KHAN, CROLLA & CHISORA REACTION

KHAN, CROLLA & CHISORA REACTION

Welcome back to 12 Rounds UK, today is my belated reaction to this weekends main British action including Amir Khan’s crushing defeat to Alvarez, Crolla’s defining title defence and Chisora’s disappointing loss.

AMIR KHAN V SAUL ALVAREZ

Amir Khan gets knocked out by Mexican Boxing hero Canelo Alvarez after 6 rounds for the WBC Middleweight title.

It was a fight that looked so promising for the Brit Khan but ended up in a defeat that put him in the hospital, for precaution anyway. Khan came out in a fight that was built up as being speed v power and he started excellently, moving in close and using his speed to put some good combinations together. Alvarez however never looked like the speed of Khan would put him on the floor as he continuously took the shots on the chin well and looked to put together some combinations of his own. As Khan was controlling the fight, Alvarez suddenly caught him with a shot that cut his eye and put some doubt in ‘King’ Khan’s mind, this made the Brit make some defensive mistakes and that’s when Canelo delivered the knock out blow. As Khan showed a massive gap in his defence, Alvarez swung a big right hook that caught Khan on the side of the jaw and put him down and out, he couldn’t even get up for the count. Before Alvarez could celebrate, he made sure Khan was alright (he was later taken to hospital for check ups) and then after, the Mexican party began.

It was unfortunate for Khan in the manner in which he lost the fight but he can leave with his head held high after being ahead on the scorecards going into the 6th round. Unfortunately the step up in weight was just too much for the natural Welterweight as although he showed he still had the speed, he didn’t quite have the power to match Alvarez who was clearly much bigger in size. Khan will probably step back down to Welterweight and either challenge Danny Garcia for the WBC title or challenge Kell Brook for the IBF title, a bout people have been wanting for some time. However the same question remains, does Amir Khan have the jaw for the big punchers or will he continue to be found out at the top-level?

ANTHONY CROLLA V ISMAEL BARROSO

Manchester fan favourite Anthony ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla defends his WBA Lightweight world title after knocking out dangerous challenger Ismael Barroso.

The best performance from any Brit Boxing this weekend was from Anthony Crolla. He came into the fight as the world champion but also as an underdog as many thought Barroso will do what he did to Kevin Mitchell and knock Crolla out. Barroso started the fight well and was probably a fair distance ahead on the scorecards by the time he was knocked out. He was using his sharp movement, speed and power to try to get Crolla out of there early, that was his game plan there was no plan B. Crolla however just continued to soak up the pressure Barroso was putting on him using his solid defensive skills which have won him so many fights before. As Barroso began to tire, ‘Million Dolla’ moved in,  putting some good combinations together before finding a gap in the South Americans defence and hitting him with a good body shot. Barroso belatedly fell to the ground and was unable to make it back up, Crolla retained his title against the toughest of opponents.

Crolla surely has to be seen as the top Lightweight in the world right now after that performance, he was excellent throughout even if Barroso seemed to dominate early on. A unification match could be his next fight, potentially against fellow Lightweight world champion Brit Terry Flanagan. It would certainly be an interesting fight and one Crolla would hope he can win.

DERECK CHISORA V KUBRAT PULEV

Derek Chisora loses IBF title eliminator and European Title fight against Kubrat Pulev after 12 tough rounds out in Hamburg.

It’s a shame for the Brit, a fight against AJ could have been potentially a good domestic clash but it just wasn’t to be. Pulev always looked in control of the fight and it wasn’t until the later rounds Chisora really came alive but it wasn’t enough. Pulev never let Chisora attack him from close range, continuously grabbing the Brit when he got close enough to do any damage, unfortunately the referee turned a blind eye. It wasn’t really close on the scorecards either despite it being a split decision, 116-112 and 118-110 in favour of the Bulgarian and 115-113 in favour of Chisora, probably in protest about the contest grabbing from Pulev.

It was a hugely disappointing night for Chisora and he will go home looking to move back onto the domestic scene. I think that was his last chance at the very top of the game and he failed to make a good enough impression to make anyone worried about him.

