Charles Martin and Anthony Joshua officially announced their April 9 fight at the O2 Arena in London on Friday, with Martin set to defend his recently-won IBF heavyweight title against the hugely popular 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
Martin (23-0-1, 21 KO) won the vacant title by beating Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov on January 16 in Brooklyn, when Glazkov was forced to retire from the fight in the third round due to a knee injury. He immediately searched for the biggest fight he could find, and Joshua (15-0, 15 KO) was the answer.
"I'll be here April 9th to put on a show and show everybody why I'm the heavyweight champion of the world, and why I'll remain the heavyweight champion of the world," he said. "Period. Ain't nobody taking this from me. This is my baby. In the right hands."
Martin then aimed his comments at Joshua directly.
"This man right here, Olympic gold medalist. But I don't think he's ready," Martin said of his opponent. "I don't think that's enough for what I'm bringing April 9th. A lot of power. A lot of power."
Martin added, "I'm gonna win these fans over here. He's a big hype job over here, and I'm coming to take his fans. I'm coming to win the fans over here in London. Me, personally, I think he's too smart for his own good. I ain't really with all the talking, so you guys will able to find out what (my fists) are about April 9th."
"I have to give credit to Charles Martin as the heavyweight champion of the world for stating he wanted to fight myself," Joshua said. "It'll just be another unbelievable night of boxing, and I think it'll be another game-changing night of boxing, something we can all remember, and God willing, I can get the win.
"I'm someone that the people will stay behind, they're behind me already, and follow me for my career. I think April 9th will be a massive night of entertainment. Me and Charles Martin, two big guys, undefeated. Let's push the belt to one side; you've got two hungry fighters bringing old school boxing back. We're not scared to fight. We go to war. We can box, we can dodge, we can stick and move, or we can get drawn into the trenches and slug it out, and it'll be the first man to go down, and the last man standing goes out with the belt."
Joshua said of his career path, "The road that was laid out for me when I started boxing was always a fast-tracked road. Even going to, like, the European Championships, World Championships, Olympic championships, I had to kind of take myself away from how big the event was.
"It's the same as a professional. I'm here now. Same attitude, same ring, different opponent, but the same goal. The objective is to win and capture the rewards that come with it."