CHARLES MARTIN sat on the canvas with a curiously befuddled expression. It was his second trip to the deck in the second round and he rose slowly, far too slowly. Counted out by referee Jean-Pierre Van Imschoot, it was a tame way to relinquish his IBF heavyweight crown, even though Britain’s new hero, Anthony Joshua was a class above him.
“Even if he could have, I could see he didn’t want to get up to be honest with you,” Joshua reflected. “In the rules meeting, when they come in, the referee said, ‘I’m going to count to eight and you have to walk towards me and if you are stable I’ll let you fight on.’ I knew if I was to get dropped I’ve got eight seconds to be on my feet and be in a stable condition to walk forward. So when it came to nine and he wanted to get up on 10, I already know he doesn’t want to be there.”
“I’m happy I got the fight because throughout training camp we developed a different level of stamina, composure, through experience from my last fight a new level of man was born and I feel getting the fight was the chance to announce myself on the heavyweight scene and I’ve done that in the way we predicted,” Anthony continued. “I know not to rush in and I know if I’ve got the power to hurt him once, if I keep my shape, keep on doing the same things I was doing to hurt him the first time I can definitely do it again second, third and fourth. I just knew that I’d be able to get to him sooner or later.“
The key to it all though? “You’ve got to pop that jab, man,” he said with a smile, before brandishing his right fist. “It’s a smokescreen for this bad boy.”