By Miguel Assuncao
Anthony Joshua (15-0-0, 15KOs) wins the IBF World heavyweight title with an explosive second round TKO stoppage of Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21KOs).
The London-based heavyweight dropped the champion with a one two combination early in the second only for Martin to valiantly get back to his feet before Joshua pounced to send the Missouri man down again with another stiff straight right hand.
To his credit, southpaw Martin, 29, bravely tried to again clamber to his feet but he was unable to beat the count and the referee called a halt to the contest after 1.32 of round number two.
A tentative opening had burst into life when the Watford boxer landed a straight right hand that seemed to momentarily wobbled the Martin late in the first round which set the tone for what was to come much to the delight of the partisan home support.
Joshua’s win opens up the opportunity for a huge unification clash with fellow champion Tyson Fury should he defeat Wladimir Klitschko in July.
Martin capture 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 defense against Glazkov.
ON THE UNDERCARD
George Groves (22-3-0, 17KOs) continues his march towards another world title shot with a fourth roundTKO of the previously unbeaten DavidBrophy (16-0-1, 1KO).
‘Saint George’ used his ramrod jab to set the pace and staggered Brophy onto the ropes with a right hand in the early exchanges, but the Scot was able to absorb follow up punishment and see out the first round.
Despite boasting an unbeaten record, super middleweight Brophy has rarely boxed outside of Scotland and looked unsure of how to best deal with Groves’ superior speed and movement.
Using his trademark low jittery stance, the man from Hammersmith landed a hurtful left, right left combination in the third round before landing a sickening right hand counter to the body that dropped his opponent to the canvas and left him unable to beat the count.
Groves, 28, has been linked with a domestic showdown with Martin Murray in the summer.
Conor Benn - son of British super-middleweight legend Nigel - wins his pro debut with a first round stoppage of Ivailo Boyanov (2-3-1, 0KOs).
Lightweight Benn, 19, showed blurring hand speed to land an array of combinations on his overrawed Bulgarian opponent much to the delight of his dad at ringside and the expectant crowd.
Under the tutelage of Tony Simms, Benn looked intent on ending the bout in the first round and pounced on his hurt opponent to land a follow-up left hand to force the referee to intervene after two minutes and seven seconds.
Hackney’s Ohara Davies (10-0-0, 8KOs) claims his maiden title with a fourth round stoppage of Andy Keates (11-3-0, 1KO) to claim the English lightweight belt.
‘Two Tanks’ showed why he’s one of the division’s most highly-rated prospects by taking charge of centre ring from the off, creating unorthodox angles on the way to landing a ripping right uppercut from the crouch position which sent Keates to the canvas at the end of the first round.
Davies, 24, was confident enough to talk to onlookers at ringside and drew blood from his opponent's nose with a series of straight shots in the second before a number of unanswered body shots in the third prompted to referee to consider calling a halt to the fight.
To his credit, Staffordshire’s Keates survived and did try to get his own shots off but struggled to deal with the considerable reach of the London man, getting countered on his way back to mid range and was unable to get up again when he was hit with a thundering left hook in the fourth.
Davies has now set his sets on a fight against Scott Cardle.
Welterweight prospect Ted Cheeseman (3-0-0, 2KOs) extends his unbeaten run in the paid ranks with a fourth round stoppage of Mario Petrov (2-3-0, 1KO).
Despite being only 20-years old, Cheeseman showed good ring generalmanship skipping in and out of range, moving his Bulgarian opponent across the ring before landing a sharp left hook that had Petrov wincing in the first round.
The Bermondsey boxer caught the eye with a number of fast flurries accented with disguised short uppercuts in the second and targeted the body in the third to leave Petrov breathing heavily from his mouth.
Cheeseman continued to press in the fourth and a flush rangy right hand sent Petrov to the canvas before the referee waved off the contest.
A potentially historic night for British boxing is underway at the 02 Arena, London.
To kick off the undercard action, Poland’s Kamil Laszczyk (21-0-0, 8KOs) beats Ignac Kassai (20-49-2, 6KOs) on points over six rounds.
Laszczyk - who is based in New Jersey, USA - was able to put his combinations together from the start with his Hungarian opponent happy to walk forward with a high guard.
The 25-year-old featherweight continued to dominate the exchanges and hurt Kassai with a well timed left hand in the fifth before pressing for a stoppage.
To his credit, Kassai managed to stay out of range but the Pole was able to win out 59-55 on the referee's card.