Sunday 14 September 2014 07:49, UK
Heavyweight Anthony Joshua continued his perfect start to the professional ranks by halting Konstantin Airich in three rounds in Manchester.
The Olympic gold medallist gave another explosive display of his punch power as Airich was floored in the third before referee Steve Gray stepped in, signalling an eighth straight stoppage for Joshua.
He began to find his range in the opening round, landing his long jab to keep the experienced Kazakh on the back foot.
Joshua then stepped up the pace in the opening seconds of the next round, shaking his opponent with a huge left hook before unloading some crunching combinations.
For the first time in his paid career the 24-year-old was forced to come out for the third round, but he soon had his opponent in trouble.
A big right hand hurt Airich and a combination left him sprawling on the ropes as Joshua continued to land late shots before Gray intervened with a standing count.
Following a ticking-off from the official, the Watford-born fighter landed a flurry of punches which soon brought a halt to proceedings.
“Just taking my time with things no rush, picking shots and enjoying it” Joshua told Sky Sports afterwards.
“It’s all about experience at this level. We are stepping up so there’s no point in rushing things and doing the same old thing like four or five fights ago.
Some shots that I hit him with, some opponents that I’ve boxed, no disrespect, would have gone out in the second but he stood up and took some good shots.
“I wanted to go eight rounds because he’s durable. Some shots that I hit him with, some opponents that I’ve boxed, no disrespect, would have gone out in the second but he stood up and took some good shots.
“But it’s only a matter of time in boxing if you keep getting hit by big shots and that’s what I was doing, changing the angle, changing the power of my shots and I caught him with a peach of a punch.”