KHAN, CROLLA AND CHISORA FIGHT PREVIEWS

KHAN, CROLLA AND CHISORA FIGHT PREVIEWS

It’s another huge weekend in British Boxing as there are 2 world title fights involving Anthony Crolla and Amir Khan as well as Dereck Chisora’s IBF eliminator for the opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua. Lets get straight into my previews for these 3 fights starting with the biggest one of the lot…

AMIR KHAN V SAUL ALVAREZ

‘King’ Khan’s big opportunity has finally come around and he has to take it with both gloves. The man from Bolton stepped up to Middleweight to take on the dangerous Alvarez, who has only 1 career defeat to Floyd Mayweather, for the WBC world Middleweight title.

The odds are massively stacked against the Brit and people are saying this as a ‘go big or go home’ sort of fight for Khan as he already has 3 career defeats on his record. A crushing defeat could signal the end of Khan’s career as it would mean he has been exposed on 4 separate occasions and the only fight that might be worth taking after that would be one against Kell Brook. However, I think Khan will put in a good display on Saturday night. People and pundits all over are giving him a discredit for moving up to fight Alvarez as they believe he will just be found out again as he has done in the past against the likes of Danny Garcia. I don’t think this is boom or bust for Khan, if he can put in a good display that shows he can still box the best fighters around, even if he loses he can open up more opportunities to fight at the bigger weight. Khan’s speed is one of his best assets as a fighter and he said this in the build up to the fight earlier this week:

“The speed has still been there, I thought it was going to decrease a little bit, but it’s still there. The sharpness of my shots and the power has definitely improved, So, I really believe he is going to have big problems going into the later rounds especially with the speed.”

“Like I said, with the speed now we have a lot of power, having put a little bit more weight on. When I do hit him with these quick shots, he is definitely going to be hurt by them.” – Amir Khan

It’s clear to see that ‘King’ Khan’s game plan might be to take the fight into the later rounds and by utilising his speed he can wear the Mexican world champion down before looking for a stoppage or winning by decision. Khan doesn’t get much support from the British crowd, he is often seen as someone with no chin and is much more favoured by American’s – more so as his fights take place in the USA. I hope Amir can prove to everyone he still has the quality and the extra weight he has had to put on has helped improve his chin. His speed and power will be influential in the fight, I hope he can win it would be excellent for both himself and British Boxing but unfortunately I think he’ll just miss out after a spirited performance, Alvarez to win by UD. 

ANTHONY CROLLA V ISMAEL BARROSO 

Manchester fan favourite ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla is back in action defending his WBA Lightweight title against Venezuelan Ismael Barroso who, as we all know, knocked out Kevin Mitchell in his last fight for the interim WBA title.

This fight should be the best of the weekend and it’s one I’m very excited for, two excellent fighters battling it out for a world title. Anthony Crolla has come a long way since the burglar’s that attacked him left him with significant damage to his body but he’s back, and he has a world title to his name after knocking out Darleys Perez in their second fight last year.

Ismael Barroso is a very dangerous opponent to be facing, especially for his first title defence. Barroso’s fight against Mitchell was a classic but left many fans heartbroken as it effectively ended Mitchell’s career as a top class boxer and ended his dream of a world title. The South American is undefeated in his 21 fights, drawing 2 and winning 18 by KO – a man not to be messed with. Crolla has to go into the ring with a game plan, as I’m sure he will do and try to stop Barroso from showing how powerful his shots can be. He is world champion after all and he needs to prove how good he really is. Crolla is an honest fighter and always wants to take on the best opponent he can, he had this to say at todays weigh in:

“I think when you’re world champion, you take on the best challengers. That’s what a champion does and I’m a proud champion. There was no way I was going to swerve Barroso.” – Anthony Crolla

I’m sure this will be a fight that will have some British fans biting their nails, with moments where both men will look like they have an opportunity to end the fight but that’s not how I see this finishing. I think Crolla wins by a close UD. Not to big this one up too much (as we saw how that went with May Pac) but expect a classic.

