Anthony Joshua vs Charles Martin confirmed for April 9 on Sky Sports Box Office
Last Updated: 16/03/16 4:21pm
Anthony Joshua will challenge Charles Martin for the IBF world heavyweight title at The O2 on April 9, live on Sky Sports Box Office, it has been confirmed.
Martin (23-0-1-KO21) travels to England to make the first defence of the title that he won in Brooklyn in January against Vyacheslav Glazkov. It will be the unbeaten American's first fight outside the United States.
Joshua (15-0-KO15) has quickly turned The O2 into his boxing fortress, with five of his 15 victories coming at the London venue, including his last outing where he added the British title to his Commonwealth strap with a seventh round stoppage of bitter rival Dillian Whyte.
Charles Martin is a great fighter and a hungry competitor so I am going to have to produce the performance of my career to claim that belt.
"Fighting for the heavyweight world title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional," said Joshua. "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 and live on Sky Sports is unbelievably exciting.
"Charles Martin is a great fighter and a hungry competitor so I am going to have to produce the performance of my career to claim that belt."
Martin said: "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.
"I'm world champion, so that doesn't mean just sit back and make easy defences in the US, it means facing the biggest challenges out there. I respect Anthony Joshua and everything he has accomplished, but on April 9 he's getting knocked out."
Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua's promoter, said: "Life is all about taking opportunities and when the chance to become heavyweight champion of the world presented itself, there was no holding Anthony back.
"He wants to give the fans something to get excited about and he wants to become a great, and even though the decision among the team took a week or so, I believe his mind was already made up from the moment I asked him. It's a complete honour to promote an event of this magnitude. I believe it's one that will go down in the history of the sport."