Anthony Joshua claimed a stunning knockout win over Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena on Saturday night to retain his world heavyweight titles.
The Brit put on an impressive show in London against the experienced Bulgarian to set up the mouth-watering prospect of a unification showdown with Tyson Fury in 2021.
With 1,000 ticket-buying fans allowed into the building for the first time at a British fight since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Joshua’s entrance was met by a huge roar from the partisan crowd which was topped each of the four times he drove his Bulgarian adversary into deep trouble.
After a slow feeling-out process, Joshua exploded in the third round with a series of hard shots that forced Pulev to back away from his opponent and trigger a standing count. “AJ” then added a good old-fashioned knockdown before the round was over for the 10-7 frame.
To the challenger’s credit, he was able to shake off the tumultuous stanza and looked to come back into things, only for Joshua’s jab, finesse and variety to keep him comfortably at bay. A shut-out points win appeared to be on the cards — until Joshua again hit high gear in the ninth.
Stringing together a series of short uppercuts, the champ then put Pulev down once more with a pair of hard shots before following up moments later with his first win inside the distance since 2018 when he finished off Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, just down the road from the SSE.