Eddie Hearn’s decision to pit Anthony Joshua in against Charles Martin on April 9 could result in the Londoner’s first defeat, according to heavyweight king Tyson Fury.
Top contender Joshua, 26, is eyeing an IBF title shot in just his 16th pro fight following contact between Hearn and current belt holder Martin’s promoter Leon Margules this week.
Should the fight eventually come off for the O2 Arena in London, Fury sees a shocking victory on the cards for relative newcomer Martin as the 29 year-old makes the first defence of the lineal champion’s old belt.
“Charles Martin is not an easy fight for Joshua,” Fury exclusively told World Boxing News.
“If I had to put my money on it, I’d say Charles Martin stops Joshua as he’s a six foot, five inch punching southpaw with combinations, and who’s not afraid of people just because they’ve got muscles.
“It’s a difficult fight and this could be a banana skin pretty similar to Tim Witherspoon v Frank Bruno or Tony Thompson v David Price. They are the two that spring to mind for the heavyweights with the Americans coming over when it’s supposed to be easy and then they get chinned.”
Fury, who is currently out of full-time training as he awaits the conclusion of negotiations for a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, believes frailties shown by Joshua in his last fight may have forced Hearn’s hand on a world title bout.
“Eddie Hearn might be trying to cash Joshua in at the moment because he saw vulnerability as Dillian Whyte nearly had him out with a left hook. Maybe someone with a bigger punch and a bit more experience would have followed him up and got him out of there,” said Fury.
“If I had landed that shot Dillian land on him, he wouldn’t have survived. Same goes for Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye or Deontay Wilder.
“The only thing Dillian lacked was the experience as he sort of didn’t know what to do when he had him hurt. He tried to finish him with big looping shots and they’re not going to catch you. You have to put straight shots together to set it up or it’s not going to happen for you.”
Martin v Joshua is currently in the very early stages of negotiations and is ‘far from done’ as both sides thrash out terms for what would be a UK pay-per-view event worth millions to both boxers.