Joshua faced the tough task of breaking down an opponent who had never been stopped before in his career. The showdown was set with 80,000 fans in attendance. Joshua adorned in an all-white gear faced off with the Russian who looked nothing short of menacing. The Champion’s entrance was extravagant as ever, a slow and relaxed walk which oozed confidence and showmanship. A hydraulic lift guided him to the ring at hallowed Wembley stadium.
In the early rounds it was clear to see that Povetkin was no cake walk. The challenger led with an aggressive style with a great amount of head movement, leading to a few shots which rocked the reigning champion. Shown by Joshua’s nose being bloodied in the first round, the ageing Russians ruggedness was undoubtable.
Povetkin displayed a fearless approach, throwing hooks and uppercuts with malicious intent. Joshua’s ring experience and arduous conditioning sustained him throughout the fight, absorbing the big punches when they landed. The early rounds were a stalemate with both sides giving and receiving damage. Moving into the 5th round and beyond, it appeared that the Russian began to slow down. The punches thrown were still dangerous, but lacked accuracy as tiredness set in.
This gave Joshua the chance to exploit Povetkin’s exposed body, as he would routinely leave his mid-section exposed. The first knockdown was achieved through a series of jabs keeping Povetkin at bay, Joshua then led with an incredible combination. A right to the body followed by a left hook, which occurred almost simultaneously. This was completed with a glancing right which sent the Russian down to the canvas.
Povetkin was able to answer the count, though clearly out on his feet. Moments later he was quickly stopped by referee Steve Gray when hit with a barrage of punches on the ropes. This culminated in a 7th round KO decision. The win places the spotlight on the imminent battle between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder on the 1st of December. If Wilder were to win it would set up an undeniable face-off between two reigning champions which boxing fans have been waiting to see. The prospect of a unified champion which the sport hasn’t had for over decade looms on.
By: Temi Adedeji
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