Anthony Joshua could follow the same path as Audley Harrison path says the Watford fighter's next opponent, Matt Skelt

Watford Observer: Joshua could follow Harrison path says Skelton Joshua could follow Harrison path says Skelton

Anthony Joshua has been warned about following a similar career path to fellow Olympic champion Audley Harrison by his next opponent Matt Skelton.

The 24-year-old heavyweight won Olympic gold at London 2012 and has been dominant since turning pro, winning all of his six fights inside the first two rounds.

Harrison won gold in Sydney in 2000 and after moving to 19-0 lost back-to-back bouts against Danny Williams and Dominick Guinn. He went on to win the European title but failed to live up to his potential and ended his career having lost seven of his 31 bouts.

And Skelton, who faces Joshua at the Echo Arena in Liverpool this evening, said: “Anthony Joshua has all the natural attributes of a good heavyweight.

"He’s in brilliant shape but we saw with Audley Harrison in his early days, he went through 19 fights unbeaten against hand-picked opponents and then he came unstuck.”

Skelton continued: “I am not going to kid myself, they want him to win and they see it as a fight he will win and build upon. They think that if he does beat me it is a good name on his record.

“But I am not here to accept that, I just think it is a risky fight for him but heavyweight boxing is a risky business as we all know, one-punch can change everything.”

However, Joshua said he will not let any doubters affect his performance and won’t take any risks to prove a point.

He explained: “People are asking ‘what’s his chin like?’ Well, I’m not going to stick it out there to be hit by Skelton so people can find out.

“Every fight is a dangerous fight at heavyweight and the sensible thing is not to get hit. Carl Froch said that the greatest chin is the one that doesn’t get hit and he’s right.

“Matt is my toughest test in the pros, there’s no doubt about that,” Joshua added.

Skelton may extend Joshua further than two rounds but the former Kings Langley School pupil is not worried if his evening’s work is again completed quickly.

“Mike Tyson knocked out 12 of his first 16 opponents in the first round,” Joshua said. “People were saying in his early days that he needed more rounds and he had to step up. Obviously there will be questions on the way and as long as I come up with answers then that is all that matters.”

Joshua has been named on the opening show of the Sky Sports season, which will take place at the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, August 30.

The London 2012 gold medallist will also compete in a show at the O2 Arena in London on October 11.

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