DERECK CHISORA V KUBRAT PULEV

An interesting fight for the European Heavyweight title and for a chance at Anthony Joshua’s IBF world title,  Dereck Chisora will step into the ring to take on Kubrat Pulev also on Saturday night.

Chisora always seems to be that domestic fighter that creates a lot of noise, but can never prove he’s good enough in the ring. We saw this against Tyson Fury (twice) and David Haye, he lost against both men. Despite having 5 defeats on his record and having only fought for a world title once, he interestingly has the opportunity as AJ’s IBF title providing he can beat the Bulgarian Pulev.

The European nicknamed ‘The Cobra’ has lost just once so far in his career against Wladimir Klitschko 2 years ago after being knocked out in the 5th round. Chisora however took the older Klitschko, Vitali, 12 rounds before losing by unanimous decision. This could be an interesting comparison to make if you don’t know much about these two fighters but despite not many people liking Chisora in the UK, you can’t deny he has a proper fighting spirit. He is always willing to take on whoever wants to fight him, win or lose he will put himself in the ring with the best. He has a huge opportunity at a second world title fight, an opportunity that won’t come round again so he has to take this and show his quality. People (including me) are hoping Chisora can win this fight to set up a bout with AJ, providing he can make a successful defence of his belt, this would be a domestic fight a lot of people would want to see despite not having the attraction a fight against Haye or Fury would have. Eddie Hearn is one of these people and he said this about Chisora:

“I’ve got my fingers crossed that Dereck can beat Pulev and win that European title and if he does, I believe he is a prime candidate to challenge Anthony Joshua if he can get past Dominic Breazeale.” – Eddie Hearn

So not the biggest fight of the weekend but one people certainly should have their eye on, especially AJ fans. I think it will be a cagey fight that will go the distance with neither men really going for a knockout so I’m saying Chisora will win by UD. 

All of my prediction’s for this weekend are unanimous decision victories, they’re all definitely going to be 3rd round knockouts now aren’t they. Thanks for reading, let me know your predictions if you have any!

JAMES DEGALE V ROGELIO MEDINA REACTION

JAMES DEGALE V ROGELIO MEDINA REACTION

Well that didn’t quite go as many people thought it would! DeGale retains his IBF world Super-middleweight title by unanimous decision despite a spirited performance from challenger Medina.

It was a strange performance from DeGale. He went into the fight confident of a knockout and the vast majority of people thought that was exactly what was going to happen, however it surprisingly went the full 12 rounds. ‘Chunky’ started the fight fast and looked to be searching for the early stoppage against big puncher Medina but the Mexican managed to take quite a few heavy shots well and remained on his feet.

‘Porky’, who was competing for his first world title, definitely had his moments as he caught DeGale on a couple of occasions looking for the big punch that would knock the Brit down. This never happened though, it seemed that every time Medina would go on the attack and put some good combinations together DeGale would soak up his shots and go on the attack himself with his class shinning through. I Predicted a 3rd round knock out by DeGale and there were some moments where it looked like he would push Medina back and get the stoppage, but he seemed to just slow down and step back when these chances opened up for him.

The Brit comfortably won the first half of the fight but just like in his last 2 fights against Bute and Dirrell, he looked to go down a gear in some rounds and Medina, to everyone’s surprise, managed to come back into the fight and close the gap. American broadcasters had the scores almost level going into the final round with British pundits having DeGale miles ahead due to his clear boxing ability being levels above ‘Porky’s’. DeGale came out in the final round and controlled the fight putting some good combinations together and this proved to be enough as he won by unanimous decision.

