Current Commonwealth, British and World Boxing Council (WBC) International heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will rely on home crowd advantage as when he fights Charles Martin for the IBF heavyweight title on April 9 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
The 26-year old British fighter earned the right to fight Martin after flooring compatriot Dillian Whyte in the seventh of their scheduled 12-rounder last December 12, which was also held at the O2 Arena.
“Fighting for the heavyweight world title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to turn that dream in to reality. Not only that, having the chance to fight for it in my home town at The O2,” Joshua said via Skysports.com.
On the other hand, IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin will be making his first title defense and first outside of the USA.
Martin’s camp had early discussions of fighting New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, but the offer never materialized due to the expenses involved in hosting of the fight as reported in the NZHerald. However, if he wins against Joshua, then Parker’s camp might consider hosting the fight in the future.
Martin won the vacant IBF heavyweight title via technical knockout against Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Glazkov in the third round last January 16.
“I told my team I wanted the best challenger possible for my first defence and Anthony Joshua’s name kept coming up. I’m coming to the UK to make a statement that I am the best heavyweight in the world and no one is taking my title,” Martin said.
Oddly, April 9 also marks the third chapter in the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley trilogy that will take place in Las Vegas, it will then be a battle of promotions as well.
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