At Wembley Stadium, Wembley, in the UK, Two Olympic Gold Medalists met in WBO, WBA & IBF World Heavyweight Champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua, 21-0 (20), of Watford, UK, stopped Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 34-2 (24), of Chekhov, Russia, at 1:59 of the seventh round after a pair of knockdowns.
In the first round both fighters spent most of the time feeling each other out. Joshua used a long jab over the 4″ shorter Povetkin. Just prior to the bell, Povetkin landed a right uppercut to the chin of Joshua. In the second round Joshua used his reach boxing Povetkin who comes in trying to get inside giving away 4″ in height. Povetkin lunges in but Joshua fences him off not allowing him inside.
In the third round Povetkin landed a hard right to the head of Joshua. Joshua keeps his left hand to his side. Joshua lands a light left hook to the head of Povetkin. Joshua landed a jab to the mid-section. Povetkin is the aggressor but having problems getting inside but ducks under Joshua’s jab. Joshua’s nose was slightly bleeding. Povetkin jumps in landing a left hook to the head of Joshua. Povetkin landed a lead right to the side of Joshua’s head followed by a left hook. Povetkin had a slight cut outside his right eye.
In the fourth round Povetkin was cut outside the left eye from a Joshua left hook. Joshua grabbed Povetkin after than with his left behind the head. UK Referee Steve Gray didn’t warn him. Povetkin landed a solid left hook to the head of Joshua. Joshua missed with a right hand and Povetkin countered with a left hook to the chin.
In the fifth round Joshua is using his jab. He moves back and then comes forward while Povetkin only knows to come ahead. The Referee warns Joshua for holding. Povetkin comes forward and again Joshua grabs him behind the head throwing him off without warning.
In the sixth round Povetkin jumps in missing with a left hook. Joshua is working on the cuts with his jab. Both exchange left hooks. Joshua rocks Povetkin with a right to the chin. Joshua lands a left hook to the side of Povetkin’s head. He continues with a weak jab to the mid-section of Povetkin. Povetkin comes back missing with a right and left as Joshua moves away.
In the seventh round with both fighters showing respect for one another they touch gloves coming out. Povetkin lands a light right to the head of Joshua. Joshua continues using the jab to the mid-section. A short right hurts Povetkin and Joshua is all over him dropping him with a right. Povetkin barely beats the count of referee Gray. Joshua jumps on him with a left hook followed by a right looking like the referee was going to stop it while Povetkin was falling to the canvas ending the fight. Povetkin’s corner man jumped on the ring apron to stop the fight which was over.
This writer had Povetkin 4 rounds to 2 at the end of 6 rounds.
“It was a clever fight, sometimes boring. You have to find your thing. (asked about being buckled in the first round from a Povetkin right uppercut he denied him) I knew he was tough to the head but weak to the body. He was a good challenger. Who do you fans want to see me fight in April 13th? Wilder they screamed. I got my knockout streak back. Yeah, there is a lot of pressure with the whole country behind me in boxing. A few years ago I may not have won this fight. My trainer and team have helped. If Dillon (Whyte) wants to fight it will be like two animals in the jungle. My first choice would be Wilder. There wouldn’t be a second choice. Boxing is on the rise!
This was before some 80,000 people. ESPN’s Brian Kelly, former world champion “Sugar” Ray Leonard and “Contender” star Sergio Mora were at ringside while Michael Buffer was the ring announcer.
On December 1st when WBC World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 40-0 (39), of Alabama, will meet the UK’s Tyson Fury, 27-0, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Fury is the former champion and ranked No. 3 in the WBC behind the UK’s Jamaican born Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte, 24-1 (17), only losing to Joshua in 2015 and Cuban southpaw Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, 29-1 (25), out of Miami, FL, who gave Wilder all he could handle before losing in March of this year.
The co-feature was 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, lightweight southpaw Luke Campbell, 19-2 (15), of Yorkshire, UK, defeating France’s Yvan “The Lion” Mendy, 40-5-1 (19), over 12 rounds.
Also, on the card heavyweight Russian Sergey Kuzmin, 13-0-1nc (10), stopped the UK’s David Price, 22-6 (18), at the end of 4 when Price retired with a torn right bicep.