English heavyweight boxing phenom Anthony Joshua (7-0, 7 KO) continued his hit parade with a second-round knockout over journeyman Matt Skelton (28-9) in Echo Arena, Liverpool, Mersyside, England on Saturday.
Sky Sports Boxing tweeted the result:
Ferocious 2nd round KO for @anthonyfjoshua but Matt Skelton asked some questions in there tonight!— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) July 12, 2014
Joshua—who has picked up three of his six wins in the first round—wasn't quite able to get things going in the first round. Skelton played the role of wily veteran at first, grabbing onto his opponent and forcing him to create distance.
However, no amount of clinching can get an opponent out of boxing eventually. A big overhand right at the end of the first round ultimately signaled the beginning of the end for Skelton.
The disparity in talent was much more obvious in the second round. Joshua scored a knockdown with a massive right early in the round, but Skelton showed his toughness by beating the 10-count.
But toughness can only take a fighter so far once things have gone downhill. Joshua's power proved to be too much. The dominant heavyweight methodically picked at Skelton before landing a big left that sent him to the ropes and drew the stoppage from the referee.
Fraser Dainton of Sky Sports summed up the performance nicely for Joshua:
Another massive knockout from Anthony Joshua, as Matt Skelton goes down in 2. This kid has frightening talent.— Fraser Dainton (@SkySportsFraser) July 12, 2014
This result is hardly a surprise. As a former Olympic gold medalist, Joshua has plenty of hype surrounding him. This victory just expands the list of names he's knocked out within the first two rounds by one.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn believes that fans are witnessing the development of a future heavyweight champion, per Sky Sports:
I'm just so excited because you're seeing the evolution of the future world heavyweight champion, I've got no doubt about that whatsoever. Anthony Joshua is a humble lad, he's 100 percent dedicated to the sport, he's a great role model for kids and he's going all the way believe me.
It should be noted that Skelton has a little more experience than Joshua's previous opponents. The 47-year-old had fought the likes of David Price and Ruslan Chagaev in his career.
Still, this bout served to put Joshua's skills on display. There's no denying that the 24-year-old has all the tools to be a star in the heavyweight division. However, there comes a time when those skills have to be put to the test.
Skelton wasn't the opponent to do that, but the win puts Joshua one step closer to finally testing his skills against a worthy opponent.