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Anthony Joshua is a sign of the times for British Boxing

11th April 2016

Anthony Joshua is a sign of the times for British Boxing
On Saturday, a young man from Watford wrote his name in the stars at the O2 Arena.

With a powerful right hand, Anthony Joshua put his opponent on the floor for the second time in the match to claim his place as the IBF World Heavyweight Champion.

It was an impressive performance in his debut title fight. He was up against Charles Martin, a fighter who many knew little about despite holding a world title.

His awkward Southpaw style was meant to unsettle Joshua. He was supposed to rattle the cage, in fact he promised himself that Saturday night's fight would be a 'Boxing clinic' for his opponent. He couldn't have been more wrong. The raw power and speed of Joshua was just too much - once again - for his opponent to handle.

The makings of a star

Joshua first emerged on the boxing scene thanks to the London 2012 Olympics. The 6ft 6in heavyweight won Super Heavyweight gold aged just 22.

At this point he had only been boxing for four years and he turned down the chance to turn professional two years earlier. Instead, he trained hard, notched up an impressive amateur record and boxed his way into the Great Britain Boxing Squad for 2012.

He entered the International scene as a complete novice and after receiving a series of tough draws in the Olympics he had many doubters. However Joshua came through unfazed to take gold and since then his career has sky-rocketed.

After packing out the 20,000 capacity 02 Arena on Saturday night, it's Wembley calling for the new heavyweight champ this Summer.

Joshua is part of a promising bunch

Anthony Joshua is just one name on a promising list of fighters. With Tyson Fury occupying another of the International Heavyweight titles, the British Boxing roster is strong.

Even on Joshua's undercard three British boxers claimed victories. George Groves claimed the vacant WBA Super Middleweight title, Conor Benn (son of Nigel) made his pro-debut and earnt a quick victory and Welshman Lee Selby battled his way to retaining his IBF Featherweight belt.

Elsewhere, James DeGale - the only other Brit to win Olympic Gold and then win a world title - still holds his IBF Super-Middleweight title and defends it on the 30 April. Kell Brook is the current IBF Welterweight champion and has a 36 fight undefeated professional record. Scott Quigg recently became IBF Super-Bantamweight champion. All of these are British Boxers in their prime.

Even the likes of Amir Khan are still going strong. The former Olympic medallist and world champion, has recently moved up two weight divisions to take on Mexican Saul Alvarez for the WBC Middleweight Title.

British Boxing is looking at its most promising for a number of years, since the days of Lennox Lewis, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.

There is a real sense of promise that Anthony Joshua in particular could go on to become one of the greatest British Boxers of all time.

Where it all began

Not every boxer went through the Olympic process, but they all started out on the amateur circuits and fought hard to gain their recognition and win titles.

Not all of them started young, either. As mentioned, Joshua was 18 when he took up boxing. With the right application and dedication, anyone can make it. Joshua is a great example of what can be achieved and with his humble personality, he is quickly becoming an extremely likeable figure in a sport dominated by big and cocky personalities.

The Olympics are a great way for British boxers to make their name and with the Summer Olympics in Brazil just months away, Team GB will be looking to continue their impressive medal haul.

How to find a boxing class near you

Find a boxing class near you is easy. There are boxing gyms all around the country and even regular gyms now tend to have the equipment to run proper boxing sessions.

To find a class, go onto Martial Arts Near You and search using your postcode. This will identify all of the boxing classes in your area. Once you have found one to suit your schedule, you can leave an enquiry with the instructor or in some cases, you can book your place online there and then!

Even if you are not looking for a boxing class, there are many martial arts styles and certainly something to suit everyone. There are hundreds of Martial Arts Clubs and Martial Arts Instructors around the UK offering a whole range of styles. These can be also be found using the search on the website homepage.
Source: Martial Arts Near You