Dillian Whyte enjoyed a dominant performance against Lucas Browne, knocking his opponent out in the sixth round.
Whyte was in control during the opening few rounds, causing Browne plenty of problems. And he wrapped up the victory in the sixth round with an emphatic knockout, which left the Australian pinned to the floor.
A flurry of early KOs on the undercard meant lengthy gaps between fights.
Whyte lands a punch on the Australia in the first round on Saturday night as he dominated proceedings
Whyte caused Browne plenty of problems during the early stages of the heavyweight bout on the weekend
Browne receives a blow to the face following a brilliant right hook from Whyte on Saturday in the English capital
A turn-out of 8,000 had been predicted and the 02 did indeed look less than half full.
But many of those in attendance kept their peckers up in the bars while waiting for the two big men to make their entrances.
It made initially for an atmosphere more congenial than raucous as all waited in hope that patience would be rewarded by the promised Whyte and Browne slugfest.
The all-night running of the Tube on London’s party weekends has taken some of the angst out of the lateness of the hour for boxing on the Greenwich peninsula.
Even so, the audience needed some reinvigorating for the main event. Michael Buffer, the American granddaddy of ring announcers, was the man to get them Ready to Rumble.
That and the now-ritual karaoke chorusing of Sweet Caroline.
Big Daddy Browne came in to a smattering of jeers. Body Snatcher Whyte got a home town reception.
Browne was left bloodied up by Whyte as the latter dominated the fight from start to end
Whyte was in need of improvement on his previous outing, against Robert Hellenius, on Joshua’s first Cardiff undercard. The left jab did look to be in better working order and that was enough to give him a cagey first round.
The Whyte right hook came into play in the second and promptly opened up a cut by Browne’s right eye. As more came from that direction Browne tried to laugh off the punishment but he was much to slow to take evasive action.
With only the occasional exception of right from Browne, the one-way traffic continued in the third, with the eye worsening.
Browne was painfully ponderous and Whyte was hitting him at will now, with big lefts as well as rights. It already looks as if the Aussie’s only hope would be a one-shot knock out.
Promoter Eddie Hearn watches the fight alongside boxer Kell Brook as Whyte enjoyed an emphatic victory
29-year-old Whyte walks out to the ring prior to the fight in London on Saturday night
Browne’s was a mask of red, with blood flowing from his nose, mouth and cheek as well as that left eye. Whyte continued to work him over but Big Daddy was nothing if not tough, strong and extremely courageous.
There was already a case for a stoppage but Whyte took that duty out of the referee’s hands at the onset of the sixth. Another unanswered barrage of blows culminated in a murderous left hook which sent his challenger plunging head first to the canas and in need of urgent medical attention.
The medics sent for a stretcher but after several minutes Browe waved it away and sat up talking. There was relief all round as he was final able to walk back to his corner.
Announcer Michael Buffer addresses the excited crowd prior to Whyte’s bout with the 38-year-old