Anthony Joshua knocks out Povetkin to retain heavyweight titles
Anthony Joshua retains his heavyweight titles after a classy performance against a dangerous opposition in the shape of Russian Alexander Povetkin. The 28-year-old won the fight in the 7th round with a knock out, becoming the first fighter to beat Povetkin by KO.
Anthony Joshua delivered a catastrophic knockout in the seventh round to retain his world heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium against Alexander Povetkin. The unified heavyweight World champion holds three of the four major world championships; the IBF (International Boxing Federation) title and the WBA (World Boxing Association) titles he has held since 2016 and the WBO (World Boxing Organisation) title he won in March 2018.
The win gives Joshua a milestone record of 22 fights unbeaten in his industrious professional career. The Technical Knockout was Povetkin’s second defeat of his career but his first loss by Technical Knockout.
Alexander Povetkin was seen by many as Joshua’s most difficult challenge since his fight against Wladimir Klitschko. The 39-year old Russian showed his intentions early in the first round, bringing the fight to Joshua and almost caught him late in the first round with an uppercut straight to the nose.
The 28-year old answered back with great combinations and as the fight went on Joshua grew in confidence but played a waiting game. Joshua’s chance came in the seventh round when a powerful right hand connected with Povetkin’s jaw and the Russian fell to the canvas. The Russian beat the count to stand up and continue but Joshua sensed the fight was nearly over and landed with a savage left hook that sent his opponent staggering. Even if Povetkin hadn’t hit the floor, referee Steve Gray was poised to stop the fight. The bout was stopped one minute and 59 seconds into the seventh round.
The fight was a display of sheer power, intellect and strategy and Joshua’s victory sends a powerful message to his rivals in the heavyweight world. AJ revealed after the fight that he had been suffering with flu all week and had concerns over an injury to his right hand, making his achievement of becoming the first man to knock out Povetkin seem all the more impressive.
Who is next for Anthony Joshua?
As with any fight featuring Joshua, within seconds of the final bell the question asked was who would be next for the champion, who is scheduled to fight again in April next year. The likelihood is that Joshua will fight the winner of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, who are set to face each other in the ring on the 1st December, but Julian Whyte is also in the frame.
Wilder, who is the current WBC (World Boxing Council) champion, is the one that the fans are rooting to see. The American has an impressive record of 40 fights with 40 wins (39 by knockout) and has been the WBC Champion since 2015.
Joshua also stated that the 32-year old is his number one choice for the April fight. It is confirmed that there is already a signed contract sent to Wilder in regards to the fight and that the terms will be agreed if he wins the fight against Tyson Fury.
Another matchup that would prove to be box office gold would be Joshua facing former heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury.
Fury, who had a lot to say after the Saturday night fight in an Instagram video he posted, is desperate for a fight with Joshua. If Fury takes the WBC title off Wilder then it would be a unification fight for all four titles that would be on the line.
The third option for his next opponent is Dillian Whyte. Whyte was knocked out by Joshua when the pair met in 2005 but since then Whyte has been very vocal in his desire for a re-match. Whyte showed his ability with a fine performance against Joseph Parker in July. The 30-year-old has a record of 24 wins and just the Joshua defeat in his career.