Britain’s Anthony Joshua (9-0, 9KO’s) can only be described as a heavyweight juggernaut smashing his way through every opponent he steps in between the ropes with right now. After only nine fights as a professional and a steady rise in competition for the 6’6″ Watford man, it appears the world is his oyster.
His latest casualty, Russia’s Denis Bakhtov (38-10, 25KO’s), suffered the same concussive fate as eight others previous to him this Saturday evening, ultimately crumbling under the immense successive shots from the reigning Olympic heavyweight champion.
Bakhtov definitely came for a fight, however “Darth Vader” quickly realized that even after 47 fights and a career that has span fifteen years, he could still be over-matched and still be way out of his depth.
It literally took seconds for Joshua to stamp his dominance on his opponent during the first round. Landing with a crisp right hand-come hook, Joshua startled his onrushing opponent drawing big gasps from the crowd and a nod of acknowledgement from his shorter foe. Round one had finished and with it “AJ” had had arguably the best 180 seconds of his short pro career.
Instructed by experienced trainer Tony Sims to step up his level again during the second stanza, Joshua obliged and soon Bakhtov appeared to have already had enough. After successive strong jabs, Joshua had pinned his Russian counterpart up against the ropes and started to unleash heavy blows. Referee Ian John-Lewis appeared to interject to stop the contest but he just wanted to break the fighters apart from an apparent clench.
Once both fighters had been separated, Joshua stepped back in for the kill and after nearly half a dozen unanswered punches the referee had seen enough, calling a halt to the action one minute into the second round.
After the contest Joshua said, “I really enjoy it [the fight]. The training is so hard so at fight time I get a couple of days rest. We are in phase two now so it’s time to step things up and this were the spiteful work is coming into it.
It only went two rounds but I just wanted to hurt him, that’s the main thing. I could have boxed but I wanted to work on my inside game. He hasn’t been stopped in nine years so I wanted to see what he could take. He’s a strong guy but I just wanted to make light work of him really. One step at a time. Year one we went from Emmanuele Leo to Bakhtov here; phase two we can see where we are going.”
Quizzed upon the current world rankings he said, “I don’t look too much into that. My job is to come out here and put on a show for the people who have come to watch. I’ve got to go in the back now and do thirty minutes on the pads. I was scheduled for ten rounds tonight so I’ve got to go and make up for it.”
“That was phenomenal”, said promoter Eddie Hearn. “He gets better and better. He’s such a down to earth guy, such a role model. It’s such a great opportunity for British boxing to have someone like Anthony Joshua. He is going to go through absolutely everybody in the heavyweight division and he can be as humble as he likes, but I wont be.”
He continued, “This has got to be the most special individual, special fighter in a long time. He is going to clean up throughout the entire heavyweight division. By the end of phase two he will be ready for the real one of those [pointing to the fringe WBC title Joshua had just won]. He will be ranked #15 by the WBC and the WBA have just installed him as #15 as well.
Every other sanctioning body is going to want him in their rankings because he is an absolute superstar of not just boxing, but of sport. The whole country needs to get behind him because hes impressive. Joshua versus Price next year is massive, David is a great great fighter and it’s going to be special.”