Anthony Joshua well and truly dethroned Wladimir Klitschko after dispatching the Ukrainian at Wembley on Saturday night.
Astonishingly it was the NINETEENTH consecutive knockout win of Joshua’s professional career.
Here, we dig out each and every one of those wins to date.
1) EMANUELE LEO (1st ROUND)
The Italian faced Joshua a year on from the Brit’s night of Olympic glory and was the first man to bear the brunt of his power. This one didn’t last long and was the first of five instances where Joshua halted an opponent in the first round.
2) PAUL BUTLIN (2nd ROUND)
A bloodied, battered Butlin had his misery ended by a considerate official in the second round after Joshua showed his superiority over the 37-year-old, who was way beyond his best years by the time the two met.
3) HRVOJE KISICEK (2nd ROUND)
Another one where the ref had to step in as Joshua unleashed a volley of rights and lefts that left Kisicek stumbling against the ropes and in need of salvation. Joshua was fighting the Croatian on the Prizefighter card in what was his third and final bout of 2013.
4) DORIAN DARCH (2nd ROUND)
Darch portrayed a confident character as Joshua picked him off but the sight of him swaying, falling into the arms of the referee showed just how powerful the young Brit’s punches are. By now Joshua was making quite the impression but still hadn’t really been put to the test by an opponent.
5) HECTOR AVILA (1st ROUND)
Having taken on Darch in Wales, Joshua then moved to Scotland to face Argentinian Hector Avila. Avila didn’t last long, sent crashing to the canvas with a minute remaining in the first round, the South American clutching his head and out for the count.
6) MATT LEGG (1st ROUND)
Fighting on the undercard of Carl Froch vs George Groves II, Joshua wasted no time in securing victory in his only appearance at Wembley to date. He will be back, likely to now headline the iconic stadium in what would be a significant marker of how far his career has already come.
7) MATT SKELTON (2nd ROUND)
At the time it was Joshua’s biggest challenge of his career but he sent the former British, European and Commonwealth champion packing inside two rounds. Joshua was again too powerful for his opponent who was 47, a whole 24 years Josuha’s senior.
8) KONSTANTIN AIRICH (3rd ROUND)
Airich managed to do what no man before him had and took Joshua a whole three rounds before succumbing to his power. Joshua unleashed to leave the German cast against the ropes and beyond saving.
9) DENIS BAKHTOV (2nd ROUND)
Joshua saw off the Russian in what had become typically dominant fashion, claiming his first professional title in the process. The two were facing off for the vacant WBC International Heavyweight title, which Joshua still holds.
10) MICHAEL SPROTT (1st ROUND)
Fighting on the Nathan Cleverly vs Tony Bellew II undercard, Joshua took his record to 10-0 with another ruthless outing that continued to capture the imagination of the watching world.
11) JASON GAVERN (3rd ROUND)
A gallant effort from Gavern but it was brutal again from Joshua who made mincemeat of the American. It went three rounds but Gavern spent the majority of it against the ropes or hauling himself up off the canvas. That was until the referee said enough was enough and put Gavern out of his misery.
12) RAPHAEL ZUMBANO LOVE (2nd ROUND)
A second South American to take on Joshua and come out with stars ringing around his head, Zumbano Love felt the full force of AJ’s big right hand. The overhand right, by now so common in Joshua wins, duly delivered a knockout that left the Brazilian sprawled across the mat.
13) KEVIN JOHNSON (2nd ROUND)
Johnson was sent into retirement by Joshua in devastating fashion with the Englishman first picking off his American counterpart with a studied left before pinning him against the ropes with a barrage of rights. Joshua retained his WBC International title with victory.
14) GARY CORNISH (1st ROUND)
A joiner by trade, Cornish was known for his own heavy hitting but against someone as fit and imposing as Joshua at a raucous O2 Arena, he just couldn’t cope. Joshua was showing his ever-improving nous in the ring, biding his time – albeit rapidly – before delivering the hammer blow that sent Cornish packing and added the Commonwealth heavyweight title to Joshua’s collection.
15) DILLIAN WHYTE (7th ROUND)
These two certainly did not and do not get along and all that anger and animosity between the pair was laid out in front of the world. Whyte had beaten Joshua as an amateur but couldn’t replicate that feat in London. By going seven rounds, it was the longest either fighter had ever gone before a Joshua uppercut did for Whyte – who was left slumped halfway between rope and fans, knocked flat out. Joshua claimed the vacant British heavyweight title as a result.
16) CHARLES MARTIN (2nd ROUND)
Joshua claimed his first world heavyweight title with aplomb (or “a bomb”) courtesy of two huge right hands that left Martin wondering where on earth he was. Martin got to his feet after the first but for all his attempts to suggest he was still with it after the second right hook, the ref was right to say enough was enough. Joshua rolls on and with a world title round his waist he will now be even more of a marked man.
