By Jeff Aranow: IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua defeated his WBA mandatory challenger Anthony Joshua by a TKO in round 7 in their clash on Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in London, UK.
Joshua knocked Povetkin down and then finished him after he got back to his feet. Referee Steve Gray put a stop to the fight. Povetkin looked like he could have continued fighting, but Gray decided on playing it safe in stopping the contest. Povetkin, 39, gave Joshua a lot of problems with his left hooks and right hands.
This was a style nightmare for Joshua through most of the fight until he was able to hurt Povetkin with a left hook in round 7. The boxing skills of Povetkin showed though. He didn’t possess the size or the youth of the 28-year-old Joshua, but his boxing technique was miles above him, and that’s what enabled the Russian fighter to give him fits. Povetkin’s stamina is what eventually caused him to lose the fight more so than Joshua’s punching power.
Povetkin burned out in the 6th and wound up getting stopped in the 7h. You’ve got to give Joshua a lot of credit for being able to take Povetkin’s best shots to last long enough to stop him in the 7th. If Joshua had landed the same kinds of shots on Povetkin, he would have stopped him well before the 7th round. Povetkin wasn’t able to fight the kind of a grueling fight tonight that he would have needed to for him to win. Maybe if this fight had taken place years earlier, he would have had a better chance at success.
This is one of those fights that take a lot out of a fighter. Joshua may not be the same guy after tonight because he took a lot of hard head shots from Povetkin, which could impact his performances in future fights.
Joshua’s next opponent will be either Deontay Wilder or Dillian Whyte, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. Whyte, 30, is the lead option right now to be the one that faced Joshua, because he would want less money than Wilder.
“I should have been ringside to see him,” Whyte said to Sky Sports after witnessing Joshua’s knockout win. “Povetkin was going to be sharp early, but AJ between 5 and 7 rounds. Joshua’s youth and his activity, the fighters he has fought, I thought he would come through. Hopefully, it’s me next; I’m here and ready to fight.”
Whyte may not need to hope. Eddie Hearn and Joshua both seem to want him as the next opponent, because they don’t want to give Wilder the big money that he’s asking for in order to agree to the fight.
Povetkin showed tonight that he still has a lot left in the tank to give other top heavyweights problems. Povetkin fought well enough to be seen as a threat to WBC champion Deonay Wilder, Dillian Whye, Joseph Parker, Jarrell Miller, Tyson Fury or Dereck Chisora.