By Benjy Swan: Earlier tonight, heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KO’s) took care of business in defeating Matt Legg (7-3, 3 KO’s) by a 1st round knockout in front of a huge crowd at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn then revealed that he’ll be back in the ring on July 12th in a fight against 47-year-old former world title challenger Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) in Liverpool, UK.
This is a fight card that Hearn had previously talked about having cruiserweights Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly fighting in separate fights to build up a big fight for them in November.
Joshua, 6’6″, is trying to break into the big league by 2015, and he needs to be pushed up the heavyweight ladder against increasingly better opposition. Skelton at least is a slight step up from the 38-year-old Legg. He can take a pretty good shots, and he’ll likely not go down immediately the first time he’s hit hard the way that Legg tonight.
Skelton has lost his last two fights, and he’s not likely someone that can give Joshua more than 1-2 rounds at beat. Skelton was knocked out in the 2nd round by David Price in 2012. Price, 6’8″, is another highly hyped British heavyweight with good power, but with chin and stamina problems.
Joshua needs a lot of work on his defense before he starts getting pushed up the ranks. It’s not likely that he’s going to get the help he needs given the match-making that Hearn is going for him. Mismatches like this aren’t good for the development of the 24-year-old Joshua because he’s not being matched against anyone that can give him any kind of a real test in the ring. It’s just one plodder after another, and he’s knocking them all out in the 1st round. Of Joshua’s six victories, he’s knocked out three of them in the 1st round and 3 of them in the 2nd round. That’s a good sign that Joshua isn’t being matched against good enough opposition to help him develop.