Boxing

Anthony Joshua is the IBF world heavyweight champion.

Anthony Joshua wins IBF world heavyweight title after stopping Charles Martin

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Anthony Joshua has 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.

Martin's finest chance came in exposing the 26-year-old Joshua's inexperience and the fact he was yet to fight a southpaw throughout his professional career.

Instead he appeared what most had long suspected: a limited fighter who may never have become champion had Vyacheslav Glazkov not suffered a serious knee injury in the third round the January evening he won the vacant title.

The attempts to counter the one-dimensional style Joshua has previously shown which Martin had promised never materialised, owing to the fact the challenger's speed and reflexes were superior.

A cagey opening minute was followed by Joshua landing with rights to the body, and while Martin remained composed, his opponent grew in confidence and pursued him with greater intent from the second.

His swift and destructive finish did little to demonstrate whether he had learnt from the mistakes that almost cost him victory against Dillian Whyte in December, and only to highlight the devastating power he retains.

The suspicion remains that without further time to develop he will struggle when matched with one of the division's rangier, smarter or more mobile fighters, and as the new champion time is one of the few things which he will be short of.

As had long been expected, he arguably becomes the active fighter with the greatest earning potential given likely future fights against WBO and WBA champion Tyson Fury or David Haye likely in the coming 12 to 18 months.

The pressure will intensify on his promoters Matchroom, however, to deliver opponents worthy of challenging for a world title while not overlooking the patience he requires to progress.

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