By Ibidapo Balogun with reports from Yahoo Sports
Nigeria born British and Commonwealth heavyweight Champion, Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua, on Saturday night emerged world IBF heavyweight champion.
Joshua pummelled Charles Martin in two rounds to capture the IBF world heavyweight title. A big right dropped Martin down hard in the second round when some spectators were just entering the venue of the well-attended bout.
Martin got up before the end of referee’s count but was quickly dropped again and this time he was unable to beat the count.
A humbled Martin initially complained but accepted the verdict, embracing Joshua and later congratulating him as the champion.
Martin had won the vacant IBF title in January with a third round TKO of Czar Glazkov due to injury. The belt was stripped from Tyson Fury for his failure to make a mandatory defence against Glazkov.
Joshua became the first boxer in history to hold the Olympic super-heavyweight crown and a version of the world heavyweight title simultaneously with his stunning triumph at the O2 Arena, a few miles from where he won gold at the London 2012 Games.
The 26-year-old Briton handed champion Martin the first defeat of his career to annex the title in his 16th professional fight, knocking him down twice in the second round with magnificent right hands.
On the second knock down, Martin tried to beat the count and was up on his feet at nine but the referee felt he was in no state to continue as Joshua landed the world title with only 34 rounds of boxing in his three years in the paid ranks.
Joshua’s victory brings a super-fight against fellow Briton and WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury a step closer.
Joshua, who won gold for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics, says he still has plenty left to achieve.
“It’s only a quarter of the way there. I’m not going to get carried away because there are still things to be done. I’m going to go back to the changing room and do some pads,” he said.
“There’ll probably be some negativity about Charles Martin but a few days ago he was this big dangerous southpaw.
“He was willing and brave enough to come to the lion’s den and that says a lot about Charles Martin. Big respect.”