World champion Anthony Joshua proves a big hit

Anthony Joshua at Hedworth Hall.

Anthony Joshua at Hedworth Hall.

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New world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua delivered another knock-out performance in the region tonight.

In winning the IBF title last weekend, Joshua joined Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks as the only men to be professional heavyweight world champions while still the reigning Olympic champion.

This evening the 26-year-old was again the star of the show when he appeared before 200 fans.

He was at the Hedworth Hall to take part in a talk-in event - less than a week after he lifted the title by defeating American Charles Martin in less than two rounds.

His win was just one of the topics boxing fans were keen to find out more about as they packed out the venue in Dean Road, South Shields.

The Watford-born boxer follows all-time boxing greats Sugar Ray and Larry Holmes who have appeared at the Hedworth Hall in recent years.

Speaking to the Gazette at the event, Joshua, who has won all 16 professional fights with knockouts said: “I had been working hard and it was expected that I would win and we achieved that, I’d worked hard and I wasn’t expecting to lose.

“If you can out class the champ by working hard, that’s what it’s all about.

“I wasn’t disappointed the fight didn’t last longer - it’s not about playing games”

Joshua feels he is just at the beginning of what he hopes to be a long career in the ring and hails Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno as his role models.

He said those looking to carve their own careers out in the ring need to train hard and stay focused.

He said: “Look at boxing, look at your life and figure out what it is you want. If you want it then work hard and stay focused.”

As well as now holding the IBF World heavyweight belt, the man who won the Olympic gold medal on London is also the current Commonwealth, British and WBC International heavyweifht champion.

Manager of the Hedworth Hall Carl Mowatt said: “Following last week’s fight, the phone has never stopped.

“There has been such a buzz leading up to the event and last night the atmosphere was just electric.

“To be able to attract such high calibre sporting stars like Anthony Joshue to the Hedworth Hall is amazing.

He added: “It’s great that we are able to bring big name stars to the area to enable fans the chance to meet and see their sporting idols. “To be able to welcome the current IBF champion of the world to our venue was an absolute honour.”

Read more: http://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/world-champion-anthony-joshua-is-a-big-hit-in-south-shields-1-7856424#ixzz45vNlHDZP