Anthony Joshua defeated Denis Bakhtov in impressive fashion
Anthony Joshua has claimed the WBC International heavyweight title after a second-round stoppage of Denis Bakhtov at the O2 Arena.
The 24-year-old Brit is one of the most exciting prospects in the world of boxing and he enhanced his reputation with an extremely impressive display.
Joshua, who won Olympic gold at London 2012, has now won all nine of his professional fights and none of his opponents have lasted more than three rounds.
The experienced Bakhtov was expected to provide a sterner test than Joshua had faced to date but he simply could not cope with the younger man, who was in total control throughout.
Joshua looked like he might win in the first round at one point as Bakhtov found himself backed up against the ropes and on the receiving end of a sustained barrage of punches.
The Russian bravely survived but required treatment at the interval between rounds as a nasty cut had opened above his left eye.
Joshua attacked again as soon as the second round began and it became clear the end of the fight was inevitable, although Bakhtov showed incredible heart to remain on his feet.
The referee allowed the fight to continue after it initially looked like he had to stop the bout but he was forced to step in again, this time for good, just seconds later, as Joshua unleashed another relentless series of blows.
The straight right did all the damage but the spitefiulness that had him smiling with enjoyment as he finished Bakhtov off, was perhaps something we hadn't seen before.
Joshua's victory came just a minute into the second round and it was the first time the 34-year-old Bakhtov had been stopped legitimately in nine years.