British promoter Eddie Hearn remembered how his star ward and Olympic champion Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) became the world champion for the first time among professionals.
Recall that this happened in April 2016, when Joshua – at that time 26-year-old and with a record of 15-0 – entered the ring against the IBF champion American Charles Martin, for whom it was the first defense, and smashed him in two rounds.
It turns out that there was no consensus in Anthony’s team on this fight.
“Getting this fight was the best thing we’ve ever done,” says Hearn. “Though I remember arguing with (former Joshua coach) Rob McCracken. Rob felt it was too soon to take this fight, but we said, “Do you think he can beat Charles Martin?” To which Rob replied: “Yes, but after that he will become world champion, and this is a problem.” But I said, “If you think you can win this fight, then you should take it.” As a result, AJ entered the ring and won. The only fight that came too early for Joshua, in my opinion, was against Wladimir Klitschko.”
Recall that Joshua fought Klitschko a year later and, despite a heavy knockdown in the 6th round, won an early victory in the 11th round.
Meanwhile, the new British coach Derrick James is confident that Joshua will beat Usyk on the third try.