Against one of his toughest opponents to date, Anthony Joshua gave more than 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium another impressive knockout victory.
Joshua defeated mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin by TKO in the seventh round to unify the WBA "super," WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles. It was Joshua's second main event fight at the London venue, nearly 18 months after defeating Wladimir Klitschko in front of a record crowd of 90,000.
The title bout started relatively well for Povetkin, who initially hurt Joshua early in the fight and even caused some bleeding from Joshua's nose. Joshua struggled in the first couple of rounds to establish the jab, but as the fight progressed, the champion got more comfortable.
Starting in the fourth round, Joshua let his hands go and fired away strong right hands that created a cut above Povetkin's left eye. Once the seventh round came, Joshua landed a right hand that stunned Povetkin and then Joshua knocked him down with a wicked left hand. After getting back up, Povetkin immediately was met with a barrage of punches from Joshua which sent the challenger tumbling down to the canvas once more and the referee had to put a stop to the fight.
Once Joshua was officially declared the winner, the focus then shifted to his next fight, scheduled to be another main event fight at Wembley Stadium in April 2019. No opponent has been named yet, but the hope around the boxing world that it would be against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who is defending his title against Tyson Fury on a pay-per-view event in December.
While Joshua would eventually go on to say Wilder would be his No. 1 choice for his opponent for the 2019 Wembley card, Joshua did not seem interested in talking about which fighter he could face next year. Joshua and Wilder originally agreed to terms on a fight earlier this year, but the fight fell through almost immediately afterwards. The WBA then ordered Joshua to face Povetkin or risk being stripped of the heavyweight title.
The fight was the first main event to be streamed live on DAZN in the United States after the steaming platform and Matchroom Boxing, which promotes Joshua, agreed to an eight-year broadcast deal worth up to $1 billion.