After Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua knocked out another opponent inside three rounds, it would be easy for him to look ahead to the challenges that await him. The world appears to be his oyster and he could be the first man to unify the heavyweight division since Lennox Lewis.
Floyd Mayweather would be the first to acknowledge the value of maintaining a perfect record. Nonetheless, it would be easy for Joshua to start to look to his British rivals and fancy his chances against David Price, Derek Chisora and Tyson Fury. In years to come it will hopefully be widely agreed that these fighters were not fit to lace Joshua’s trainers. For now though, their experience makes them smarter operators than Joshua is after his 11 professional fights.
He can afford to wait. Wladimir Klitschko will join his elder brother in retirement soon, giving Tyson Fury a great chance of becoming a British heavyweight champion. Fury can try and talk up a fight with Klitschko in the meantime, but it would be better for him if the fight didn’t happen and his technical deficiencies were not exposed. By biding his time he could pick up the belts when they become vacant. Fury can then have his moment in the sun, as Joshua finishes his apprenticeship before challenging for titles.
Of course, this theory falls to pieces if a contender arrives from out of the blue, as Mike Tyson did in the 1980s. However, sport has changed and just as icons such as Jonah Lomu cannot be kept secret in rugby any more, neither is it possible to downplay rising talents in boxing. In the heavyweight division the cupboard appears bare. Joshua’s time is coming.