Sunday, April 10, 2016 12:14 am
Anthony Joshua has stopped Charles Martin in two rounds to win the IBF heavyweight title in only his 16th professional fight at London’s O2 Arena.
The Olympic gold medallist, who has long been considered the most promising fighter in the heavyweight division, needed only one minute and 32 seconds of the second to end the unconvincing American’s first title defence and begin what is hoped will be a lengthy reign as world champion, reports Mail Online.
A fast and powerful right hand, like so many which had stopped each of Joshua’s previous 15 opponents, put Martin to the canvas midway through the second and left Martin clearly uncertain.
The challenger subtly celebrated the first knockdown in a show of confidence he knew the fight would imminently be over.
He threw another another almost immediately after Martin was back to his feet, and this time he failed to beat the count, ending the fight as quickly and clinically as the challenger had threatened.
Joshua, who turned professional in October 2013, is the fifth quickest heavyweight to win a version of the world title and is Britain’s second reigning world heavyweight champion along with Tyson Fury, who holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) belts.
A future clash between Joshua, 26, and Fury will become a possibility if Fury can beat Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch on July 9.
Joshua’s title triumph improved his record to 16 wins from as many fights while Martin suffered his first defeat in 25 fights, with one draw.
Joshua’s muscular frame looks like it has been cut from stone and his power was too much for Martin.
All 16 of the Briton’s opponents in the paid ranks have been stopped and only one has survived past the third round.
Joshua hardly broke sweat in sweeping aside Martin, but insisted he still needed to improve.
“I’m not getting carried away because I still got a lot of work to do,” said the new champion.
“I’ve got David Haye and Tyson Fury calling me out. Trust me, when they step in the ring with me I will be ready.
“I come to knock people out. The power is always there. I’m just tucked away in the gym, you’ll only see me in (superstores) Ikea or ASDA. ”
Joshua might not be quick on feet but the 6ft 6in boxer does not have any problems in quickly hunting down opponents.
Martin sprang from obscurity to be IBF champion in January when he won the vacant belt after Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov injured a knee in the third round.
The belt only became available because Fury was stripped of it for agreeing to face Klitschko in a rematch.
Two other Britons were successful in world title fights on the undercard.
Lee Selby retained his world featherweight title with a unanimous points win after surviving an early scare against American Eric Hunter on Saturday.
The Welshman made a second defence of the IBF belt after recovering from a second round knockdown and then dominating with his slick boxing to earn two scores of 116-110 and 115-111.
England’s Jamie McDonnell made a fourth defence of his WBA world bantamweight title with a ninth round stoppage of Mexican Fernando Vargas.