Joshua and Selby impress with stoppage wins in London
Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua continued on his path to a destined world heavyweight title with a crushing performance against Denis Bakhtov that was really never in any doubt.
The 24 year-old bruiser looked to have the fight won at the weigh-in as the two went head-to-head as Bakhtov then realised the shear magnitude of the task in front of him.
Once the fight got underway at the O2 Arena, Joshua could hurt the veteran at will and had Bakhtov in trouble and on the verge of being stopped towards the end of the very first round.
Early in the second, Joshua upped the pressure on the Russian and even stood trading with Bakhtov at one point, sticking his tongue out as if to say ‘I can take anything that you have got’ to his opponent.
More crushing blows reigned in, and after just one minute of the session, a battered Bakhtov was saved further punishment by Ian John-Lewis to hand Joshua a ninth career win.
With the victory, the Londoner claimed his first title as the WBC International belt is now in Joshua’s possession, along with a healthier ranking with the World Boxing Council.
On what evidence we have witnessed so far, Joshua looks nailed on to be a world champion within two years and promoter Eddie Hearn has already promised some sterner tests in 2015.
In the co-feature, Lee Selby engaged in a toe-to-toe battle with unbeaten Australian Joel Brunker for a shot at the IBF featherweight title and came out on top at the close of the ninth round.
The Welshman had the upper hand in what was a brutal battle at times, ending Brunker’s perfect 27-fight run, and will be lining up against undefeated champion Evgeny Gradovich at some point next year.
Also on the card, middleweifght John Ryder made light work of Theophilus Tetteh to move to 19-1 with an eleventh stoppage, whilst Tyler Goodjohn inflicted a first loss on Ricky Boylan in the fight of the night.
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