LONDON - Anthony Joshua was crowned world heavyweight champion in only his 16th professional fight after he stopped Charles Martin in the second round of Saturday's world title fight in London.
Joshua captured the IBF world heavyweight title after twice flooring Martin in the second round before the American failed to beat the count at the O2 Arena.
Martin was powerless in resisting Joshua's power in his first defence and has lost the title three months after winning it. Once Joshua began to unload his big punches in the second round with unerring accuracy, the end seemed inevitable.
Joshua, who turned professional in October 2013, is the fifth quickest heavyweight to win a version of the world title and is Britain's second reigning world heavyweight champion along with WBA-WBO king Tyson Fury. A future clash between Joshua and Fury will become a possibility if the Manchester boxer can beat Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch on July 9.
Joshua, 26, might not be quick on feet around the ring but the Watford-born boxer does not have any problems in quickly hunting down opponents. Only one has gone beyond the third round with Joshua, who has stopped all 16 opponents since turning professional after winning Olympic super-heavyweight gold at the London 2012 Olympics.
Martin, from Missouri, started the fight slight underdog despite being a professional longer than Joshua and this defeat was his first loss in 25 fights, with one draw.
Prior to becoming champion, not much was known about Martin: he had no outstanding amateur pedigree or standout wins on his professional record. His rise to the top had been fortuitous: he won the vacant belt when Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov injured a knee in the third round in January and the belt had only become available because Fury was stripped of it for agreeing to face Klitschko in a rematch.
Both made a cautious start with Joshua landing the best punch in the opening round when he broke through Martin's guard with a right. Martin, 29, was put on the back foot in the second round and was sent crashing backwards to the canvas when he was caught flush on the chin by a right.
When Martin got up after a count Joshua immediately planted another right flush on the jaw to send him back to the canvas. Martin complained when the fight was waved off but Joshua was bouncing him off the canvas like a basketball.
Despite his quick stoppage victory, Joshua insisted after he still needed to improve: "I'm not getting carried away because still got a lot of work to do, I need to improve," he told Sky Sports.
"I've got David Haye and Tyson Fury calling me out. Trust me, when they step in the ring with me I will be ready. I come to knock people out. The power is always there. I'm just tucked away in the gym, you'll only see me in Ikea or ASDA."