Ringside Report: Joshua earns Klitschko acid test; Calls for Whyte-Chisora rematch
Anthony Joshua produced yet another crushing display to set-up a mammoth heavyweight clash with Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 at Wembley Stadium.
The 27 year-old took his record to 18 straight knockouts since turning pro and is now favoured to overcome veteran Klitschko, who was watching at ringside, after dismantling Eric Molina in three one-sided Manchester rounds.
‘AJ’ attacked from off, and as soon as Molina felt the power of the Londoner, the writing was already on the wall and it was just a matter of time before the IBF title holder was declared the winner.
Joshua did what WBC king Deontay Wilder took nine rounds to do a year earlier and proved his credentials to be the number heavyweight for years to come with a powerful finish in front of a packed crowd.
In the co-feature, Dereck Chisora was edged out by Dillian Whyte in a WBC eliminator as the UK rivals almost punched themselves to a standstill.
Bad blood pre-fight only served to create more drama inside the ropes as the desire to win was evident for all to see.
Exhausted through eight rounds, any one sustained assault could have ended the fight at any time, although the pair managed to get through to the end of what was a contender for bout of the night alongside Frank Buglioni’s win over Hosea Burton.
After twelve punishing and drama-filled rounds, Whyte gained a wafer-thin split decision and it would be considered a travesty if ‘The Villain’ moved on without giving Chisora another chance to share the ring with him.
Pre-event, the Matchroom card was an eye-catching one, and so it proved as the crowd got fully reimbursed for the price of their ticket.
Callum Smith scored one of the knockouts of the year with a crushing late ending to his British title defence against Luke Blackledge, whilst Kal Yafai dominated a seasoned world champion in Luis Concepcion to win a first world title.
Also on the bill, Katie Taylor improved to 2-0, Scott Quigg made a winning start to his featherweight career, Marcus Morrison won again and Conor Benn recorded a fifth win on the bounce since entering the paid ranks.