Anthony Joshua to fight Charles Martin for IBF title

Anthony Joshua
Joshua has 15 knockouts from 15 professional fights

Britain's Anthony Joshua will fight reigning champion Charles Martin for the IBF world heavyweight title at London's O2 Arena on 9 April.

American Martin, 29, has won 23 and drawn one of his 24 fights and beat Vyacheslav Glazkov for the vacant IBF belt in January.

Joshua, 26, most recently beat Dillian Whyte with a seventh-round knockout to claim the British heavyweight title.

The Olympic champion has 15 knockouts from 15 professional fights.

Tyson Fury was stripped of the IBF title after he opted for a rematch against Glazkov's Ukrainian compatriot Wladimir Klitschko, who he beat in November, rather than face the mandatory challenger.

On 10 February, Fury namedexternal-link Martin alongside WBC title-holder Deontay Wilder and Klitschko as three boxers he wanted to fight in 2016.

Fury, who holds the WBA and WBO belts, has threatened to quit boxing but is set to face Klitschko in a mandatory rematch in May or June.

Charles Martin
Martin is unbeaten in 24 professional fights, winning 23

Prior to the Whyte fight, Joshua had recorded 14 straight knockouts in the first three rounds.

Over his 15 bouts, he has accrued only 32 rounds of experience, seven of which came against Whyte.

"Fighting for the heavyweight world title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional," said Joshua, who won gold at the London Olympics.

"I feel privileged to have the opportunity to turn that dream into reality. Martin is a great fighter and a hungry competitor so I am going to have to produce the performance of my career to claim that belt."

The fight will be Martin's first bout outside of the US and he has threatened to "knock out" Joshua.

He said: "I'm coming to the UK to make a statement that I am the best heavyweight in the world and no-one is taking my title.

"I'm world champion, so that doesn't mean just sit back and make easy defences in the US. It means facing the biggest challenges out there."