Joshua's second coming delivers the knockout goods

On Saturday, Melton Mowbray's Paul Butlin (14-20) lasted a minute longer than Italian Emmanuelle Leo (8-1) did against fast-rising heavyweight star Anthony Joshua MBE (2-0). The Olympic Gold medalist delivered the knockout goods at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield - a place he considers a second home, having spent many hours with Team GB at the Steel City's Institute of Sport.

Before the fight, the experienced Butlin said: “I think it is madness him facing somebody like me in his second pro fight. On the other side, I think Eddie Hearn is making a statement and being a Gold medalist you should be able to make those statements. You are the best in the world as an amateur, and turning pro you should still have that pedigree.”

The statement was made. Joshua, (16st 8lbs 7oz) jabbed away powerfully and launched single right hands which had Butlin (16st 11lbs 14oz) covering up on the ropes a minute into the fight. When Butlin sneaked in a right hook in hold, Joshua returned the compliment, and Butlin was kept away for the rest of the round. Joshua increased activity in the last twenty seconds, but Butlin had made it past the first - comfortably enough, but always in danger from Joshua's clubbing shots.

Joshua delivered the fight ending punches with ruthless speed and accuracy. A left hook-right hand floored Butlin and bust his face up half a minute into the second. The Leicestershire man is tough, was up quickly, and judged OK to carry on by referee Howard John Foster, but looked in very bad shape. It was waved off fifty seconds into the round.

All smiles, Joshua told Sky Sports after the fight: "The guy (Butlin) is a tough guy. I like someone who comes to fight, who is game, and that's what he did.

"Boxing isn't complicated - you've got two arms and you've got to find a way to knock them out."

Joshua's got three more fights racked up this year's is out.  On Nov 14, he headlines the famous York Hall, supported by an International Prizefighter line-up that includes 45 year old legend James Toney and UK heavyweights Sam Sexton and Larry Olubamiwo.

The week after that, he's on the Carl Froch v George Groves undercard in Manchester on November 23. And in what will be Matchroom's Christmas Cracker, Joshua will box on December 14 in London.

Next year, matching the Olympic champion will be difficult. It will be interesting to see which, if any, domestic opponents might be given the opportunity. A British title shot towards at the end of next year certainly isn't beyond the realms of possibility. I'd expect to see Joshua in with the likes of Sexton or Big John McDermott sooner, rather than later.


Crolla V Murray

A lot of people consider the lightweight bout taking place in Manchester this weekend between Anthony Crolla (27-4-1) and John Murray (32-2) to be a very close call indeed. The contest, in UK's second biggest city on Easter Weekend, is for the WBO lightweight Inter-continental title, but the significance of the result means more than the marginal title as it will put them a step closer to a world title fight. Even if this isn't immediately forthcoming, the division is stacked in Britain, and can throw up some massive domestic scraps.

Fight Reports

Crag Whyatt v Ben Moorish, Camden Centre, 11th April

Last Friday at the Camden Centre, Morden super featherweight Craig Whyatt (7-1) liquidated Plymouth’s Ben Morrish (3-8-2) in the first round to bag the Masters Bronze super featherweight belt. This was scheduled for eight, but when Morrish tried to turn it into a brawl he quickly came off second best after Jeff Hinds halted proceedings following his third knockdown.