Anthony Joshua retains world titles with brutal knockout of Alexander Povetkin
Anthony Joshua emerged as the victor, but it was far from easy.
The unified heavyweight world champion Joshua has retained his four belts after a gruelling seven-round mandatory title defence against veteran Russian Alexander Povetkin.
The fight, held at Wembley Stadium, was a sell-out affair carried out in front of a raucous crowd. Surprisingly for some, the bout was initially closer to Joshua's Wembley victory over Wladimir Klitschko than it was to March title defence against Joseph Parker of New Zealand.
Povetkin started the stronger of the two, landing some crucial blows and causing Joshua to bleed heavily from the nose with a shot that left the Watford-native wobbling.
After struggling in the first two rounds, Joshua took control of the fight in the third, and as the rounds wore on it became increasingly clear that there was only going to be one winner.
After taking that early blow to the nose, Joshua returned the favour later, causing a cut above the Russian's eye which left him struggling to see clearly from his left eye.
A stunning left hook in the seventh round left Povetkin visibly shaken, and Joshua smelled blood.
After knocking Povetkin to the ground, Joshua waited for the referee to complete his count - which the 39-year-old survived - before immediately setting on him and ending the fight in spectacular fashion.
Very very sorry for this punishment... I apologise on behalf of my home boy JOSHUA... pic.twitter.com/Jr3YdNsejv
— Dele Momodu Ovation (@DeleMomodu) September 23, 2018
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) September 22, 2018