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Joshua stops Martin in 2nd, wins IBF title

BOXINGBy Jeff Aranow: Unbeaten Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) made easy work of a timid IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-1-1, 21 KOs) in stopping him in the 2nd round on Saturday night to capture his IBF title at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Joshua knocked Martin down twice in the 2nd round with right hands.

Martin, 6’5″, appeared to beat the count on the second knockdown, but the referee halted it anyway. It didn’t matter. Joshua would have finished Martin off even if there was a long count because he was hurt from the first knockdown. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:52 of the 2nd round.

Martin, 29, never gave himself a chance to win the fight. He wasn’t throwing punches, and he was mostly trying to be evasive. That wasn’t going to work against the 6’6″ Joshua because he had the height and reach to hit Martin even when he was on the outside. Martin needed to go for broke and let his hands go, but he looked frightened and unable to pull trigger on his punches.

On the first knockdown in the 2nd round, Joshua hit Martin with a scorching right hand to the head that he never saw coming. That was the punch that really hurt Martin. On the second knockdown, Joshua hit Martin was more of a clubbing shot than a powerful one. It didn’t matter though because Martin was still hurt from the previous knockdown and not in condition to take any solid punches.

Martin did beat the count, but the referee still stopped the contest. The fans didn’t like the quick stoppage, and there was a small amount of boos from the audience. It didn’t matter in the big scheme of things because Martin would have kept going down no matter how many times he got back up. Joshua had his number, and he was too afraid and too hurt to throw punches.

“I’m only one-quarter of the way there,” said Joshua. “I’m not going to get too carried away because we still have work to do. We have (David) Haye calling me out, Tyson Fury calling me out. I need to keep on pushing if I’m going to maintain at a high level.

Joshua wants to win all the heavyweight world titles. However, to do that, he’ll need to beat Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Those are much tougher opponents than Martin. They’ll actually throw punches back at Joshua, and it’ll be a much different experience for him than what he had to deal with tonight against a timid Martin.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is said to be looking to match him up against a couple of softer opponents for his next two fights because they’re both voluntary defenses. Dereck Chisora could b e in line for Joshua if he wins his next fight against Kubrat Pulev. Joshua vs. Chisora is a PPV worthy fight in the UK. Hearn needs notable fighters for Joshua to fight on PPV. Chisora would help Hearn make that a possibility.

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