This proved to be a much tougher fight than DeGale anticipated and even received boos from some of the crowd inside the Armoury after the fight, possibly for show boating constantly during the bout. This has put questions in some people’s heads as to whether DeGale has the power to knock out top class opponents or if he has a clear lack of concentration half way through fights. Despite this, he still won the fight and remains the No.1 Super-middleweight in the world and this sets up a unification fight with WBC champion Badou Jack in London after summer, who controversially drew his bout against Bute. Floyd Mayweather was Jack’s promoter and had this to say to the media after his draw against Bute:

“James DeGale is a very exciting fighter. He’s also very explosive. In the future, those two meet down the line in a unification bout, sometime in September. We have to take that to the UK.” – Floyd Mayweather

Hopefully the fight can be arranged between the two Super-middleweight world champions and DeGale can unify the division as he has always dreamed of doing. If he manages to do so, could an all British fight between DeGale and Callum Smith be on the cards?

JAMES DEGALE V ROGELIO MEDINA PREVIEW

JAMES DEGALE V ROGELIO MEDINA PREVIEW

Tonight Britain’s Super-middleweight IBF world champion ‘Chunky’ James DeGale will fight challenger Rogelio Medina in Washington D.C. The fight, which is a Super-middleweight world title double-header, will be DeGale’s last before returning to the UK to hopefully unify the division against the winner of the other fight taking place, Badou Jack v Lucian Bute.

‘Chunky’ has been in the US for the vast majority of the last 11 months since beating Andre Dirrell in May last year and has been enjoying life as world champion, winning his only fight since then comfortably against Lucian Bute. Tonight DeGale steps into the ring against Mexican Medina, weighing in at 167.6lbs and 167.8lbs respectively. Medina has an uninspiring 36-6 professional record and I expect DeGale to be able to finish the job early on and set up a unification fight back here in the UK against the WBC title holder.

DeGale was originally going to take on Jose Uzcategui however he withdrew due to illness and that gave IBF No.3 rated Medina the opportunity to take his place. Medina comes into the fight having won his last 4 bouts all inside the first 3 rounds in preparation for his chance at a world title but DeGale seems levels ahead of his opponent. ‘Porky’ has lost 6 fights, one of which was against Uzcategui by unanimous decision and another was against WBC champion Badou Jack who knocked Medina out back in 2013. Medina has said that he is confident going into the fight and has been training to put pressure on the Brit, but this should be of no threat to DeGale as we saw he can deal very well with pressure, especially in the world title fight against Dirrell.

Arsenal fan DeGale goes into the fight in good form after beating Lucian Bute comfortably back in November and is aiming to unify the division if he beats Medina tonight. ‘Chunky’ is confident of a victory and spoke to the IBTimes saying:

“Fight time is here, I’m feeling good, feeling fresh. I’ve trained extremely hard. Porky Medina is a good fighter in his own right, a very good fighter, but there are levels to professional boxing and I feel as though I am levels above him.” – James DeGale

I certainly expect DeGale to get the job done tonight and hopefully get the chance to unify the division in a UK homecoming. I’m sure he’ll be keeping an eye on the Jack v Bute fight that follows his in Washington and might even be wanting Jack to retain his title as the Hammersmith man has already beaten Bute comfortably. I think his power and speed should make this comfortable for him so my prediction is DeGale wins by KO in the third. Watching the fight? Leave a comment and let me know what your prediction is!

SATURDAY FIGHT NIGHT REACTION

SATURDAY FIGHT NIGHT REACTION

Last night we saw Josh Warrington fight Amagasa in Leeds and Stephen Smith travel to the USA to fight IBF world champion Pedraza. It was a mixed night for British boxing and you can find out why what was below but first, if you don’t know the results and want to read my preview of the night’s action you can find that here.

JOSH WARRINGTON V HISASHI AMAGASA 

Leeds fan favourite Josh Warrington beat dangerous Hisashi Amagasa by unanimous decision in what was an excellent fight decided over the 12 rounds.

