Anthony Joshua was crowned the new IBF heavyweight world champion after producing a second-round stoppage win over Charles Martin.
The pair clashed at a raucous O2 Arena in London on Saturday night, with the challenger the heavy favourite to emerge as the winner.
However, Martin arrived in confident mood and talked a good game about how he had no intention of letting go of the belt that he won as recently as January.
However, all that confidence seemed to desert him as the bell rang, as the champion failed to register a single shot in anger against his opponent.
In turn, it allowed Joshua to settle into a rhythm and find his range, and a cagey opening round saw the pair exchange jabs as they continued to feel each other out before taking any risks.
Nevertheless, it was Joshua who was loosening his right hand, and he found a way to pierce through Martin’s guard in the second to send the American to the canvas.
To his credit, Martin gathered himself before getting to his feet, but it wasn’t long before he was on his back again with another shuddering right hand from Joshua finding its target.
Although Martin clambered to his feet again, he appeared unsteady and unwilling to continue as the referee counted him out which in turn sparked wild scenes of celebrations around Joshua.
So, what did we learn? In truth, Martin talked a good game and promised that he would knock Joshua out, but whether it was the magnitude of the event, the atmosphere or something else, he wasn’t able to give a particularly great account of himself.
While that may well be down to showing Joshua too much respect, he didn’t prove himself to be a great champion. Whether or not he comes again remains to be seen, but he’ll be disappointed that he wasn’t able to do more to hang on to his belt.
As for Joshua, his speed, precision and power with his right hand made the difference, with Martin conceding after the fight that he couldn’t see it coming.
Tougher tests lie ahead for the Olympic gold medallist and now world champion, but there is no denying that he continues to deliver in emphatic fashion with 16 KOs in 16 wins.
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