Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua returned to the Wembley Stadium to give his fans yet another spectacular performance by defeating former gold Olympic medalist Alexander Povetkin by way of TKO in the seventh round.
Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) wobbled the Russian heavyweight with a right hand before sending him to the canvas for the first time with a left and right hook combination. Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) displayed amazing heart as he got up and chose to continue before being put down once again as the referee intervened.
Povetkin however, did not go down as easy as most fans initially speculated. Since the starting bell, he worked Joshua with his dangerous left hook and seemed to overwhelm the champion in the early rounds. The 39-year-old former champion stunned and wobbled Joshua on two occasions and caused his nose to bleed for several rounds.
After the fifth round, Joshua showed he had adapted and looked more confident as he came forward, even appearing relieved when he saw Povetkin hurt. Joshua showed immense sportsmanship by holding Povetkin’s arm up high along with his after announced the winner.
Though Joshua appeared pleased with his performance, as always, a lot fans on the internet didn’t seem impressed with his performance and claimed it was an expected victory against an “old” challenger.
The “Bronze Bomber” fans in the Xicana Boxing Instagram were also quick to criticize Joshua’s performance, claiming if the “old” Povetkin hurt Joshua early on, Wilder would destroy him with his dominant right hand.
What Wilder fan’s fail to recognize, however, is that Wilder too defeated an “old” contender in Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, who also wobbled Wilder before suffering a devastating knockout. Of course one could argue Ortiz is in the elite level, yet Povetkin, as mentioned before, was an Olympic medalist, which is prestigious on its own. Both Povetkin and Ortiz have been under fire for testing positive for PEDs in the past, which proves they served as similar challenges for both heavyweight champions.
Wilder supposedly sent Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn 50 million dollars to fight Joshua, yet negotiations fell through with both fighters blaming each other, but none actually showing receipts. Wilder since has moved on to negotiate with lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who he will face on Dec. 1 either in Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
In his post-fight interview, Joshua said he’d fight whoever the fans would like him to, which most boxing enthusiast obvious answer would be the winner of Wilder vs. Fury. Joshua has the Wembley Stadium reserved for April 13, which gives the fans hope he’s serious about an undisputed bout with the WBC champion.
“I don’t want to talk no more about it,” Joshua said. “There’s no contract signed at the moment, so my number one would be Wilder. And then, that’s it. Let me not talk about number two, number three. That’s it.”
In the co-main event, lightweight southpaw Luke Campbell (19-2, 15 KOs) defeated fight veteran Yvan “The Lion” Mendy (40-5-1, 19 KOs) in a comfortable unanimous decision to become the WBC mandatory for the four-division world champion Mikey Garcia. Whether Garcia chooses to defend his belt against the British contender or vacates to chase a mega-fight with welterweight champion Errol Spence is still to be known by fans. Though Campbell suffered a loss to “El Niño de Oro” Jorge Linares last year, he has then come back with impressive wins which makes him an exciting contender against the current Mexican champion.