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Joshua to fight Martin for IBF title at O2 Arena

Anthony Joshua has been waiting for his chance to break out on a world stage and will have his chance against IBF Champion Charles Martin on April 9.

Anthony Joshua has been waiting for his chance to break out on a world stage and will have his chance against IBF Champion Charles Martin on April 9.

His knockout power and athleticism has dazzled the diehard boxing fans for the past three years but it is not time for the undefeated 26-year-old Brit to showcase his skill to the world.

Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) has signed on to fight IBF World heavyweight champion Charles Martin on April 9 at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London for his first shot at top level gold. He has knocked out every opponent he has made the O2 Arena his home base as he has knocked out ever opponent who has crossed his path.

“Fighting for the heavyweight world title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional,” Joshua said. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to turn that dream into reality. Not only that, having the change to fight for it in my hometown at the O2 and live on Sky Sports is unebelievably exciting. Charles Martin is a great fighter and hungry competitor, so I am going to have to produce the performance of my career to claim that belt.”

Martin is a powerful, young fighter in his own right. The 29-year-old southpaw is 23-0-1 with 21 wins by knockout, but is a surprise world champion. Martin earned the belt after Vyacheslav Glazkov injured his knee in the third round. He only got the title shot after Tyson Fury has to vacate the title and Glazkov, the No. 1 contender, needed a challenger. Martin was the most available top challenger.

“I told my team I wanted to best challenger possible for my first defense, and Anthony Joshua’s name kept coming up,” Martin said. “I’m coming to the U.K. to make a statement that I am the best heavyweight in the world and no one is taking my title.

“I’m world champion, so that doesn’t mean just sit back and make easy defenses in the U.S. It means facing the biggest challenges out there. I respect Anthony Joshua and everything he has accomplished, but on April 9 he’s getting knocked out.”

Neither fighter has been particularly tested in their career. Martin won the WBO BABO heavyweight title in April 2014 and successful defended it four times, but did not get a chance to showcase himself against Glazkov.

Joshua has been awaiting his opportunity to break out into professional super stardom. He was the 2012 Olympic Super Heavyweight gold medalist for Great Britain but turned pro in late 2013 and has proven to be far superior than any of his opponents.

Joshua’s knockout power has actually limited him to only 32 professional rounds. Seven of those came against Dillian Whyte in his last fight. Whyte beat Joshua in an amateur fight, but Joshua avenged it with the stoppage.

But it is clear that both are top talents in the heavyweight division and a victory for either guy, would would give them a signature victory and propel them into the upper echelon of the sport.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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