Anthony Joshua Wrecks Charles Martin With Pair Of Rights

Anthony Joshua really could be the future of boxing at heavyweight, and as of Saturday, he creeped into the present of the division. “Creeped” probably isn’t the right word considering the demolition job he did on Charles Martin, but there’s still cause for caution.

Analysts and fans were rightly worried after Joshua’s showing against Dillian Whyte, when he was both wobbled and didn’t take out his opponent as quickly as he had in the past. But he was smarter and sharper Saturday, taking a round to look at Martin and establish his jab. In the 1st he landed a few flush right hands, seemingly worrying Martin, but Martin also found the range himself on a couple counter lefts.

That round of study paid off in the 2nd for Joshua (above left). He found his own counters off Martin’s jab, a pair of rights that both blasted Martin (above right) to bits. Martin took his sweet time getting up from the first knockdown, but beat the count. After the second, he laughed. Tellingly, though, he waited until the referee counted to 10 to rise from his knee, pulling the old “I want to quit but want to act like it was a bad stoppage to save some pride” move.

Joshua gave a post-fight interview that shows he’s more than an Olympic-pedigree powerhouse in the ring — he’s got a golden smile and just the right mix of humbleness and confidence. No word on who he’d fight next, and since promoter Eddie Hearn has booked something for July 9, there’s no reason to expect it’ll be one of the names we’d all love to see Joshua in there with: the winner of Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko II, the winner of Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin, or even Joseph Parker or David Haye.

And that’s probably smart. Joshua is just 26, and this was just his 17th fight. The title he stripped from Charles Martin comes with certain obligations, so that’s why some thought it was too fast. It’s not that Martin himself was perceived as a great threat, which is where the note of caution comes from — Martin had beaten exactly one fighter anyone had heard of, and was aided by Vyacheslav Glazkov’s knee injury. Joshua beating him sensationally isn’t a huge surprise. But once the alphabet gang starts lining up mandatories, and one of them is dangerous (don’t be surprised if the alphabet in question takes its time with Joshua — he’ll give them a bigger share of the purse than Martin ever would’ve), we might truly wonder whether Joshua is moving too fast.

But for now, he’s here, in this moment, and he’s ripe with promise.

(Photo: Anthony Joshua punching Charles Martin, via)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.