British heavyweight Anthony Joshua proved once again that he is miles ahead of the opponents he currently shares the ring with after blasting out Jason Gavern with ease on Saturday night.
The 25 year-old Olympic champion had the upper hand over Gavern even before the bell went as the American, who is an avid boxing fan, knew exactly what he was letting himself in for.
Gavern, 37, couldn’t even look the big Watford man in the eye at any point during the pre-fight formalities and was well and truly out of his depth from the first bell in Newcastle.
One punch from Joshua, a jab at that, was enough for everyone watching to know that the bout was solely a survival exercise for the 37 year-old veteran, who did his best to make it some sort of event for the paying fans while it lasted.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn announced a three-year plan for ‘AJ’ when signing the much sought-after youngster back in 2013, and taking recent injuries into account, a world title should come into play for the hard-hitter in early 2017.
By that time, current king of the division Wladimir Klitschko would be pushing 41, if the Ukrainian hasn’t retired by then, and could be ripe for the picking when Joshua finally makes it onto the same stage as his fellow gold medallist.
Right now though, Joshua is making his blueprint to a world title look a long drawn out road, when realistically he could mix it with the best European contenders right now, and is certainly on par with any of the domestic talent around.
Only the experience is lacking, although did Mike Tyson really need to be held back when he was ripping through the heavyweight ranks in the mid-eighties? Definitely not. And in my view, Joshua can be let of the leash now against the likes of David Price, Carlos Takam or Lucas Browne in the summer, before facing someone in the ilk of Tony Thompson or Bermane Stiverne at the end of the year.
That would lead Joshua, who is already ranked number 7 by the WBC, into a potential world title fight in early 2016 and knock a year off the current timescale.
Some fans are currently going through the motions, like this weekend in Newcastle, and are clearly craving more of a test for Joshua. There is no doubting that Joshua is an exciting fighter and will be a world champion one day, but the knockout artist has the potential to set the division alight like Tyson did thirty years ago and can one hundred percent be accelerated further.