eAnthony Joshua was in a much tougher-than-expected title defense fight today, especially during the early going. Challenger Alexander Povetkin came in as a heavy underdog but used his experience and craft to give Joshua a look he couldn’t quite get comfortable with.
Povetkin timed some over hand rights, uppercuts, and hooks that busted Joshua’s nose in the first round, and then more so in the second where Joshua had his nose spewing blood. Povetkin even buckled Joshua’s legs with an uppercut-hook combination at the end of the first. At that point Joshua made a decision to box Povetkin from a safe distance while he tries to figure out Povetkin’s traps.
But by the time the mid-rounds came Povetkin was having more and more trouble overcoming the sheer size difference. He had to continually lunge in with hard shots with a hope to land something big on Joshua, but was coming up short at a pace that was proved to be unsustainable while Joshua was landing jabs on the outside.
In the seventh round Joshua timed a hard straight right hand that badly hurt Povetkin. Joshua then jumped on Povetkin while he was dazed and hit him with a barrage that crumbled him to the canvas, and almost out of the ring.
Povetkin would get up but was still badly hurt, and Joshua didn’t wait for him to get his legs back under him, jumping right back on him with several more hard shots that put Povetkin down hard again. This time the referee immediately waved off the fight. The official stoppage came at 1:59 of Round 7.
Final CompuBox stats had Joshua landing 90 of 256 total punches punches (35%) while Povetkin landed 47 of 181 (26%).
At the end of the fight Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) was asked who he wanted to fight next and he put the question to the crowd, saying they’re the ones that make this sport possible, but did say he wants WBC champion Deontay Wilder.