by Ted Sares
“It only went two rounds but I just wanted to hurt him.“—Anthony Joshua
“I’ll be looking to take his [Joshua] head off his shoulders,”—David Price
It almost seems that a Wilder-Joshua fight is pre-ordained though Bermaine Stiverne may have something to say about that.
On October 10 at the O2 Arena in London, England, 24-year-old Anthony Joshua (9-0, 9 KOs) slaughtered 34-year-old Russian Denis Bakhtov (38-10, 25 KOs) forcing a stoppage at 1:00 of the second stanza. Joshua, as he has shown with his previous eight victims, punched hard and used a punishing ramrod jab..The Sky Sports announcer calling the fight said the first round was “as competitive as a bullfight.”
Bakhtov, aka “Darth Vader,” was coming off a UD win over Konstantin Airich—and, for that matter, so was Joshua who stopped Airich, aka “The Sandman,” in 3 rounds. Bakhtov had lost four of his last five fights and was no match for the 6’6” former Gold Medalist. However, Bakhtov has not been easy to knock out, and went the distance against the likes of Czar Glazkov and Alex Ustinov. Indeed, he had not been stopped for almost a decade and had boxed a mind boggling 250 rounds more than his younger opponent. He was “supposed to be a test.” But this time he was beaten quickly, soundly, and finally stopped faster than you can say,” Referee what are you waiting for?”
With the win, Joshua now holds the WBC International heavyweight belt and served warning to his rivals that he is a force with which to be reckoned.
Joshua next fights Michael Sprott in a bit of a step up in competition, but look for his record to go to 10-0. Still, he is being brought along more intelligently than Deontay Wilder (32-0) and all things being equal should be ready for the Alabaman when he is about 20-0 or less.
And should they meet and I project at this point in time, I see the Englishman being too explosive and technically skilled for the Bronze Bomber. He can put punches together without winging or looping them and that’s something Wilder has not yet demonstrated. But more to the point, there is one fundamental difference between the two; namely, the difference between a Bronze medal and a Gold medal.
Wilder’s first ten opponents were dispatched in a total of 13 rounds and their combined record was 30-37-10.
Joshua has fought 16 rounds in nine bouts, but his opponents have a combined won-lost record of 150-70-3. Sprott will up that mark to 192-92-3
Can Tony Thompson, Orianier Solis, Sam Sexton, or David Price be that far behind?
As the highlight-reel –filled saga of Deontay Wilder continues at least until mid-December (when he meets the tough and talented Stiverne), another compelling story has captured the fancy of UK boxing fans. All of a sudden, people are now talking about a successor to Lennox Lewis.
Says Lewis: “When I first met him I couldn’t believe he was bigger than me – an inch taller at 6ft 6in. I thought oh my God. Then I thought oh good. As I already told you, size matters.’ (MailOnline)
Ted Sares is a private investor who holds a PhD in Business Administration and enjoys writing about boxing. He is a member of Ring 4 Boxing Hall of Fame (Boston) and an active member of Ring 10 (New York). He also is one of the oldest active powerlifters in the world and competes throughout North America under the auspices of the RAW and the Elite Powerlifting Federations