In addition to establishing himself as the world’s leading heavyweight by defeating Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua answered so many of the questions surrounding his ability.
Concerns had persisted that this fight would prove too soon for him, but his knockout victory finally justified his billing as the heavyweight of the future.
Here, we analyse five things learned from Saturday’s fight at Wembley Stadium.
He was perhaps fortunate to win his Olympic gold medal at London 2012, and also became the IBF heavyweight champion in kind circumstances.
However his defeat of Klitschko, which also earned him the WBA title, came after he had had to prove his heart by recovering from an exceptionally-heavy sixth-round knockdown.
Joshua long appeared on the verge of defeat, and was struggling to dominate his experienced opponent, before transforming the fight and his career with that outstanding uppercut in the 11th round.
Concerns surrounding Joshua’s potential largely surrounded whether he had the stamina to last into the so-called championship rounds.
He had never previously fought beyond the seventh, but against Klitschko – a seasoned 12-round fighter – after having been knocked down, he gradually recovered to increase his intensity in the final rounds, leading to the impressive stoppage.
He may not be the fighter he was at his exceptional peak, and he will decline further as a consequence of such a bruising fight, but – beyond Joshua and Tyson Fury – it would be difficult to argue against him beating any of the world’s other leading heavyweights.
From the point of his recovery from the first knockdown to the 11th-round stoppage, he used his experience, intelligence and a wide variety of skills to outbox the champion. Joshua deserves significant credit for this victory.
Throughout their dominance of the division from the point of Lennox Lewis’ retirement, the Klitschko brothers Wladimir and Vitali were long considered responsible for how dull heavyweight boxing became.
They won almost every fight they were involved in with such ease, and so little drama, that many of their match-ups were widely overlooked.
It is far from their problem that so few challenged them, but there have also been false dawns, such as the revival briefly threatened by David Haye.
With an exciting fighter like Joshua now the leading champion, and rivals like Deontay Wilder and Fury capable of excelling, the division has its most appeal since Lewis’ peak.
Composure is perhaps the most underrated asset any fighter can have, and Joshua demonstrated it in abundance.
Carl Froch recently spoke of how on the long ringwalk at Wembley it is easy for a fighter to struggle mentally.
Joshua remained a relaxed figure throughout his, did not panic when he was knocked down, and resisted the urge to go toe-to-toe – buying himself time to recover and slowing the action down – until sensing the right moment to pursue the knockout. Such clear thinking will serve him well.
Provided by Press Association Sport
Tyson Fury responded to Anthony Joshua calling him out immediately after his victory over Wladimir Klitschko by saying “challenge accepted”.
Joshua established himself as the world’s leading heavyweight by adding the WBA belt to his IBF title with a dramatic 11th-round stoppage of Klitschko in front of an estimated 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium.
The defeat was Klitschko’s second in succession, having been beaten on points by Fury in November 2015, and an all-British fight between Joshua and undefeated former world champion Fury – should the latter ever return to boxing – could prove even bigger.
“(Tyson) Fury where you at, baby?” Joshua said while still in the ring.
“I love fighting. Tyson Fury, I know he’s been talking, I want to give 90,000 a chance (to see us), I just want to fight.”
Fury has been inactive since his defeat of Klitschko having most recently struggled with depression, but he has remained a consistent presence on social media.
Following Joshua’s comments in the wake of Saturday’s win, Fury took to Twitter:
@anthonyfjoshua challenge accepted. We will give the world 🌎 the biggest fight in a 500 years. I will play with u. You are a boxers dream.— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) April 29, 2017
Fury last year surrendered the world heavyweight titles he won by beating Klitschko in an effort to focus on his mental health problems.
The 28-year-old has won all 25 of his professional fights so far, 18 by knockout.
Joshua, meanwhile, now boasts a perfect 19-0 record following his win over Klitschko, with all of the 27-year-old’s victories coming inside the distance.
* From Press Association
Britain is set for the biggest boxing bout in its history as Anthony Joshua defends his IBF heavyweight title against Wladimir Klitschko with the vacant WBA strap also on the line.
The clash will be played out in a modern era record of 90,000 fans at the Wembley Stadium as two giants of the division collide.
We’ve got everything you need to know ahead of the fight.
Well, as you probably know by now it’s tonight with broadcasters around the world showcasing the fight.
Obviously it depends on the undercard and the duration of those fights but you can expect the ring walk time to be approximately 01:00am UAE time with the fight commencing after the theatrics are done.
OSN is your home for combat sport these days and they will be showing the fight on OSN Sports Action 2.
There’s a packed undercard with British Olympian Lawrence Okolie in heavyweight action with his third pro fight. Former WBA super-bantamweight champ Scott Quigg is back in action at featherweight while Irish superstar Katie Taylor fights for her first belt.