Published: Mon, September 24, 2018

Anthony Joshua KOs Alexander Povetkin in thriller to retain world heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua KOs Alexander Povetkin in thriller to retain world heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua returned to top form last night as he knocked out Alexander Povetkin in the seventh round of the heavyweight title bout at Wembley Stadium.

The 39-year-old Povetkin, like Joshua an Olympic gold medallist, had previously lost only to Klitschko and over the distance when the great Ukrainian was at his peak.

But even if Fury defeats Wilder on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Joshua would still want to fight the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion.

"We have to fight, it would be silly not to" Joshua told reporters after inflicting the first stoppage-loss of Povetkin's professional career.

Povetkin remained risky with his left hook and overhand right, but Joshua increasingly gained control through his jab and in the sixth landed a short right hand from close range that the Russian did well to shrug off. Two failed doping tests in 2016 cost Povetkin a crack at Wilder, but he looked risky when he knocked out Joshua's fellow Briton David Price in March.

Athens 2004 Olympic super-heavyweight champion Povetkin was caught with a shot above the eye that caused a nasty cut - but the Russian remained a risky threat throughout. While his hooks were less successful, a sneaky overhand right was a highlight.

With Povetkin then unable to defend himself from another hurtful barrage referee Steve Gray intervened to rescue him from further punishment after one minute and 59 seconds, when Povetkin's corner were also attempting to withdraw him.

Povetkin's career has been marred by failed drug tests, but after finishing up a drug suspension a year ago, Povetkin returned to form, knocking out David Price in his last fight to become the mandatory challenger to Joshua's title. There's a lot of room for all of these heavyweights.

"That's all just respect, you good from amateur, very consistent. I'm Incredibly proud of this man for a performance that had so much pressure on to get the victory today".

It was not until the seventh round that Joshua picked off a tiring Povetkin and delivered a brutal finish.

Anthony Joshua opened a poll for his next opponent on Sunday and within minutes had nearly 60,000 votes.

Joshua told talkSPORT: "You have to give him credit".

"If Wilder is not serious, there's other people out there". This camp has been hard.

"I knew he was weak to the head, it could have took seven, nine maybe ten rounds but all my goal tonight was to be successful".

"Through hard work is the only way you can succeed", he said. He showed he has got guts and guile and heart, and that he can demolish the most stubborn and the most doughty of opponents.

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