Joshua stops Martin to claim IBF title in London.
By Tom Eckett
This Saturday, fight fans in the UK were treated to three world championship fights at the O2 Arena when Olympic Gold Medallist, Anthony Joshua, stopped Charles Martin within two rounds, Lee Selby managed to get up off the canvas to win a unanimous decision and Jamie McDonnell beat Mexican, Fernando Vargas. Also, on the card was George Groves and Matthew Macklin managed to defeat Brian Rose in a close majority decision.
Heavyweight sensation, Anthony Joshua further added to his ever growing stock after he made easy work of IBF champion, Charles Martin. Realistically both fighters should have been nowhere near a world title, however, this does not take away from the fact that Joshua managed to get the job done. Martin did not look as though he wanted to be in the ring after Joshua landed the first of his right hands and he mistimed the count in the 2nd round bringing an end to the fight. Joshua will now be looking to bigger and better things and it seemed as if Martin was just very happy with receiving his very large pay cheque.
IBF featherweight champion, Lee Selby, looked in all sorts in the first two rounds against American contender, Eric Hunter. Hunter even managed to score a flash knockdown in the 2nd round with Selby walking onto a short left-hook. After that ‘wake-up call’, Selby soon found his range and timing and as the American became more and more frustrated, Selby kept on catching him with right hand after right hand and ended up cruising to a comfortable unanimous decision.
George Groves was back in action against undefeated fighter, David Brophy. Groves simply looked levels above the Scot who was a relatively unknown quantity coming into this fight. Groves picked his shots at will and managed to score a 4th round stoppage. Groves will certainly be looking for tougher tests and a potential domestic clash with Martin Murray looks set for July.
WBA (regular) bantamweight champion, Jamie McDonnell, was up to his usual tricks against Fernando Vargas, however, the Mexican was far more game than many predicted and managed to catch McDonnell with a number of good shots. The knockout did come eventually for McDonnell in the 9th round after a flurry of shots Vargas took a knee and his corner rightly stepped in.
It was the tale of two shot fighters when Matthew Macklin and Brian Rose met in the ring and it looked as though Rose was in control of the fight through the first eight or nine rounds however Macklin came on strong in the championship rounds to nick a majority decision.
The fight was extremely close and could have gone either way but Macklin managed to just nick it. Two judges saw the fight 115-111 which was far too wide in favour of Macklin and there is no doubt Rose will feel hard done by. Both fighters looked a shadow of their former selves and it is tricky to see where they will both go from here, especially Rose after tasting defeat for the fourth time in his career.
Connor Benn, son of the great Nigel Benn, made his pro debut and he managed to get rid of Bulgarian, Ivailo Boyanov in a relatively straightforward night’s work for the debutant.
All in all, it was not the greatest night of boxing that anyone is likely to see however most fight fans were expecting this. The main event just did not live up to standards as Martin did not look as though he wanted to be anywhere near Joshua that night and the undercard was relatively poor. However, it will certainly be interesting to see where the likes of Joshua, Selby, Groves and McDonnell all go next.