Sport

PICTURE SPECIAL - Joshua crowned world heavyweight champion

SportBy Kevin Palmer
Joshua is the new heavyweight king
Joshua is the new heavyweight king
Joshua's fearsome knock-out blow
Joshua's fearsome knock-out blow
Joshua crowned world champion inside two explosive rounds
Joshua crowned world champion inside two explosive rounds
Joshua had too much power for Martin
Joshua had too much power for Martin
We have a new world champion
We have a new world champion
Martin outclassed in London
Martin outclassed in London
New IBF heavyweight champion
New IBF heavyweight champion

Anthony Joshua stopped Charles Martin in two rounds to win the IBF heavyweight title in only his 16th professional fight at London's O2 Arena.

The Olympic gold medallist, who has long been considered the most promising fighter in the heavyweight division, needed only one minute and 32 seconds of the second to end the unconvincing American's first title defence and begin what is hoped will be a lengthy reign as world champion.

A fast and powerful right hand, like so many which had stopped each of Joshua's previous 15 opponents, put Martin to the canvas midway through the second and left Martin clearly uncertain.

The challenger subtly celebrated the first knockdown in a show of confidence he knew the fight would imminently be over.

He threw another another almost immediately after Martin was back to his feet, and this time he failed to beat the count, ending the fight as quickly and clinically as the challenger had threatened.

"There'll probably be some negativity about how easy it is, but two days ago Charles Martin was a big, dangerous southpaw and he had the confidence to come over here and fight in the lion's den," said a humble Joshua, who was crowned world champions after just 16 fights. 

"I knew I could do this, I knew I could get the job done. This fight was one for me and I want to thank everyone who supported me to get here.

"I've got people like David Haye and Tyson Fury calling me out so I need to keep improving. Every fight gets better and better. I want to give value for money and I appreciate the ongoing support of the fans."

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn suggested Joshua would defend his title at Wembley Stadium on July 9th, which is the same night Vladimir Klitchko will stage his re-match with Tyson Fury.

Yet after this performance, only one man will be viewed as the champion to beat in the heavyweight division. 

As the commentator suggested after Mike Tyson was crowned as world champion for the first time: "We have a new era in boxing."