Ruthless Joshua claims IBF world heavyweight crown

Sat Apr 9, 2016 7:41pm EDT
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By Ian Chadband

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Anthony Joshua lived up to his billing as the new superstar of heavyweight boxing when he stopped Charles Martin in the second round with a demonstration of brutal power to claim the American’s world IBF title on Saturday.

Joshua became the first boxer in history to hold the Olympic super-heavyweight crown and a version of the world heavyweight title simultaneously with his stunning triumph at the O2 Arena, a few miles from where he won gold at the London 2012 Games.

The 26-year-old handed champion Martin his first career loss to grab the title with his 16th knockout win in his 16th professional fight, putting him down twice in the second round with magnificent right hands in front of 15,000 fans.

On the second knock down, Martin tried to beat the count and was on his feet at nine but the referee felt he was in no state to continue and ended the contest as Joshua landed his world title after 1 minute 32 seconds of the second round after only 34 rounds of boxing in his three years in the paid ranks.

It was so conclusive that Joshua, who looked as if he had just enjoyed a leisurely sparring session, told the crowd he was going back to his dressing room to work on the pads.

“It’s only a quarter of the way there. There's still a lot of work to be done. I've got people like (fellow British heavyweights) David Haye and (WBA and WBO champion) Tyson Fury calling me out so I need to keep improving,” Joshua said in an interview in the ring afterwards.

“This was one for myself. I told you I was going to come out and punish him.”

Joshua reiterated that his ambition was to unify the heavyweight title, which will mean having to dispose of Fury and American Deontay Wilder, the American WBC champion.   Continued...

Anthony Joshua celebrates his win with his team
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge