Anthony Joshua faces a tougher test against Yaroslav Zavorotnyi in Dublin after early stoppage of Matt Skelton

Times Series: Anthony Joshua secured another early stoppage at the weekend. Picture: Action Images Anthony Joshua secured another early stoppage at the weekend. Picture: Action Images

Anthony Joshua made it seven knockout victories inside two rounds at the weekend but will face a step-up in quality next month in Dublin.

The Watford boxer knocked out former world title challenger Matt Skelton on Saturday with 27 seconds left in the second stanza but at 47 and in his first fight for 16 months, Skelton was always unlikely to trouble the Olympic champion.

However, his next opponent should present a much tougher test on August 30 at the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin.

Yaroslav Zavorotnyi took ex-Commonwealth champion David Price ten rounds last month and in 2011 also lasted the distance in an eight-round contest with Kubrat Pulev, who challenges Wladimir Klitschko for his world titles in September.

Joshua, who now lives in Golders Green, will be expected to beat Zavorotnyi, whose record reads 16-7, and the 39-year-old has been stopped twice before.

But the former Kings Langley pupil is relishing the step up in class.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the Skelton fight, Joshua said: "I wish I fought him (Skelton) when he was at European level but eventually I will get there and will be fighting guys at that level.

"It's definitely a good name on the record, [but] there's not much point in me fighting guys I'm knocking over all the time.

"Matt was game but the plan worked; I stuck to my jab and I was relaxed. I'm learning all the time and, if I keep on progressing, I'll keep getting these first and second round knockouts."

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Sports, added: "It is so exciting. We are going to Dublin and fighting Yaroslav Zavorotnyi who has just taken David Price ten rounds so it will be a great step up for him and a great fight for him.

"It is so exciting for British boxing and what you are seeing is the evolution of the next heavyweight champion of the world. I have no doubt this boy is going all the way.

"He is a humble man and the whole country should get behind him because he is 100 per cent dedicated to the sport, he is a role model and he is going to be huge for British boxing and British sport. He is going all the way."

Joshua's display may have been brief but he did show his boxing skill; with good use of feints, movement and counter-punching at times.

He also wouldn't be bullied by the veteran when Skelton, who refused to touch gloves before the fight, tried to rough up Joshua early on, as the 24-year-old responded by showing his superior strength and overpowering the Bedford man onto the ropes.

Joshua caught Skelton with a nice left early into the bout and another combination midway through the first round.

The younger man worked well behind his jab before landing a powerful right, which led to smiles from Skelton. Joshua caught him with another right and a left before the first round finished.

Joshua landed several punches during an attractive combination which Skelton survived in the second but it was only a matter of time.

The finish came when Joshua countered well with a left before setting his opponent up on the ropes. He landed a clubbing right which shook the older man and another right sent him to the canvas.

Skelton was up on the count of nine and referee Steve Gray allowed him to continue but a left hook had him stumbling once more and Gray had no choice but to call it off.

Comments (2)

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4:51pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Andrew1963 says...

Just as an aside, should a 47 year old who has not had a fight for nearly two years be allowed to part in a professional bout?
Just as an aside, should a 47 year old who has not had a fight for nearly two years be allowed to part in a professional bout? Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

8:30am Tue 15 Jul 14

tiger bay says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
Just as an aside, should a 47 year old who has not had a fight for nearly two years be allowed to part in a professional bout?
Good point Andrew. ..in a sport that struggles for credibility sometimes and the Health and Safety brigade on its back, these continual one sided farces do the sport no favours. .
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: Just as an aside, should a 47 year old who has not had a fight for nearly two years be allowed to part in a professional bout?[/p][/quote]Good point Andrew. ..in a sport that struggles for credibility sometimes and the Health and Safety brigade on its back, these continual one sided farces do the sport no favours. . tiger bay
  • Score: 0
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