By Jason Pribila: When it was announced that Anthony Joshua would be fighting for his first major title, British Boxing fans needed only 90 seconds to sell out the O2 Arena. On Saturday Night, Joshua needed only three times that amount of time to knock out the anonymous Charles Martin to become the new IBF titlist.
For those boxing fans who have yet to thaw to the heavyweight division after going into hibernation at some point during the Decade of Klitschko, the time is again now to embrace the glamour division.
While Joshua was impressive, the fact is that he is far from a finished product. That being said, he has an Olympic Gold Medal, size, speed, power, and a humble demeanor that will allow him to be embraced in the UK and around the world
“I ain’t gonna get too carried away because there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Joshua said following the fight.
“With people like Haye calling me out, (and) Tyson Fury calling me out. I need to improve, if I’m going to maintain and keep pushing at a high level.”
Joshua has a title, he is a bona fide ticket seller, and he has a solid promoter behind him. On Saturday night, he also showed a TV friendly style that has been missing from the division for many years.
The only question coming into the fight would be to see how Joshua would react to facing a southpaw for the first time as a professional. Well, it did not take long until he unleashed the top weapon against a southpaw, a straight right hand.
From the moment Martin stepped into the ring wearing a pair of trunks that appeared at least a size too small, he seemed to be there simply to hand deliver the IBF title that he was awarded after his last bout. Martin never tried to establish his own jab, and his lack of head movement made him a fairly stationary target in the opening round that was won by Joshua.
More of the same in the second frame until a huge right hand floored Martin, who made It to his feet at the count of eight. He remained upright until the next big right sent him to the canvas for the second and final time. While Martin made it to his knees, he allowed the count to make it to ten before he stood up.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:32 in Round 2.
With the victory Joshua improves to 16-0, 16 KO. Martin’s record falls to 23-1-1, 21 KO.
While we are not about to reenter the early 90’s when Don King put together a tournament to unify heavyweight titles. We are at an era where we have big, powerful, athletic fighters who all seem willing to take risks in order to find out who will earn the right to walk the Earth being known as the “Baddest Man on the Planet”.