Anthony Joshua: Eddie Hearn tips heavyweight for stardom

Anthony Joshua
"The 'L' plates will come off when I face tougher opponents," said Joshua

Anthony Joshua is the future "heavyweight champion of the world", according to his promoter Eddie Hearn after a devastating second-round stoppage of American Kevin Johnson.

Johnson, 35, had never previously been stopped in 36 paid fights which included meetings with Vitali Klitschko, Manuel Charr and Tyson Fury.

"Anthony is going to beat every single heavyweight in the world," said Hearn. "We have a chance for a heavyweight to fly the flag for Great Britain and let's all enjoy the journey."

Joshua, 25, has an unblemished record from his 13 fights in the paid ranks and has never been stretched beyond the third round.

The London 2012 gold medallist could fight fellow Brits David Price or Dereck Chisora next, with Hearn keen on scheduling a fight in July in Manchester and then 12 September back at the O2 Arena where he demolished Johnson.

He battered the veteran for a round and a half and had him down twice - albeit only once officially - before the inevitable end came.

Anthony Joshua
Joshua appeared so comfortable during the fight that he had plenty of time to smile

Superlative performance

Joshua said he was in "beast" mode against a fighter who labelled him a "big baby" in the pre-fight build-up.

"This is what it is about," he said. "I have travelled about so many places but the O2 is my home and it is filling up more and more every time.

"This is what I am here to do. My coach really drills me in the gym and it is only right the hard work pays off.

"It shows I have the power but there were times when I was on the inside that I could have been more explosive. So far so good, but in the back of my mind I know it's going to get tougher."

'The future's Joshua'

BBC Radio 5 live's Steve Bunce was watching Joshua from ringside, and he too believes Joshua can continue to impress in the heavyweight division.

"We've seen the future and the future is Anthony Joshua," he said.

"If we were watching this in the early hours of the morning from the United States we'd be getting very excited.

"I don't want the post mortem to say Johnson was too old and too fat. I thought he would go the distance. The look on Johnson's face was one of shock."