NIGERIAN-born British boxer Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua has become the International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion of the world after beating defending champion Charles Martin last night.
By far one of the most exciting prospects in world boxing, Joshua has won all his fights by knock-outs since turning professional and yesterday was no exception. He put Martin on the canvas twice in round two before the referee brought the fight to an end.
Some doubted if this fight was the right move for Joshua, who has made the British public proud by winning an Olympic gold medal for Britain and 15 professional fights since. Some analysts had been worried that Joshua could be found wanting for experience or ability, thrust into a world title fight so early in his career.
However, those doubts were laid to rest within seconds and before long they were completely extinguished. Joshua had the champion on the back foot immediately, testing him with a series of early right-handers.
It seemed only a matter of time before he connected, and when he did, less than 60 seconds into round two, the fight was all but over. Martin was sent to the canvas, a look of incredulity across his face.
He barely beat the referee’s count and seconds later, he was back on the deck, thanks to another clinical right hander. It was an underwhelming defence but that was at least in part down to a calm, composed start that gave Martin nowhere to go, allowing his raw power to get the job done with breathtaking speed.
Joshua said: “Every heavyweight has power but it’s about speed. I showed him levels, I said I would. There’ll probably be some negativity, people saying Martin was easy but a few days ago he was this big dangerous southpaw.
“I don’t take nonsense from no-one but I’m humble and all the hype is good for everyone in boxing. Get behind every boxer, not just myself. They’ve been calling me out since last year but I’m going to keep grinding, keep working.”
Joshua now joins the list of legends who have become world heavyweight boxing champions. He became a world heavyweight champion in 16 fights and 34 rounds.