After a good quality undercard that saw Martin J Ward put himself in a mandatory position for the British super-featherweight title and Stuart Hall prove that he is more than worthy of a shot at the IBF bantamweight title, Josh Warrington put on a fantastic display to beat the man from Japan who twice knocked down Rigo in 2014. Warrington performed much like the man who fought before him, Stuart Hall, starting the fight quick and ending the fight quick in order to pick up a convincing points victory. Amagasa looked like a tricky opponent for the Yorkshireman as he was much taller than Warrington and had a decent reach advantage but this proved to not be a problem for the compact Warrington, who has now opened up the doors for a potential fight with rival Lee Selby. The man born in Leeds spoke to Sky Sports after the fight and had this to say about fighting Selby:

“It’s a fight [against Selby] the Leeds people want. I just think that when that comes around, I’ve got what it takes to beat him. I know we all have bad nights but when he’s boxed, he hasn’t looked elite level.” – Josh Warrington

The scoring of the fight was laughable and put a bit of a downer on the fight as it was scored 117-111, 118-111 and 120-107. The judges clearly saw a completely different fight to everyone else as most people had Warrington edging the fight comfortably, but not by such a wide margin. It was a bit of a discredit to Amagasa, who was fighting out of his native Japan for the first time, as he battled hard against Josh and certainly won more rounds than what he was given. Despite this, the night of fighting on Sky Sports was excellent, especially so considering it wasn’t on box office and I would recommend watching it back if you can.

STEPHEN SMITH V JOSE PEDRAZA

Unfortunately becoming Britain’s 13th current world champion was just out of reach for Stephen Smith as he lost by unanimous decision to tricky Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza out in the states.

Stephen’s 3 brothers – Callum, Paul and Liam all went out to America to support their brother in his attempt to become Britain’s 13th world champion but it just wasn’t to be. Smith started the fight well and even had his man on the floor in the 4th round, but it was from a push rather than a punch unfortunately. Smith continued to box smart though and found some good combinations which opened up Pedraza, however Smith just couldn’t capitalise. American pundit’s had the scores level going into the 8th round and it wasn’t until the 9th when a decisive moment happened as Smith was knocked down by Pedraza but he managed to get up and make it to the end of the fight. Smith fought well and it was an unlucky loss for the Brit despite being knocked down late on, he just couldn’t manage to have a good end to the fight like Warrington and Hall did back over here in the UK.

The judges scored the fight 117-110, 116-111 and 116-111 which was a little bit wider than some people thought but the decisive knock down in the 9th round probably had a big impact on this unfortunately for Smith. The Brit can come back with his head held high though and shouldn’t give up on his dream to win a world title. He has shown he can definitely mix it with world champions and I think he will get another shot somewhere down the line.

By some minor miracle I have managed to get BOTH my predictions right for the 2 main British fights this weekend (if you can count “close points decision” for Pedraza). If anyone want’s to have a go at predicting the results and maybe having a mini predictions league let me know.

SATURDAY FIGHT NIGHT PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

SATURDAY FIGHT NIGHT PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

I know I know it’s been a fair while since my last post, I’ve been busy doing other uni stuff (100% a lie) but tonight there is some interesting British Boxing fight’s on Sky so I thought today would be a good day to return to the blog. First up I preview Josh Warrington v Hisashi Amagasa then after that, Stephen Smith’s world title shot against IBF Super-Featherweight champion Jose Pedraza will be previewed.

JOSH WARRINGTON V HISASHI AMAGASA 

In what is the first fight of the night, Yorkshireman Josh Warrington will get into the ring against the dangerous Hisashi Amagasa. The man from Japan will be fighting outside of his native country for the first time in his professional career, coming over with a bit of a reputation. This has come from his fight against super-bantamweight king Rigondeaux who he managed, to everyone’s surprise, knock down twice before losing the fight in the 11th round.

In the other corner of the ring is the 25-year-old Brit who hopes to put on a show tonight to try to make a fight with Lee Selby happen. Warrington is unbeaten in 22 professional fight’s winning just the 4 by KO but don’t underestimate his power at this weight, he’s won 2 out of his last 4 by TKO and the other 2 by a comfortable points decision. This shows that he has the potential to mix it up and adapt to his opponent – something which rival Lee Selby was recently praised for.

Warrington is yet to fight anyone of Lee Selby’s ability, needing that final push to make it onto world level where he can mix it with world champions, which he definitely has the quality to do. Will tonight’s fight prove just how good he is? He could do with putting on a show and winning this fight comfortably, giving Lee Selby something to think about but im sure he would take victory in any form to push him one step closer to getting a big fight. I think Warrington will win by UD.

