Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KO's) blitzed Eric Molina (25-4, 19 KO's) in a three-round exhibition to retain his IBF heavyweight title and set-up a unification vs Wladimir Klitschko on April 29th at Wembley Stadium.
There was as much fight in Eric Molina as there was in Charles Martin as he circled around the ring like a timid mouse with little confidence or reassurance of winning. Anthony Joshua sensed it, stalked his victim and brutally dismissed him in the third.
Molina fell to the canvas and Joshua, as future foe Wladimir Klitschko watched on, closed off the show with a crunching left uppercut that rocked Molina's head over the top rope and forced referee Steve Gray to intervene.
Britain's rising superstar Joshua, 27, had the option to dismiss Molina in the opening stanza as his left hook hurt the challenger, but composure and defensive awareness ensured it transcended into the third and final. Molina created a long distance in an attempt to force an overreach from Joshua and detonate a bomb of his own. He failed miserably and leaves Manchester with sickening regret that he was unable to test the champion's punch resistance.
Speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, the IBF champion said: "I had to create them (openings) and I once I saw it I managed to connect properly and knocked him out.
"He had maybe two shots, but he is not a (Wladimir) Kiltschko, he is not a (David) Haye, he is not all of these other fighters."
Joshua turns his intentions to former world heavyweight champion and, still at 41, elite operator Wladimir Klitschko who bids to derail the Briton's hype train and reclaim his throne that Tyson Fury replaced with a convincing win to take the WBA, WBO, IBF belts last November.
The IBF title, held by Joshua since April 2015, will be on the line as well as the vacant WBA strap as Wembley Stadium hosts a mouth-watering collision at boxing's most mammoth and exciting division of all.
The fight vs. AJ is on. I am looking forward to this mega fight on April 29 at Wembley Stadium. #takethebiggestchallenge pic.twitter.com/xYAJpVwShv— Klitschko (@Klitschko) December 11, 2016
In the midst of world title excitement, the boxing community will not brush aside the scintillating co-main event that saw Dillian Whyte (20-1, 15 KO's) defeat Dereck Chisora (26-7, 18 KO's) by split-decision in a domestic classic.
Both men are made of marble, and it came to fruition in the most brutal of contests. Chisora hurt Whyte twice and sent his upper body through the ropes, but the British champion survived the onslaughts and delivered neat work throughout as a courageous and motivated Chisora tired late on.
Two judges scored it 115-113, 115-114 to Whyte, while Steve Gray favoured Dereck Chisora 115-113. Either way, a rematch should be called upon in 2017 as both fighters reflect on the incredible fight and performances.