Tonight, Britain is going to be treated to an exciting heavyweight clash between two unbeaten prospects. In one corner of the ring will be the undefeated Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua and in the other corner will be the undefeated Scottish prospect Gary Cornish.
The clash will be for the vacant Commonwealth title as well as the WBC International title. With both fighters gunning to maintain their unbeaten records, we could be in for a great fight at the 02 Arena in London.
As everybody knows, Anthony Joshua is the ‘Golden Boy’ of British boxing at the moment. Every single opponent that AJ has been in with has been stopped in brutal fashion, and Cornish looks to be in for a daunting task come fight night.
Joshua is looking like a near complete fighter in the ring so far in his professional career and his work rate in the gym can never be questioned. Many world class fighters have been giving AJ credit, even the undisputed number one heavyweight on the planet at the moment Wladimir Klitschko was full of praise when the pair sparred recently. With power in both hands, a variety of shots and the speed that many heavyweights lack, the Watford man is going to take some stopping.
Tonight will be the first time that AJ has been in the ring as a pro with a man who will do anything to win and send a real statement out to the heavyweight division. Although AJ lacks experience compared to Cornish as a professional, his Olympic triumph provides experience that only a selected few fighters have.
Gary Cornish is a very solid, strong heavyweight boxer hailing from Inverness, Scotland. He is the current IBO Inter-Continental champion, but his fight with Joshua will be the first chance he will have to really prove himself as one for the future.
He has a slight height advantage over Joshua at 6″7 and he has boxed significantly more rounds that his opponent. In his twenty one victories so far, he has stopped twelve of his opponents so certainly carries power of his own. This will be the first time that Cornish will be fighting as a main event live on Sky Sports, so it is yet to be seen whether he can deal with the big occasion or not.
Joshua is the favourite in this fight and many people are looking past the Cornish bout towards the Dillian Whyte fight which is scheduled for December. AJ must remain focused on Cornish; in boxing you can never look past your next opponent, especially when you are fighting in the heavyweight division.
For me Joshua will win this fight early as Cornish has not had any real tests so far in his career. For Cornish to be successful I think he will have to take Joshua deep into the fight and see how he deals with a fight down the stretch. Although AJ looks in unbelievable physical condition, he has never been pushed more than three rounds as a professional. If Cornish can get Joshua past the eighth round it may be a test, but its a big IF. I predict an Anthony Joshua stoppage victory between rounds one and three.
Anthony Joshua’s closest rival will also be on the bill, fighting for the WBC International silver title against the experienced Brian Minto. The fight will be contested over ten rounds and Whyte will be looking to make a real statement before his inevitable showdown with Joshua.
The most exciting fight comes earlier on in the bill, with the trilogy fight between Dave Ryan and John Wayne Hibbert for both the super lightweight Commonwealth and WBC International titles. The first fight between the pair was an uneventful points win for Dave Ryan but the rematch was the polar opposite. Live on Sky Sports Box Office on the undercard of Brook-Gavin in May, Ryan picked himself up off the canvas twice (in round three and five) to stop Hibbert in the ninth round. The fight is a contestant for fight of the year and the third fight in the trilogy will certainly entertain everybody watching.
Louis Norman defends his English title at flyweight against Charlie Edwards, and Ricky Boylan clashes with Cassius Connor in a local grudge match. The undercard also features Tommy Martin, Reece Bellotti, Jake Ball, Ted Cheeseman, Ohara Davies and Lucian Reid.
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15