Last night saw Britain’s Olympic gold medalist become a world champion as he took on Charles Martin for the IBF belt at London’s O2 Arena.Martin who was recently crowned IBF champion after winning a decider for the belt in December, came into this fight as somewhat of an unknown identity.
He talked the talk in the build up of this fight, and after Joshua’s last fight against Dillian Whyte being a much tougher test, some felt Martin may well have a chance.
Martin walked to the ring with a crown and gown, enjoying the occasion a little too much perhaps…
The fight got underway and AJ looked on top from the off, firing in plenty of right hooks. Martin stood firm so the fans would have to wait only one more round for a knockdown.
Midway through the second round, Joshua connected with another right hook onto the chin of Martin to send him flying to the floor. Martin looked dazed, but beat the count as he got up on the 9th count.
The southpaw gathered himself and threw a right jab that missed Joshua, for the Brit to then land another devastating right hook onto the chin and send Martin crashing to the floor once again.
Martin tried to be clever and get up on the 10th count, but the referee said that was that.
Martin looked shocked for a moment, probably not as shocked as Joshua though as his surprise in the second knockdown was for everybody to see.
What next for Joshua?
For me his next big fight is against David Haye. Once Haye gets his fight out of the way in May, they should be looking for a title showdown in September.
This fight makes a lot of sense for both parties involved. It would be a big British heavyweight clash for a title which we haven’t had for years.
I imagine Tyson Fury, providing he gets past Wladimir Klitschko in their rematch would be thinking about Deyonte Wilder for the WBC title.
Before then facing Joshua for a heavyweight unification fight.
I imagine Haye would be a much sterner test for Joshua, I can’t imagine AJ knocking out the former WBA champion. So for me it’s a fight that Joshua needs before then going up against his rivals for the other titles.
The one spanner in the works for British heavyweight domination could be Klitschko. Should he beat Fury in the rematch that would certainly throw things wide open in the division.
Shannon Briggs is also making a lot of noise at the moment, and Haye is expected to face him at some point this year which may throw Joshua off that idea. So maybe a mandatory defence of his title.
I do imagine that Joshua will meet Haye and Fury at some point, but maybe not until 2017, and for me if he wants to be considered true great of the sport he needs to dismantle both of them and maybe even Wladimir Klitschko, although if Klitschko loses to Fury again I imagine that he will retire.
Sources: The Mirror, The Independent, Sky Sports.