Anthony Joshua earns IBF heavyweight title

Anthony Joshua stopped formerly unbeaten American Charles Martin in two rounds on Saturday 9 March, to claim the IBF heavyweight title in only his 16th professional fight.

The bout, which was held at London’s 02 Arena, saw the Briton floor his opponent with a right-hand counter. After Martin was knocked down for a second time, the referee intervened and called a halt.

The challenger startled Martin with a sweet left hook early on in the second, before a beautifully timed right ultimately clinched the contest.

Champion Martin, who was defending the title for the first time since acquiring it in January, entered the ring in a tall crown, a fur-trimmed velvet cape and with a smile as broad as his shoulders.

Some sceptics believed that 29-year-old Martin would trouble Joshua with his Southpaw stance, as he was the first left-hander Joshua had faced in the paid ranks, but he barely threw a solid punch.

Astonishingly, Joshua now has 16 knockouts from 16 pro fights and has boxed just 34 rounds in total. His only fight to go past three rounds was a seventh-round stoppage of Dillian Whyte in his previous bout.

The 26-year-old became the sixth bona fide English world heavyweight champion. Joshua is also just the fourth man to win a pro heavyweight world title while still a reigning Olympic champion.

He is the first Briton to win both the super-heavyweight Olympic gold and a version of the world heavyweight title, as London Born Lennox Lewis was representing Canada when he won the 1988 Olympic super-heavyweight title in Seoul.

After his momentous win Joshua said that he is prepared to face both Tyson Fury and David Haye on the same night, before insisting that he will fight anyone.

Former WBA champion Haye and current WBO and WBA champion Fury have both declared their interesting in meeting Joshua, with Fury set for a 9 July rematch against Vladimir Klitschko.

TNT Sport Billy Rooney

Photo credit: iFL TV

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