Boxing - A clinical professional debut from Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua MBE's professional debut went exactly according to plan at the O2 Arena.

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Boxing - A clinical professional debut from Anthony Joshua
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A clinical professional debut from Anthony Joshua

The Olympic Gold medalist bullied unbeaten Italian Emanuele Leo (now 8-1) and connected with several right hands which sent him down and out thirteen seconds inside the first round.

Entering the ring at around 11.40pm, Joshua focused his eyes on target Leo throughout the introductions. When the action got underway, a quick, powerful jab and two sharp right hands landed that shortened the odds on a first round knockout even further.

It has to be mentioned that Joshua (16st 6lbs 12oz) did bend the rules on a couple of occasions. Referee Ian John Lewis very nearly copped it when Joshua launched a cheeky swipe at Leo (16st 6lbs 8oz) during a break. He was also guilty of holding and hitting, but can be forgiven on his debut. After watching the replay, he'll probably decide to keep these tricks in reserve for when he needs them.

Leo made an Italian gesture to the referee while in retreat and got through with a couple of speculative shots while under attack, but Joshua walked through these to land four consecutive punches on Leo's chin, the last of which sent him crashing down. Ian John Lewis waved it off at 2.47, and quickly removed Leo's gumshield. He received oxygen in the corner as a precaution.

Joshua told Sky Sports' Adam Smith after the fight: "I'm really happy with my performance. Every time I step into the ring, it's as important as an Olympic final. I've got to take my career serious. This is my pro debut - there's only one pro debut and we ended it in spectacular fashion.

"The little gloves felt really good. It's feels like the real deal. It takes about 30 minutes to get your hands properly wrapped, slip my hands into these tight, small gloves and its two guys coming out with their heart on their sleeves, trading. I really enjoyed it."

Joshua is already being tagged as the 'Future People's Champion'. He does possess attributes that could see him become the heavyweight division's next truly global superstar - the Bruno-esque physique of a Marvel super hero, charm, good looks, respect, eloquence. None of the aforementioned actually help you win fights, but they'll certainly help make money if put to use.

As for the attributes that do help win fights, on his debut, Joshua showed off a powerful jab, sound footwork, fast, heavy hands and a spiteful, mischievous side not immediately apparent in his out-of-the-ring character, but which will do his chances inside the ring no harm at all if called upon.

He will need a good chin, and he'll need to be able to do 12 rounds (probably) and it's likely that we won't see concrete evidence of this for a couple of years, but in the meantime, watching his progress will be exciting. He will next appear on the undercard of Kell Brook v  Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on October 26.

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