STEPHEN SMITH V JOSE PEDRAZA 

Stephen Smith hopes to be the second of the 4 Smith brother’s to win a world title as he faces Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza for the IBF Super-featherweight title in the USA. Pedraza goes into the fight boasting an unbeaten record winning 21 of his fights, 14 by KO and has held the IBF title since mid 2015. Pedraza is a very tough champion in the division having beaten top quality boxers such as Edner Cherry, who lost by UD to Timothy Bradley and Andrey Kilmov who was beaten by Terence Crawford also by UD.

The Brit fighting in America, Smith, has been beaten once in his professional career to Lee Selby back in 2011. Since the defeat Smith has risen quietly up the rankings, picking up the British super-featherweight title and the WBC silver title along the way to his world title eliminator which was against Devis Boschiero – who had only lost 3 of his 43 bouts at the time. There have always been question marks over Stephen Smith’s power but he showed the power he does have in the fight, being the first person to KO the Italian Boschiero.

Smith is fighting out of his comfort zone in the USA having fought all of his previous bouts in the UK other than his KO of Arpad Vass in Munich. However, despite the lack of support out in the States for Smith he should take some much-needed confidence from recent examples of Brits winning titles out in America such as Kell Brook. This may be a step too far for Stephen, he desperately want’s to prove he’s a world level boxer but Pedraza might just be a little too tricky for him. I’m hoping Smith can add to the growing list of British world title holders, it would be excellent to see it happen but I just don’t know. I think Pedraza wins by a close points decision. 

CHARLES MARTIN V ANTHONY JOSHUA REACTION

CHARLES MARTIN V ANTHONY JOSHUA REACTION

What a night for British boxing and Anthony Joshua as he knocked out world champion Charles Martin in just the second round to win his first world title at the O2 Arena on Saturday night. On what was a busy night for British boxing with a packed undercard in East London, I’ll look back at the big fights of the night including Lee Selby’s and Jamie McDonnell’s title defences.

JAMIE MCDONNELL V FERNANDO VARGAS

WBA world bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell stopped challenger Fernando Vargas by TKO in the 9th round to retain his world title.

It must be hard for 30-year-old Jamie McDonnell not getting much recognition as a British world champion due to the lack of quality in the division he is in, but after all he is still a world champion and he got the job done against the challenger to his title late in the fight. Vargas was a late-notice challenger to his WBA title but was very much thought to be unlikely to cause much drama as many expected McDonnell to easily despatch the Mexican. This wasn’t the case however as the challenger put up a worthy fight with his conditioning and footwork proving useful in his attempt to dethrone the Brit. However, McDonnell stayed focussed and continued to pile on the pressure in the hope that Vargas would begin to leave himself open in the later rounds, which he did. With Vargas beginning to tire, McDonnell worked both the body and head and in the 9th round the referee stopped the fight with McDonnell claiming a TKO victory. Where does McDonnell go from here though? Does he attempt to unify the bantamweight division or move up in weight to super-bantamweight, with the potential for big domestic clashes against Scott Quigg or Carl Frampton.

LEE SELBY V ERIC HUNTER

IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby beat American Eric Hunter by unanimous decision after 12 rounds.

The man known as ‘The Welsh Mayweather’, who won the IBF title in the same arena a year ago started the fight poorly being knocked down by challenger Eric Hunter for the first time in his career early on in the fight. Selby had to recover quickly with Hunter moving in to try to knock out the champion but Selby managed to hold on until the end of round 2 to receive some much-needed advice from his corner. The Welshman is compared to Mayweather due to his quality defensive skills, timing and the fact that he doesn’t knock many of is opponents out – only 8 out of 23. However, Selby had to adapt his style and show everyone why he is the champion, going on the attack in order to win some rounds and record a points win as he usually does. Hunter didn’t help his cause, losing a point for low-blows which was disappointing after the quality start he made to the fight and just made the points total even wider. It ended up being comfortable for Selby with a wide points win but hopefully he can learn from the knockdown and adapt his skills in future fights against opponents who will try to follow what Hunter did.

