Last night Anthony Joshua obliterated unbeaten Charles Martin to become the IBF Heavyweight champ. Martin came to London as one of the least known heavyweight champions of all time, having won the belt earlier this year. It was indeed, this un knowing which made Martin a tricky opponent to estimate, bearing in mind he had been unbeaten in all of his 24 professional fights. However, just looking at the two in plain sight credited the bookies forecast of AJ being the odds-on winner.
Joshua stood 6’6, body chiselled as if from stone by the God’s of the Olympia. Martin stood 6’5, body flabby like the doorman at O’Neills. Even the Brit’s body art was of a higher calibre, a memento of his London 2012 gold medal at the top of his back as Martin’s belly proclaimed “above the law”.
To give Martin his due, he seemed humbled in defeat. In fact, although outclassed by Joshua, I’m sure he’ll continue fighting at the top level.
The most shocking thing however from the whole evening, as I have found in all boxing arenas, are the Fan-boys.
This is pandemic in Britain if not around the world. I’m referring of course to the punters in the crowd who stand up and can be seen shadow-boxing throughout. I imagine the state of the men’s at these events, the ledge of the roll holder encrusted an inch thick with a paste of cocaine-residue and steamed piss.
I feel the same cringe worthy-ness as the shadow boxers when I see a fan pose with a boxer in a photo, fists raised in the default “boxers pose”. Ditto for the people who hang miniature boxing gloves from their car mirror, as if to say, I box therefore I am hard.
As boxing appears to be getting back to its best with a credible heavyweight who will, in the not too distant future, unify the heavyweight division, the Fan-boys are apparent more so than ever before.
We all love boxing, but there’s a reason they’re in the ring and you’re not. So when you feel the surge of electrodes impulsing you to raise your hands and clench your fists, remember, don’t be a fan-boy – because that will make you a tool.