It took just 134 seconds for Anthony Joshua to stop Hector Avila on Saturday. It’s little wonder the heavyweight has been tipped to “go all the way” by promoter Eddie Hearn.
Avila had taken Finchley fighter Dereck Chisora to nine rounds a little under a year ago but was blown away by Joshua in the first round.
The Argentine fighter attempted to connect with a punch but was caught by a powerful blow from Joshua.
Avila hit the canvas and the referee started to count before it was evident the fight was over.
Joshua, who trained at Finchley ABC prior to turning professional, is unbeaten with five victories but has yet to go beyond two rounds.
The 24-year-old believes there are stronger tests to come and says 2014 will be an interesting year in his fledging professional career.
“There’s definitely an improvement from my last fight, and that’s what I was looking for,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “It was clear to see there have been some improvements in me. As the opponents get better, we want to keep on doing that.
“When people are knocking guys out there are always questions about whether they can go the distance. Everyone trains hard in the gym, but I think mentally I’m ready to go six, eight (rounds).
“This is my last six-rounder and the opponents are going to get tougher.
“This is going to be an interesting year and there will be a time when you see me go past two (rounds). I bet you, I’ll be fine.”
Joshua will be back in the ring on April 19 on the undercard to Scott Quigg’s world title defence in Manchester.
His opponent has yet to be named but Hearn admits it is increasing difficult to hold back the London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner.
“He’s progressing,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “People will criticise the opponent but he (Avila) went nine rounds with Chisora.
“It’s about showcasing Anthony Joshua all around the country. To see him walk out to that reception was incredible – that’s why we love coming here so much.
“He’s going all the way. We’ve got a problem in that I think he’s ready for the division now. But we’ve got to keep progressing, keep learning. But right there, you’ve got something very special.”
Hearn hinted that Joshua’s next bout could be against a British fighter but the promoter didn’t rule out another opponent from overseas.
“We hoped Avila would give him some rounds,” he added. “We will look abroad, look internationally. The names of Michael Sprott and (Matt) Skelton have all been put in the mix. They’re perfect for Anthony next. Then we will look at a British title in the next six months. We’ve got to do it right.”