GEORGE GROVES V DAVID BROPHY 

‘Saint’ George Groves beat unbeaten Scot David Brophy by KO early in the 4th round in his second fight since his 3rd world title fight defeat.

Despite a promising start to his career, he has lost in all 3 of his world title fights, twice by knock out to Carl Froch and once by split decision against Badou Jack. Despite these damaging defeats, he still comes back even though there are some people suggesting that maybe he should hang up his gloves as he would never be able to win a world title. Saturday night was one of those come back fights, against unbeaten David Brophy. Many people predicted that Groves would knock out Brophy and that’s exactly how the fight went with Groves knocking him out early in the 4th round. His jab was relentless, his best quality which caused Froch many problems in their huge domestic fights and Brophy just wasn’t able to contain it. He showed how good he can be, he certainly has the skills to compete at the top of the super-middleweight division but there is always that question as to whether he can put his stamp on the division and finally win a world title.

CONOR BENN V IVALIO BOYANOV 

Conor Benn, son of former world champion Nigel Benn, knocked out Ivalio Boyanov on his debut at the O2 Arena.

Fighting at light-welterweight, Conor Benn had a lot of pressure on his shoulders entering the ring under the watchful eyes of his former world champion father and fighting above 2 world title fights on the undercard at a sold out O2 Arena. ‘The Destroyer’ dealt with all this pressure and looked very quick and powerful, knocking out his opponent inside the first round. Despite Boyanov not putting up much of a fight, throwing little more than 2 punches, Benn stalked his man aggressively putting on a show and hopefully starting off a promising career.

ANTHONY JOSHUA V CHARLES MARTIN

Anthony Joshua knocked out world champion Charles Martin inside 2 rounds to become the new IBF world heavyweight champion.

To cap off what was already a hugely entertaining night the main event, despite being under 6 minutes long, topped off a successful night for British boxing with AJ becoming IBF world heavyweight champion in emphatic fashion, stopping Martin inside 2 rounds and knocking him down on 2 occasions.

Joshua entered the ring wearing a white rope as a tribute to childhood hero Muhammad Ali with Martin entering after the Brit as the current IBF world champion. The fight started cagey, with both fighters looking to maintain their defensive solidarity but Joshua was the man looking to attack, catching Martin with a good jab near the end of the first round. The second round began in similar fashion but decisively, AJ stepped up a gear hunting down Martin and catching him with some good shots. It wasn’t long before Joshua knocked down Martin and the champion took the full 10 seconds to make his was back up. Almost immediately after, Joshua again looked to end the fight explosively and did just that, knocking Martin down a second time and with the champion taking just a fraction longer than the 10 seconds to get up, the referee signalled the end of the fight crowing Joshua the champion.

Martin never even looked like he was fit to tie Joshua’s boots despite himself and his team being very confident before the fight of stopping AJ. World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury even bet £1,000 on Martin stopping Joshua, he seemed to be that confident the American was going to win but it wasn’t to be and AJ showed his class and amazing knock out power much to the annoyance of Fury. Martin may have not been the best world champions, in fact he was probably one of the worst, but lets not take anything away from the performance of Joshua, after all he can only fight whats put in front of him.

This is a very big stepping stone for AJ, winning the IBF belt. It opens up opportunities to fight anyone in the division, with unification fights against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury being mentioned as well as fights against heavyweights such as David Haye and Joseph Parker. Eddie Hearn cheekily suggested a July 9th fight at Wembley (same night as Fury v Klitschko 2) against an unnamed opponent as Joshua’s first defence and hopefully he can continue to showcase his power by beating whoever he’s put up against. Providing he can get through his defence and Fury can defeat Klitschko a second time, it would set up a huge domestic unification clash between the two rivals which would really prove who is king in the heavyweight division. The next two years are going to be huge for heavyweight boxing, a division that not long ago looked old and uninspiring but now looks fresh and has the potential to explode any minute.