Joshua claims IBF world heavyweight title

Boxing gloves (File)
Boxing gloves (File)

London - Anthony Joshua became Britain's second reigning world heavyweight champion when he knocked out Charles Martin in the second round at the O2 Arena on Saturday.

Joshua, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist, captured his first world title in only his 16th professional fight by flattening American Martin to lift the International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt.

Martin, who was making a first defence, was floored twice in the second round by right hands and failed to beat the count the second time.

Joshua, who turned professional in October 2013, is the fifth quickest heavyweight to win a version of the world title and is Britain's second reigning world heavyweight champion along with Tyson Fury, who holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) belts.

A future clash between Joshua, 26, and Fury will become a possibility if Fury can beat Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch on July 9.

Joshua's title triumph improved his record to 16 wins from as many fights while Martin suffered his first defeat in 25 fights, with one draw.

Joshua's muscular frame looks like it has been cut from stone and his power was too much for Martin.

All 16 of the Briton's opponents in the paid ranks have been stopped and only one has survived past the third round.

Joshua hardly broke sweat in sweeping aside Martin, but insisted after he still needed to improve.

"I'm not getting carried away because still got a lot of work to do," said the new champion.

"I've got David Haye and Tyson Fury calling me out. Trust me, when they step in the ring with me I will be ready.

"I come to knock people out. The power is always there. I'm just tucked away in the gym, you'll only see me in (superstores) Ikea or ASDA. "

Joshua might not be quick on feet but the 6ft 6in boxer does not have any problems in quickly hunting down opponents.

Martin sprang from obscurity to be IBF champion in January when he won the vacant belt after Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov injured a knee in the third round.

The belt only became available because Fury was stripped of it for agreeing to face Klitschko in a rematch.

Both made a cautious start with Joshua landing the best punch in the opening round when he broke through Martin's guard with a right.

Martin, 29, was put on the back foot in the second round and was sent crashing backwards to the canvas when he was caught flush on the chin by a right.

When Martin got up after a count Joshua immediately planted another right flush on the jaw to send him back to the canvas.

Martin complained when the fight was waved off but Joshua was bouncing him off the canvas like a basketball.

The American failed to beat referee Jeane Pierre Van Imschoot's second count.

Two other Britons were successful in world title fights on the undercard.

Lee Selby retained his world featherweight title with a unanimous points win after surviving an early scare against American Eric Hunter on Saturday.

The Welshman made a second defence of the IBF belt after recovering from a second round knockdown and then dominating with his slick boxing to earn two scores of 116-110 and 115-111.

England's Jamie McDonnell made a fourth defence of his WBA world bantamweight title with a ninth round stoppage of Mexican Fernando Vargas.

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