By Elliot Foster (@FreelanceFoz)
Anthony Joshua claimed the WBC International heavyweight title with a two-round demolition of Denis Bakhtov at the O2 Arena in London, live on Sky Sports.
It was by far the best performance seen from the crossover superstar as he detonated shot after shot onto Bakhtov who was being cut to shreds before being mercifully stopped by Ian-John Lewis after 60 seconds of the session.
Shots that had floored Josh’s former victims were being stood up to and taken well by Bakhtov but it was only a matter of time before the contest ended in clinical fashion.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist, 24, crushingly ended the challenge of the veteran Russian, who slips to 38-10 (25), while he advanced to 9-0 (9) on the same card as Welsh wizard Lee Selby, who battered and stopped Australia’s Joel Brunker in a final eliminator clash for the IBF featherweight title in the chief support bout.
A first title caps off a sensational first year and six days in the paid punchers’ game for AJ, having demolished eight previous opponents — including the likes of Matt Skelton, Matt Legg and Hector Alfredo Avila — inside three rounds.
Next up for the former two-time ABA champion is a clash with former EBU-EU titlist Michael Sprott in a final eliminator for the Lonsdale belt at Liverpool’s ECHO Arena on November 22, on the undercard of the rematch between cruiserweight duo Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The vacant British title will be contested by Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury on November 29 at London’s ExCeL Arena.by