ANTHONY JOSHUA will challenge America’s Charles Martin for the IBF world heavyweight title in his next fight. The British star will take on Martin at the O2 Arena in London on April 9.
“Fighting for the heavyweight world title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional,” Joshua said. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to turn that dream into reality. Not only that, having the chance to fight for it in my home town at The O2 and live on Sky Sports is unbelievably exciting. Charles Martin is a great fighter and a hungry competitor so I am going to have to produce the performance of my career to claim that belt.”
Joshua won the super-heavyweight gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is only 15 fights into his professional career and, though a hotly tipped prospect, Joshua is stepping up to a world title fight sooner than expected. Joshua earned himself a high world rating winning a WBC International strap when he crushed Denis Bakhtov in 2014. Last year he disposed of one-time contender Kevin Johnson and won his first significant title, the Commonwealth belt when he blitzed Gary Cornish in September. He only won the British title in December, when he took on rival Dillian Whyte in a grudge match at the O2. That was his most competitive professional contest yet with Whyte taking him into the seventh round, until Joshua landed a hellacious uppercut to score a shuddering knockout. He has finished all of his pro bouts inside the distance.