Anthony Joshua fulfilled his destiny to become heavyweight champion when he stopped Charles Martin in the second round of their world title contest at the 02 arena tonight. Martin swaggered his way to the ring wearing a crown on his head, but his dethroning was rapid as he found himself outclassed by the current Olympian.
He was forced on the backfoot in the first round and had to take some hefty right hands before being floored in the second with a counter right. Another one soon came his way after the then reigning champion got to his feet and was put on the seat of his pants. Referee Jean-Pierre van Imschoot reached the count of ten and waved the contest over and had to weather a minor protest from Martin, who had just given his crown to the Brit.
Joshua’s record is now 16-0, all coming by way of a knockout, while Martin slips to 23-1-1 with 21 knockouts. Joshua’s future looks rosy from here on and the prospect of facing the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and David Haye is mouth watering.
A fight with all three would surely make big money, the most probably being with Fury as he is considered “the man” after defeating Wladimir Klitschko last year. Klitschko dominated the heavyweight division for over 10 years as champion. But Fury and Klitschko first have their own score to settle when they meet again on July 9th in Manchester in what will surely be a financially successful rematch.
On the undercard, IBF champion Lee Selby came away with a unanimous decision over American Eric Hunter. The Welshman had to overcome a knockdown in the second round caused by a left hook upstairs and battle on to outbox Hunter, who was given a warning for low blows before being deducted a point for them. Hunter was threatened with a disqualification but managed to make it to the end as he kept his behaviour in check. The challenger shipped the more noticeable punches during the remainder of the bout before losing to scores of 115-111, 116-110 and 116-110.
Conor Benn, the son of legendary British super-middleweight fighter Nigel Benn made his pro debut also on the undercard this evening, stopping Ivailo Boyanov from Bulgaria. Benn came to the ring with that familiar Big Ben chime just like his old man once did in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Boyanov could not handle the pressure and he turned his back on Benn, who swarmed him, forcing the referee to jump in and save him.
The rest of the results:
Jamie McDonnell W KO Fernando Vargas
Matthew Macklin W MD Brian Rose
George Groves W KO David Brophy
Kamil Laszczyk W Ignac Kassai
Ted Cheeseman W TKO Mario Petrov
Ohara Davies W TKO Andy Keates
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