ANTHONY JOSHUA and his Matchroom promoters have turned boxing on its head, according to Al Hamilton, the doyen of black boxing writers.
Joshua chalked up win number 21 last Saturday with an assured points victory over New Zealander Joseph Park in Cardiff on March 31 and Hamilton, who has been instrumental in the careers of many a British fighter, has given the pugilist known as ‘AJ’ his seal of approval.
Hamilton told the The Voice: “I’ve never met the young man (Anthony Joshua) but I like what I see of him. All concerned have done a good job. Considering his brief amateur career, he has been brilliant. He has his flaws, there’s no such thing as the complete fighter.
“Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Muhammad Ali, all of them had faults. He is doing what he can with the tools that he has.”
Hamilton, the man behind the visionary Commonwealth Sports Awards which ran for the best part of two decades, was key to the development of another British heavyweight who shook the world, Frank Bruno.
Hamilton said of the Bruno and Joshua comparisons: “He’s very very physical (Joshua). He’s a powerful man, more powerful than Bruno in terms of physicality but probably lacking Bruno’s one punch potency.”
Of the recent win in Wales, Hamilton says that the Kiwi just wasn’t up to the job. “Parker was too small and just did not have enough ammunition to test AJ. As soon as Parker felt the power he thought it was best to keep his dignity intact.”
Joshua’s perfect fight record now means that the a clash with WBC kingpin, Deontay Wilder, seems inevitable. “Wilder is a different proposition entirely to Parker,” admits Hamilton.
“There is no other way to go now – Joshua against Wilder has to happen. “Eddie Hearn (head of Matchroom Boxing) has surpassed what boxers can earn in the US in terms of money. Matchroom are now making the Americans salivate.
“The likes of Sugar Ray Leonard and Michael Buffer (the legendary MC) are now trooping to London. The tide has changed and AJ has done that through his charisma and Matchroom’s ability to negotiate.
“Wilder cannot expect a 50-50 split of any purse with Joshua. One man has four belts and he has one. At the same time he has to be treated with respect because he’s a powerful, skilful and unbeaten fighter.”