Exciting heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua produced another impressive display to defeat Michael Sprott inside 90 seconds at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
The Olympic gold medal winner from London 2012 was looking for his 10th stoppage win from as many fights as a pro and he duly made short work of the 39-year-old veteran.
Sprott tried to start on the front foot, but he was in big trouble as soon as the 25-year-old Joshua connected with a straight right. Joshua sensed a quick victory and ruthlessly closed in on Sprott, launching a series of blows as the former Prizefighter winner stepped back against the ropes. Left-right combinations were being thrown relentlessly by Joshua at this point and the referee had little choice but to call a halt to proceedings.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that Joshua’s next fight is likely to be against American heavyweight Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson at the O2 on January 31.
Describing Joshua, Hearn said: “He's had nine fights, but when he backs you onto the ropes, he's ruthless. We'll take on Kevin Johnson in January and he will be ready to face anyone in the country next summer.”
Joshua added: “I'm glad to get the year out of the way, it's been a busy one.
“He wanted to carry on and so did I. I love this city, these fans are amazing. “Kevin Johnson is durable and he's got a lot of experience, and quite a lot of mouth, so it should be a fun one.”
Carl Froch watched the fight and heaped praise on Joshua, who was heading back to his changing room for pad work after such an early finish. “I know Anthony very well, he'll go on to win world titles,” said the super-middleweight world champion on Sky Sports Box Office.
“Michael is nearing the end of his career, but when was the last time you saw such a specimen in the heavyweight division as Anthony?
“He unloads so impressively and tenaciously, it's perfect. Matching him up is a nightmare. Everyone loves him and rightly so. What a fine fighter and person he is, he's the full package.”