17) DOMINIC BREAZEALE (7th ROUND)
In the first defence of his world title, Joshua made light work of a game Breazeale who always looked to come forward and took a number of shots on the chin. He was eventually downed in the seventh and the fight waved off, Joshua making his latest statement with another strong performance.
18) ERIC MOLINA (3rd ROUND)
Anthony Joshua paved the way for a fight against Wladimir Klitschko next year by making quick work of Eric Molina in a third round win on Saturday. Joshua forced the stoppage in two minutes, two seconds of the third round after first flooring American Molina with a right.
Anthony Joshua heralded the start of a new era of heavyweight boxing by dramatically knocking out Wladimir Klitschko in 11 rounds. Making the third defence of his IBF title, the 27-year-old Britain also became the WBA champion after recovering from the first knockdown of his career to impressively win at Wembley Stadium.
World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua declared he was willing to give Wladimir Klitschko a rematch after his 11th-round win on Saturday, but the Ukrainian wouldn’t confirm he would box again.
The Briton successfully defended his International Boxing Federation (IBF) world heavyweight title for the third time and claimed the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) belt against the former champion after an epic battle was settled by Joshua’s 19th consecutive stoppage.
In a wildly exciting fight, which swung one way and then the other, Joshua sealed victory during a thunderous 11th round.
“I don’t mind fighting him again, if he wants the rematch,” Joshua said at a press conference after the fight in front of 90,00 fans at Wembley Stadium.
“Big respect to Wladimir for challenging the young lions of the division.
“It’s up to him, I don’t mind. As long as Rob (McCracken, Joshua’s trainer) thinks it’s good I’m good to go.”
* From AFP
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko go head to head in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium tonight in what is the biggest heavyweight fight in years.
The clash pits Joshua, the division’s emerging force, against Klitschko, the cerebral veteran who ruled the division for more than a decade until a shock defeat to Tyson Fury in November 2015.
Here we look at the possible strategies the two men might employ.
AJ LOOKS TO SEEK AND DESTROY
In his flawless 18-fight, 18 knockout, winning streak, Joshua has been consistently aggressive and consistently successful – and he always starts fast. He’s an imposing figure, punches hard and fast with both hands, and rarely takes a backward step.
Joshua wants to command the centre of the ring, fire out his fast and powerful orthodox left jab, almost always looking to follow with the straight right. When it’s all going his way, the one-two will become a three with a left hook added for good measure, or he’ll start mixing it up with powerful right hand potshots or even the occasional lead uppercut.
Ultimately, AJ wants his opponent against the ropes, and that’s where he unloads his full arsenal, ripping to body and head and always looking to finish the job as soon as he smells blood. Joshua has promised to “go for the KO” and to “unleash hell”.
If he remains true to his word then expect the tried and tested – the type of brutal offence that has got him this far.
FURIOUS JOSHUA LEARNS LESSON FROM TYSON
If the book is out on how to beat this version of Klitschko, then Fury scribed it in Dusseldorf. Joshua’s fellow Brit executed a masterful gameplan, feinting incessantly and shifting from side to side to keep Klitschko off balance and unable to set his feet. Combined with Fury’s size and reach, it meant the champion barely laid a glove on him.
Rumours abound that AJ could borrow from this plan, tempering his aggression and looking to box Klitschko in the early rounds. Joshua appears a more rounded technician with every fight and, particularly in flattening Charles Martin, has shown he has those fast-twitch counters.
It’s perhaps logical that we’ll see a more circumspect AJ in the early going, but it would be a major shock if he persisted with a more measured approach.
KLITSCHKO TAKES CENTRE STAGE
After crushing defeats to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, Klitschko completely rebuilt his style under the late, great Manny Steward. The legendary Kronk trainer borrowed aspects of the blueprint that had proven so successful with Lennox Lewis and constructed a formula based around Klitschko’s formidable jab.
The Ukrainian’s left lead is a heavy punch, and usually stays in an opponent’s face as a deterrent.
Yes, when he misses he looks to clinch. And, yes, when his foe slips it then his first instinct is to spoil and then grab. But when he gets into a rhythm with the jab, follows up with the right hand or hooks off of the lead, then Klitschko can be a heavyweight’s worst nightmare. Just ask David Haye.
It would be a major statement if he could come out in the early rounds and claim the centre of the ring, fire out that famous jab, control Joshua with it, put some doubt into his mind and take tactical control.
WLAD PLAYS THE LONG GAME
In 18 fights, Joshua has only been past three rounds twice, taken to the seventh by both Dillian Whyte and then Dominic Breazeale, and questions remain unanswered about his engine.
For all his obvious athleticism, Joshua has to carry a lot of muscle mass and it’s possible that Klitschko could use movement, spoiling and clinching to frustrate AJ during the first half of the fight in the hope that he will eventually run out of gas and unravel in uncharted territory.
Klitschko, by contrast, is more than proven over the championship distance, and even at 41 years of age still has the gumption to tough it out and execute a game plan. Rumours have suggested that cardio, footwork and movement have been a big part of his training camp.