Anthony Joshua challenges for Charles Martin’s IBF World title in London on April 9.

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua MBE will challenge Charles Martin for the IBF World Heavyweight title at The O2 in London on April 9.

Martin travels to England to make the first defence of the title that he landed in Brooklyn in January against Vyacheslav Glazkov, and the unbeaten Californian puts the belt on the line in his first fight outside the States.

“Fighting for the Heavyweight World title has been a dream of mine since I turned professional,” said Joshua.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to turn that dream in to reality. Not only that, having the chance to fight for it in my home town at The O2 and live on Sky Sports is unbelievably exciting.

“Charles 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.”

And Martin is also looking forward to the clash.

“I told my Team I wanted the best challenger possible for my first defence and Anthony Joshua’s name kept coming up.

“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.

“I respect Joshua and everything he has accomplished, but on April 9 he’s getting knocked out.”

Eddie Hearn - Joshua’s promoter - says this is a fight they could not turn down.

“Life is all about taking opportunities and when the chance to become Heavyweight of the world presented itself, there was no holding Anthony back.

“He wants to give the fans something to get excited about and he wants to become a great and even though the decision among the team took a week or so, I believe his mind was already made up from the moment I asked him. It’s a complete honour to promote an event of this magnitude. I believe it’s one that will go down in the history of the sport.”