Draped in a white robe and standing in front of 20,000 raucous hometown fans in a sold out O2 Arena, Anthony Joshua absorbed the electrifying atmosphere as he made his way to his date with destiny. Now behind enemy lines, Charles Martin met the formidable figure of Joshua in the British lion’s den.
Once the opening bell rang, Joshua immediately took centre ring with a succession of solid jabs. With Martin on the back foot, Joshua landed a decent right hand half way through the round that seemed to deter Martin from committing to anything meaningful. Looking to counter Joshua with hooks from either hand, Martin increasingly made for a static target. One round in the bank an things did not look positive for the American.
Both men exchanged jab’s to open the second. Not long into the contest and it was clear Martin did not fancy the job. He would not have to wait long to clock out as he walked on to a counter right hand on the button from Joshua and hit the canvas. Beating the count, Martin met a second right hand from Joshua seconds later and again found himself on the canvas. 1.32 seconds of round two and Martin failed to beat the referee’s ten count. Sixteen fight’s into his professional career and Joshua was now IBF world heavyweight champion.
Heading into this bout, Martin was touted as a dangerous fight for the relatively green Joshua. Promoter Eddie Hearn had selected the weakest link in the chain of heavyweight belt holder’s. Nonetheless, Joshua had offered a punch perfect performance over an undefeated title holder. Britain is now home to three of the four heavyweight title’s, with a potential money spinning showdown between Joshua and Tyson Fury, should he get by Wladimir Klitschko in their July rematch. Joshua has taken a dive into the deep end of the heavyweight pool with both David Haye and Tyson Fury expressing a keen interest in potential clashes. Time to sink or swim for Joshua.