Anthony Joshua to challenge IBF champion Charles Martin on April 9

14/02/2016 20:13

Unbeaten British contender Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) will challenge Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) for the IBF heavyweight title on April 9 at the O2 Arena in London.

The undefeated American travels to England to make the first defence of the belt he won when he beat Vyacheslav Glazkov in January. It will be his first fight outside the United States.

Tyson Fury was stripped of the IBF title after he opted to fight Wladimir Klitschko, who he beat on points in November, rather than face the mandatory challenger Glazkov.

WBA and WBO champion Fury will face Klitschko in a rematch in May or June.

6’6″ Joshua, 26, a 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, has only boxed 32 professional rounds, seven of which came in his last outing where he added the British title to his Commonwealth strap by stopping bitter rival Dillian Whyte in December, also at the O2.

Prior to the Whyte fight, Joshua had scored 14 straight knockouts in the first three rounds.

But despite so little professional experience, Joshua gets to fight for a world title next.

"Fighting for the heavyweight world title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional," said Joshua. "I feel privileged to have the opportunity to turn that dream into reality. Charles Martin is a great fighter and a hungry competitor so I am going to have to produce the performance of my career to claim that belt."

6’5″ Martin, 29, is also largely untested since turning pro and he did not have to do much against Glazkov, who slipped to the mat in the third round and badly injured his right knee. With Glazkov unable to continue, Martin was credited with a third round knockout and claimed the vacant title.

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