British poet Lord Byron claimed that truth is “stranger than fiction” in his famous poem “Don Juan.” Well, if that’s the case, then British boxing fans are even stranger than truth. Strange — in a good way.
That sublime strangeness was on display this week when Anthony Joshua super fan Ryan Williams, a 24-year-old UK boxing head from Preston, took to Twitter to show off his new ink: Joshua’s visage along with “IBF World Champion” and “16-0,” a reference to what Joshua’s record will be if he accomplishes the feat by beating current IBF world titleholder Charles Martin on April 9. Williams, for one, clearly thinks his favorite heavyweight is up to the task.
“Joshua is not just a boxer but a true athlete who will push a boxer to his limits and then break him. Charles Martin is a world champion, he deserves respect and is also unbeaten which will make for a very interesting fight,” Williams wrote in a message to Tha Boxing Voice.
“I think Joshua will win as he’s a complete package as an athlete and boxer who will of surely learnt lessons from the (Dillian) Whyte fight which he will take into the ring against Martin, and put that all together with his skills as an athlete and a boxer and will no doubt not only win, but will win by knockout,” Williams added.
Some on Twitter were quick to hate on Williams, implying that he’s a “Stan” and pointing out that even if Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) wins, his record will only be 16-0 until his next fight. In Williams’ defense, the tattoo’s purpose is clearly to commemorate Joshua winning his first world title while obviously serving as a bold prediction that he will do so against Martin, so it’s not like the tattoo will only have a one-fight shelf life since it’s to honor a specific event.
Williams also clarified that he is not an obsessed fan in need of a restraining order, but rather just a loyal fan who looks up to Joshua and feels a kinship to the 26-year-old heavyweight through shared life experiences.
“As a massive fan of Joshua for a while and seeing his prominent rise through the ranks, it’s exciting seeing someone fight for a historic world title so early on in his career,” Williams said. “I admire Joshua for many reasons in and outside the ring and he’s inspired me to make changes in my life, as with his past it goes to prove anything is possible.”
Joshua often got into trouble for fighting as a youth, and also faced a lengthy jail stint a few years back for possessing marijuana with the intent to sell. Luckily for Joshua and the sport of boxing, the judge only dished out 100 hours of community service and a year-long community order. Joshua matured and got his act together, and now stands at the precipice of greatness.
Anyway, a little more on the Joshua piece — it was done by tattoo artist Dale Smith and cost Williams £150.
@MatchroomBoxing @EddieHearn..any chance of getting this out to @anthonyfjoshua…would really appreciate it pic.twitter.com/rH5MO43kXl
— Ryan (@Rwcfc15) March 30, 2016
Hopefully — for Williams’ sake — Anthony Joshua makes good on Williams’ prediction on April 9. But if Charles Martin has any say in the matter, Williams might be in the market for a reliable laser tattoo removal specialist much sooner than he ever expected.