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ANTHONY JOSHUA BEGINS PROFESSIONAL CAREER IN STYLE

 

 

Golden boy Joshua begins professional career in style with first-round stoppage

By Jeff Powell    -   dailymail.co.uk

So explosive was Anthony Joshua that he came close to the extraordinary distinction of knocking out two men on his professional debut.

London’s giant Olympic gold medallist struck referee Ian John Lewis en route to rendering Italy’s Emanuele Leo unconscious at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.

The third man in the ring proved that he can take a punch, much to the relief of Joshua.

Down and out: Anthony Joshua (left) floored Emanuele Leo in the first round of his professional debut

Down and out: Anthony Joshua (left) floored Emanuele Leo in the first round of his professional debut

Anthony Joshua

The Adonis hoping to become Britain’s next Lennox Lewis –as an undisputed world heavyweight champion – said: ‘I was worried for a moment that I might be disqualified. The referee said break but I saw Emanuele flinch and thought he was going to throw a punch. So I threw a counter and hit the ref. I apologise to him.’

Had he landed clearly on the jaw of Lewis, as he did repeatedly on the chin of Leo, there would have been chaos.

As it was, Joshua powered his way to an impressive first round KO. He showed how much he has improved in his year’s training since his golden Games by setting up the previously undefeated Leo with shuddering jabs.

Anthony Joshua
As soon as Joshua unleashed his right, the end was nigh. The Italian withstood the first couple of sledgehammer blows but was soon staggering backwards and reeling against the ropes.

Mercifully Leo subsided 13 seconds before the bell which would have condemned him to an even more punishing second round.

A final, huge punch sent him sagging onto the bottom ropes. Lewis waved it off as the Italian sank to the canvas, oblivious and needing oxygen to recover.

Joshua credited the Olympic experience of high pressure and large crowds for the nerves-settling maturity he brought to his first paid outing, then added: ‘This was as big for me as winning gold. You only have one pro debut and you want to do well.’

Never in doubt: Joshua will return to the ring later this month as he looks to build momentum

Never in doubt: Joshua will return to the ring later this month as he looks to build momentum

Never in doubt: Joshua will return to the ring later this month as he looks to build momentum

The brevity of his first night’s work will enable Joshua to reappear quickly, on the undercard of Kell Brook’s fight with Vyacheslav Senchenko, who spoiled Ricky Hatton’s comeback, only three Saturdays hence in Sheffield. There will be more outings to come, in quick succession.

Joshua, at 23, is impressing outside as well as inside the ropes. Asked to define his ambitions, he said: ‘Boxing has made me a better person. I want to keep learning and by seizing my opportunity give back by showing other poor kids how they can improve and succeed.’

As part of his education Joshua is seeking advice not only from Lewis but from reigning world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who has racked up the 15th consecutive successful defence of his titles with an overwhelming, if ugly, defeat of Russia’s Alexander Povetkin in Moscow.


Luke Campbell
Luke Campbell

Onwards and upwards: Luke Campbell celebrates winning his second professional fight at the O2 Aren

Joshua demurs when pressed upon how soon he might challenge for the crown himself: ‘I’m not saying anything yet.’

Promoter Eddie Hearn says it for him: ‘Big Josh is going all the way. This is just the start of a phenomenal journey.’

The same may be true of Britain’s other boxing gold medallist from the London Games. Hull lightweight Luke Campbell also looked the professional package in his second paid fight with another first round stoppage, this time of Darlington’s Neil Hepper.

Sourcewww.dailymail.co.uk/sport/boxing/article-2446237/Anthony-Joshua-wins-professional-debut.html

 

 

 

 

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