Eddie Hearn acknowledged the challenge that lies before Anthony Joshua (15-0 15KOs) when he meets Charles Martin (23-0-1 21KOs) for the IBF heavyweight title on April 9th at the O2 Arena in London.
Joshua remains undefeated in 15 contests, with 15 knockouts and will enter his first world title fight as a heavy favourite.
Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, admitted that this day has come earlier than expected “It’s come two or three fights too early,” said Hearn, speaking to the Daily Mirror. “We didn’t expect to fight for the word title now, but this is the situation.
“We probably would not have looked to fight a 6ft 5ins, awkward southpaw like him, so it is a risk. It was a difficult decision and I just said to Anthony’s people, make your decision on can you beat Charles Martin? If you think you can, then you have to take this fight, and Joshua was in like that!”
Martin, also undefeated, won the IBF crown in January, overcoming Vyacheslav Glazkov, who was forced to retire from their clash for the vacant IBF title when he suffered a knee injury in the third round.
For the winner of Joshua vs. Martin, the reward will be an awkward mandatory which will be strictly enforced by the IBF. Following the mandatory, whoever emerges victorious will have the chance to fight for a lucrative unification bout in a resurgent heavyweight division.