Anthony Joshua's first professional fight: The beginning and the end

Boxing at O2

This week's talk has been dominated by one of the most exciting heavyweight bouts in recent memory as Tyson Fury heads to Los Angeles to take on Deontay Wilder.

The eyes of the boxing world will be on the Staples Center as the leading heavyweights in the world finally get their act together and start to take each other on in their quest to unify the heavyweight division.

But, one man is never far away from the lips of any past, present, or up-and-coming heavyweight.

That man is Anthony Joshua.

It is just over five years since AJ walked into the ring as a professional heavyweight boxer for the first time as a chiselled 6'6 colossus, ready to stampede through anyone who was put before him.

His opponent in London that night was Emanuele Leo, an Italian fighter who was unbeaten in his eight fights prior to AJ stopping him in his tracks. 

It wouldn't be far wrong to tell you it's probably taken you longer to read to this point than it did for Joshua to leave his mark on the heavyweight division.

One hundred and sixty seven seconds is all it took for the Watford-born fighter to send Leo crashing to the ground with a trademark powerful combination of right and left hooks that Leo was powerless to defend.

However, not only did Joshua end Leo's night, he ended his career.

The Italian never stepped foot in the ring once AJ had wowed the crowd at the O2 Arena, a crowd that smelt blood from the moment the now king of the heavyweight division laid his first pair of jabs on the 32-year-old just seconds into the fight.

The jabs were perfectly complimented with two shots with the right, a hook, and an uppercut, that left Leo knowing he was in for a short night less than a minute into the first round. 

Leo was offered some respite by the referee as he broke the pair up with 27 seconds left in the first round, but that brief pause was more beneficial to AJ than the struggling Italian, as just 14 seconds later the contest was over.

For Leo, that was that.

Boxing at O2

He was the first of four fighters to never set foot in the ring after feeling the wrath of Joshua.

Matt Skelton and Matt Legg were the next two men to see their careers stopped by the rampaging AJ, before a certain Wladimir Klitschko, if you care to remember.

It takes a brave man to walk into the ring with Britain's heavyweight king, but it seems like it takes an even braver one to step back into it once he's finished with you.

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