rumours that Joshua’s chin isn’t too strong, so perhaps we will finally see that tested at the O2.
Sadly for the neutrals, Johnson’s overly defensive style might not make for the best showing. For Joshua, though, it’s a great test and should shed some light on where he currently stands.
Anthony Joshua V Kevin Johnson Betting
Even if the accusations of over hype are valid, the bookies don’t often get things too wrong and Bet365’s odds of 1/100 on Joshua winning tells a story of its own. It would be a huge shock if the Brit does lose, but doubters could see value in 20/1 with Johnson.
We do agree that Joshua should win and, for his sake, we hope he wins well. This is undoubtedly a step up in class for the London 2012 hero and is a first chance to gain any real insight into his potential.
We think Joshua can become the first man to stop Johnson, but the favourite may have to show patience. If he boxes smartly then victory should be assured. However, this fight should go longer than the previous 12.
[quote_center]Over 4.5 rounds @ 11/10 with Paddy Power[/quote_center]
There really isn’t too many markets offering much value but the round betting could be a player. Assuming Joshua wins before the bell (2/11 Bet365) it could be worth a small punt on backing a round.
As much as we want Joshua to win, we hope is at least tested here. On the other hand, stopping the 35-year-old American would be great for his record. We’re backing the best of both worlds.
[quote_center]Anthony Joshua to win in round 6 @ 9/1 with Bet365[/quote_center]