02 Arena, London, England
By Peter Lim
Martin (23-0, 21 KOs) has more fights on his ledger but Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) has fought a substantially better level of of opposition. Add Joshua's stellar amateur credentials, including an Olympic gold, to the equation and this looks to be a one-sided affair.
But that's just the lowdown on paper. These two behemoths have a combined 95 percent knockout percentage so anything can happen. Short of a lucky punch, though, the winner boils down to who can better elude the other one's punches.
At this juncture of their careers, Martin has shown more flaws in his game than Joshua. He is a plodding, one-dimensional lefty who relies on his size to overpower rather than outsmart his opponents. In Martin's last fight, a considerably smaller Vyacheslav Glazkov was outmaneuvering him and finding his targets, especially the straight right to the body, before the Ukrainian's knee caved in on him.
Joshua, on the other hand, seems to be as composite a fighter as they come. For such a big man, he deliver combinations with Ali-like speed, fights well on the inside and catches opponents from various angles. He was rocked in his last fight against Dillian Whyte but had the composure to not only ride out the storm but return fire.
It might take Joshua a few rounds to adjust to Martin's southpaw style but once he does, he has little trouble imposing his will. Rather than seeking a fight-ending bomb Joshua elects to bide his time and break Martin down with blistering combinations upstairs and down. Sensing the time is ripe, the big Englishman ends the fight in the sixth round with a straight right-left hook, and the Union Jack is raised over yet another heavyweight belt.
It sure looked like Martin quit the fight by intentionally not beating the count by a split second. But that's not to say that Joshua isn't the complete package. The lingering question is how solid a chin he has on him.