Another heavyweight fight for the ages, and what a night at the national football stadium as Anthony Joshua finished Alexander Povetkin in a dramatic seventh round to retain his three world heavyweight titles. Twenty-22 fights, 22 victories.
Afterwards Joshua identified his ideal next three fights. “In order, I’d like Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and then Dillian Whyte,” said the 28-year-old, who retained his WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles.
Having been rocked by the Russian’s hooks at the end of the first round, leaving his nose broken and bloodied, Joshua was acutely aware of the danger of the older, more experienced challenger. Yet after taking Povetkin’s best shots, his left hook straight right-hand combination twice buckled Povetkin and sent him to the canvas. The Russian climbed groggily to his feet, but Joshua took him to task a second time, crumpling him like clothes falling into a suitcase for a second time.
As predicted, Povetkin was always going to be dangerous but as Joshua grew in confidence, and finished in style. Heavyweight boxing is about knockouts and he was brutal in delivering it.
Joshua had emerged into the stadium in that white robe, aping Muhammad Ali, looking so relaxed. He raised a white-gloved hand to friends and family sitting ringside, shadowboxed his way to the ring on a hydraulic lift, the biggest commercial commodity in the sport. The big roar went up. Spumes of fire exploded around him ub this is now a familiar walk, soundtracked to the chant of ‘O, Anthon-eeee Joshu-ua’.
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