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Joshua has eyes on Fury after taking IBF title

Other Sports
Sun, 10 Apr 2016

London: Anthony Joshua has his eyes on a future showdown with Tyson Fury after winning the IBF world heavyweight title on Saturday with a sensational second-round knockout of outclassed American rival Charles Martin.

British Olympic champion Joshua, 26, said a bout with Fury was now inevitable but it won't happen just yet as he is being lined up by promoter Eddie Hearn for a first title defence at Wembley on July 9, the same night rival world heavyweight champion Fury is due to meet Wladimir Klitschko.

Joshua floored American Martin twice with right hands to the jaw in a win that earned him the International Boxing Federation title in front of 20,000 fans at the O2 Arena in London.

Martin, who was making a first defence, was blown away three months after he won the title and became Joshua's 16th stoppage victim from as many professional fights.

Joshua, who made his professional debut in October 2013 after winning Olympic super-heavyweight gold at London 2012, has exchanged insults with British rival Fury on social media and there is already a clamour in the UK for the pair to meet.

As well as Fury, former World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight champion David Haye is also making it known he wants to fight Joshua in the future.

American Deontay Wilder, 30, who defends his WBC title against Russian Alexander Povetkin in Moscow on May 21, is the other world champion along with Joshua and Fury.

"Me, Tyson Fury and David Haye we have to fight," Joshua told a news conference.

"We can't get through this whole era without fighting, we will get it on at the right time. It's just bound to happen at some stage.

"I'm a fighting man. I will fight anyone -- Wilder, Fury, Haye. It's just a fight for me, no problem."

Fury, 27, must first prevail against Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch in Manchester on July 9 before thinking about meeting Joshua.

Of Joshua's first title defence, Hearn said: "It was always going to be July 9.

"We'll have to take a look at the top 15 of the IBF heavyweight rankings, a lot of the guys are taken up.

"If he's ready, I don't see why we can't get back early July. That's the plan."

Hearn believes Fury or Haye are still two or three fights away for Joshua.

"I'm not saying Haye and Fury are next but they are certainly on the radar and pressure will be on us after a defence or two," said Hearn.

Joshua, meanwhile, insists he will never get complacent as champion after beating Martin, who won the vacant IBF belt after Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov injured a knee in the third round in January.

"I just feel a bit hungrier," Joshua said.

"Getting there is one thing but maintaining it will be harder so I have to be a bit more disciplined.

"The attention, the building, the micromanagement, I'm diligent and I'm not going to let all those people down.

"Probably when I retire I will be happy but I've got to put this behind me now. In training I've developed a different level of stamina. A new man was born."

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