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.


Derry Mathews

It can be rather strenuous watching a Derry Mathews fight. Like a penalty shootout in football, a Mathew’s fight squeezes enough drama, tension, and unpredictability into a short duration so his popularity and fight frequency is rightfully high. Next up for the Liverpool veteran is another chance at domestic glory as Walsall’s Martin Gethin put his Lonsdale lightweight belt on the line at the Liverpool Olympia on May 10th.

Fight Reports

Brentwood’s ‘Smokin’ Joe Mullender (6-1) got back on track with a close points win over Peckham’s Diego Burton (4-4-1) over ten rounds at the York Hall on Saturday. It was a belter of a fight on a slightly smaller than usual Goodwin bill, partly due to 'Flash' Ashley Sexton not making weight again (more on this later) and 'Big Dog' AJ Carter’s opponent, who reportedly turned up with Evo-Stick holding his mooey in place.