By Huck Allen: Filip Hrgovic is one win away from forcing a struggle towards IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Ranked #3 with the Worldwide Boxing Federation, the unbeaten 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic (13-0, 11 KOs) shall be competing in an IBF title eliminator later this 12 months.
If the Croatian Hrgovic, 29, is victorious within the IBF eliminator, he’ll be a compulsory problem for Joshua, who received’t have any alternative within the matter of whether or not to struggle him or not.
The one query now’s who will Hrgovic be preventing for the IBF title eliminator. His promoter Kalle Sauerland talked about #15 Martin Bakole (16-1, 12 KOs) as an possibility for Hrgovic to struggle within the eliminator in November or December.
So long as Bakole, 28, wins his 10-round tune-up struggle towards Haruna Osumanu (11-2, 7 KOs) on September 18th in Dubai, he stays a robust risk for Hrgovic to battle later this 12 months for the IBF title eliminator.
“It’s a large alternative for him to meet his dream of turning into world champion. El Animal is coming,” mentioned Sauerland to Sky Sports.
Hrgovic should struggle so much higher than he did final Friday night time towards Marko Radonjic (22-1, 22 KOs) of their struggle in Australia.
Though Hrgovic knocked the little-known southpaw Radonjic down 5 instances en path to stopping him within the third spherical, he didn’t have a look at all spectacular.
In comparison with a few of Hrgovic’s previous performances over the past 4 years, this was by far the worst he’s regarded since turning skilled in 2017.
Whether or not this can be a signal of ring rust or the start of decay is unclear at this level. Whereas Hrgovic is much from being outdated at 29, he’s sluggish, robotic, and lacks the fluidity of arguably extra gifted athletes like Joshua, Tyson Fury, and Oleksandr Usyk.
At 6’6, 240+ lbs, Hrgovic punches with a number of energy, making up for his lack of pace and athleticism.
“Subsequent for Filip Hrgovic is the ultimate eliminator for the IBF world heavyweight championship, and that may be a struggle that may happen later this 12 months,” mentioned Sauerland.
If Hrgovic does struggle the 6’6″ Bakole subsequent, he might want to elevate his recreation significantly as a result of this can be a man with energy and a very good chin.
Bakole is somebody that might trigger Hrgovic to return undone if he fails to struggle higher than he did final Friday towards Marko Radonjic.
Hrgovic isn’t accustomed to getting hit due to the weak opposition his administration has matched him towards as a professional, however towards Bakole, he’s going to get examined.
Hrgovic’s promoter Sauerland will doubtless look to go in one other course relatively than placing him in with Bakole for the IBF title eliminator.
Luckily for Sauerland and Hrgovic, Bakole is ranked #15 with the IBF, however many arguably weaker contenders are ranked above him.
Different choices for Hrgovic:
Andy Ruiz Jr
Surprisingly, these heavyweights are ranked above Bakole within the IBF’s high 15 rankings, and plenty of of them would doubtless simpler fights for Hrgovic.
“Fury has his awkward type, however that’s all he has,” mentioned Hrgovic. “Joshua is the extra full fighter.
“He [Joshua] is the larger puncher, he throws extra mixtures, he’s good with the jab and quick along with his toes. He’s higher at inside-fighting [than Fury],” mentioned Hrgovic.
Fury is an elusive fighter who can’t struggle on the within or throw with energy. He struggles towards fighters that throw mixtures like Joshua, and the wheels would doubtless come off for the 6’9″ Tyson if and when he does face AJ.
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) shall be defending his IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight titles towards Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) on September twenty fifth on the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in North London, UK.