Anthony Joshua defeated Charles Martin via second-round KO Saturday, stopping his American counterpart to become the International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion.
Undefeated at 16-0, Joshua picked up his 16th straight knockout victory against Martin.
Joshua was uncharacteristically patient in the early goings of the fight, trading in his traditional early blitz for a more crafty approach. A stiff right hand caught Martin early in the second round to drop him to the canvas, only to find himself taking advantage of every last moment of the 10-count before standing up. Another big straight right soon followed for Joshua, this time keeping Martin down for the count.
“It’s only a quarter of the way there. I ain’t going to get too carried away because there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Joshua said on the Showtime broadcast after the win. “We went two rounds, hopefully I can go back to the training room and hit some pads to keep on improving because we’ve got Haye calling me out, Tyson Fury calling me out. All of them. This is what we want to see, so I need to improve if I’m going to maintain and keep on pushing that higher level.”
The victory will likely be considered the biggest of Joshua’s young career, one he feels shouldn’t be undersold as a result of the early KO.
“It’s interesting, because there will probably be some negativity that Charles Martin was easy, and so on,” Joshua said. “But a few days ago he was this big dangerous southpaw, I hadn’t fought no southpaws. But the dangers is his southpaw stance, the fact that he’s champion gives him confidence. The fact that he was willing and brave enough to come to the UK, into the lion’s den. That says a lot about Charles Martin, so big respect to him.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says the new IBF champion will likely make his return to the ring on July 9 at Wembley Stadium in London.