By Elliot Foster (@FreelanceFoz)
Anthony Joshua impressed in front of a new audience at the ECHO Arena tonight as he stopped Matt Skelton inside the distance.
Joshua, an Olympic gold medallist boxing in Liverpool for the first time as a pro, stopped Skelton in the second round, ensuring the continuation of the trend that is getting each of his opponents faced thus far out of the ring before they can see the bell for the end of the second.
The 24-year-old former Finchley ABC amateur walked to the ring with the words of Mike Tyson ringing in not only his, but everyone in the arena’s ears and it proved to inspire him.
It was a performance worthy of the former undisputed world, the best of AJ’s career to date.
Skelton, 47, who was stopped in two rounds by a 14-0 David Price at Aintree back in November, 2012, knows that his best days are a distant memory that he can look back on and be proud of but his spoiler-type tactics posed Joshua a new challenge — one he dealt with well.
After the first round in which the Londoner was finding his groove, Skelton’s resolved lessened considerably, leaving Joshua to target with consummate ease.
What followed was a knockdown in Joshua’s favour, a stumble from Skelton after rising from the late count, and a wave of hands from the referee to ensure ‘Josh’ had recorded his seventh victory from seven, all inside the distance, with a time of 02:33 in the second stanza.
Next up for the man promoter Eddie Hearn said could be the next big star of British boxing is a trip to Dublin on August 30. Joshua will appear alongside a top-of-the-bill Matthew Macklin, Matchroom Boxing’s latest capture, at the National Stadium against Yaroslav Zavorotnyi, a Ukrainian who took the aforementioned David Price 10 rounds in Germany last month.by