Anthony Joshua has had the eyes of the boxing world locked on him ever since winning super heavyweight gold at London 2012, and after a destructive early pro career, now has folks talking about if -- or when -- he might be a serious player in the heavyweight division.
One believer is reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko, who has sparred Joshua (9-0, 9 KO), and believes that the 25-year-old prospect has a big future:
"He's built how a champion should be, is the right weight, very strong and technically capable. He's also very down to earth and asks a lot of questions - that shows the man wants to learn. He has a good future if he keeps doing what he's been doing."
There are really just two remaining questions about Joshua: How well does he respond to adversity (he's faced none), and how well does he take a punch? Fellow Brit David Price was tapped as a potential world beater before Tony Thompson confirmed the chin fears from his amateur days, and now Price (18-2, 15 KO) is trying to rebuild a busted career with Sauerland Event, with few serious hopes that he'll ever match his early hype.
On the other hand, Tyson Fury (22-0, 16 KO) just keeps winning, though many predicted an early reality check in his career. Probably more due to the fact that Fury intentionally makes people dislike him, while Price has always been a fairly soft spoken and "humble" sort, but Fury also once punched himself in the face during a fight, so you can understand the doubts about his ceiling.
Joshua is more in like with Price in terms of demeanor, and at a hulking 6'6" and weighing around 235-240 pounds, he's got the sort of physique that pundits and analysts and fans can dream on, much like Frank Bruno had. Will Joshua be the guy to take over when Klitschko is gone? Maybe. He's shown that sort of promise. But there are certainly a lot of roadblocks left.
Joshua will face veteran Michael Sprott (42-22, 17 KO) on November 22 in Liverpool