Anthony Joshua heralded the start of a new era of heavyweight boxing on this day in 2017 by stopping Wladimir Klitschko in 11 rounds.
In his 19th professional match-up in front of a post-war record British boxing crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium, Joshua made the third defence of his IBF title and also became the WBA champion.
He did come close to registering his first defeat after being knocked down in the sixth round following a huge right hand from Klitschko.
But, after getting back up, Joshua delivered a brutal uppercut followed by a barrage of punches which sent Klitschko to the canvas for a second time, before referee David Fields intervened with the Ukrainian unable to defend himself.
When asked post-fight if the victory topped winning Olympic Gold in 2012, Joshua said: “No. It is what it is: there’s one winner and one loser.
“I’m a champion outside the ring, first and foremost. The fighting is fun. I don’t box just for the belt, for the money, and I just enjoy it, the discipline.
“How am I feeling at the minute? Like I did before I won this fight. I’m happy, if anything, that it was a great fight, because there was a lot of hype, a lot of attention around the fight, and I’m glad it lived up to expectations.”
Klitschko admitted post-fight that he was surprised Joshua managed to recover from the sixth-round hit.
He said: “I thought he wouldn’t get up, he managed to get up. Respect. From that moment I felt he was out of gas and concentration. He recovered through the rounds.
“I could have done more to finish him off after he went down, but I was pretty sure, ‘This is going to be my night’ so I took my time.”
Klitschko announced his retirement from boxing in August 2017, three months after the defeat, marking the end of an era in which he and his brother Vitali had dominated the heavyweight division.
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