British heavyweight hope and potential future ruler of the division, Anthony Joshua is now up to number six on the latest released WBC rankings and could conceivably fight for the green belt whenever he feels he’s ready.
As Deontay Wilder scouts an opponent for his June 13 return, Joshua is facing the unheralded Brazilian Rafael Zumbano Love as the Olympic champion bides his time and sticks to the plan outlined by promoter Eddie Hearn when they teamed up in 2013.
Despite constant calls by the UK fight fans to step up the opposition, Matchroom boss Hearn and big-punching Joshua remain steadfast in their plan and will not be swayed into pushing the Watford man into world title contention any earlier than 2016.
Joshua has completely annihilated all eleven of his opponents so far within three rounds, and will no doubt do the same again to Love this weekend before moving on to a slightly tougher test against veteran Kevin Johnson at the end of May. As Johnson has never been stopped, it gives Joshua the opportunity to make some sort of statement to the rest of the division, although if the top names don’t know the former amateur star’s potential by now they could be in real trouble.
Picking the bones out his victories, there is always room for a gripe or two, but the simple fact remains that Joshua already has the full package, and once he couples that with the correct experience, the sky if firmly the limit for the WBC silver champion.
Being ranked above the likes of Bryant Jennings, who recently gave a good account of himself in losing to the all-reigning Wladimir Klitschko, ex-world champion Shannon Briggs and compatriots Dereck Chisora and David Price, won’t phase Joshua in the slightest as the KO specialist tip-toes his way to a certain world title within 18 months.
As Klitschko edges nearer to hanging up his gloves, Joshua may well fancy his chances of going up against the Ukrainian once the champ reaches his forties, but for now it’s all about keeping up momentum and racking up the victories.
Another two are certain to follow in the coming weeks, with at least four more to come in 2015 barring injuries, as Joshua sharpens his considerable tools and carves out his own pat – which is destined to include a long stint at the top of his game.