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On this day in 2018: Anthony Joshua defeats Alexander Povetkin to retain belts

On this day in 2018: Anthony Joshua defeats Alexander Povetkin to retain belts
© Reuters
The British fighter forced a seventh-round stoppage, having knocked his Russian opponent down twice.

Anthony Joshua defended his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles with victory over Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on this day in 2018.

The British fighter retained his belts with a seventh-round stoppage, having knocked his Russian opponent down twice.

Joshua, who claimed his 22nd consecutive victory, overcame some early punishment as Povetkin broke his nose in the first round with a brutal three-punch combination.

But Joshua came back and ended it in the seventh, flooring Povetkin with a right and then, when the Russian got up on the count of 10, finishing the job with a flurry of punches.

Anthony Joshua, left, floored Povetkin twice in the seventh round
Anthony Joshua floored Alexander Povetkin twice in the seventh round (Nick Potts/PA)

He said: "Alexander Povetkin is a very tough challenger; he proved that. But I've come in here to have fun, do what I've been working on in the gym and give it my best.

"I realised he was strong to the head, but I know that he was weak to the body, so instead of jabbing to the head, I was switching it up.

"He threw a good right, but let's not worry about that, that's out the way."

Joshua, who called out Deontay Wilder after the fight, had to settle for a bout with Andy Ruiz Jr nine months later and stunningly suffered his first defeat, being knocked down in the seventh before winning a rematch three months later.

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