Anthony Joshua pummelled veteran fighter Denis Bakhtov for one-and-a-half rounds before a referee’s stoppage delivered him the WBC international heavyweight title.
The 24-year-old from Watford, a gold medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games, ruthlessly punished his Russian opponent until, one minute into the second round, he was granted a TKO.
Bakhtov, now 34, had not been stopped legitimately in nine years heading into the fight at London’s O2 Arena. His face was reddened within seconds of Saturday night’s bout.
Joshua told Sky Sports 1: “It only went two rounds but I just wanted to hurt him. He hadn’t been stopped so I just wanted to see what he could take.
“He was a strong guy and he wasn’t an easy opponent but I wanted to make light work of him.”
*Former Sheffield-based fighter Jon Kays boxes in Manchester next Saturday.