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Anthony Joshua done with six rounders, ready to take step up in competition

Anthony Joshua is ready to take on a harder challenge in his next fight, tentatively set for April 19, with veterans Michael Sprott and Matt Skelton in the mix.

Mark Runnacles
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua has started his pro career with a record of 5-0, each win coming by stoppage within the first two rounds, including a 134-second knockout of Hector Alfredo Avila this past Saturday in Glasgow. Now, the 24-year-old British heavyweight prospect is looking to step up the competition a notch.

"When people are knocking guys out there are always questions about whether they can go the distance. Everyone trains hard in the gym, but I think mentally I'm ready to go six, eight (rounds). This is my last six-rounder and the opponents are going to get tougher. This is going to be an interesting year and there will be a time when you see me go past two (rounds). I bet you I'll be fine."

Promoter Eddie Hearn is looking to potentially bring in veterans Michael Sprott or Matt Skelton for an April 19 fight, or perhaps an international opponent, followed by a British title push within six months:

"We will look abroad, look internationally. The names of Sprott and Skelton have all been put in the mix. They're perfect for Anthony next. Then we will look at a British title in the next six months. We've got to do it right."

What have you all thought of Joshua thus far? Has he lived up to expectations early, or even surpassed them? Do you think we've got a legitimate future heavyweight star in the making?

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