Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Joshua overpowers Povetkin to retain world heavyweight titles



Joshua overpowers Povetkin to retain world heavyweight titles

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Anthony Joshua lands a punch that knocks Alexander Povetkin to the canvas in the seventh round of their world heavyweight title fight at Wembley Stadium in northwest London on Saturday night. AFP

Joshua overpowers Povetkin to retain world heavyweight titles

Britain’s Anthony Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles by inflicting the first stoppage defeat of Alexander Povetkin’s professional career with a ruthless seventh-round finish at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

A previously close contest turned in Joshua’s favour decisively when he sent the Russian crashing to the canvas with a straight right hand and left hook.

Povetkin gamely beat the count but Joshua piled in before referee Steve Gray stopped the contest at one minute and 59 seconds of the seventh round.

Victory saw Joshua extend his unbeaten professional record to 22 wins from 22 fights, with 21 knockouts, in front of a raucous home crowd.

“Povetkin is a very tough challenger and he proved it tonight,” Joshua told Sky Sports.

“I realised he was strong to the head but weak to the body.

“I got my knockout streak back, I found my right hand again.”

Joshua was putting his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation belts on the line against 39-year-old Russian challenger Povetkin.

This fight was the latest in a line of professional heavyweight title bouts, featuring the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman, between two former Olympic champions, with Joshua having won gold in front of his home crowd at the 2012 London Games – eight years after Povetkin stood atop the podium in Athens.

Joshua, 28, had a significant height and reach advantage of several inches over Povetkin.

Friday’s weigh-in also confirmed a significant size difference, with Joshua tipping the scales at 17 stone 8 pounds (111.5 kilograms) compared to Povetkin’s 15st 12lbs.

This fight saw Joshua returning to the scene of arguably his greatest triumph, an 11th-round stoppage of former champion Wladimir Klitschko last year.

Klitschko was the only man to have previously inflicted a blemish on Povetkin’s now 36-fight record, with a points win back in 2013.

Joshua, born in nearby Watford but based in London, had been taken the distance for the first time as a professional in his last title defence – a unanimous points victory over New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in Cardiff in March.

Povetkin pressure

The undercard of that fight saw Povetkin serve notice of his formidable punching power with a sickening knockout of Britain’s David Price.

Povetkin, who in 2016 was given an indefinite ban from boxing after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium that was later cut to a year, had insisted in the build-up he was a far stronger fighter than the one beaten by Klitschko.

And the first round ended with Povetkin, stooping low, rocking Joshua with a right uppercut that drew blood from the champion’s nose.

Joshua, who said on Thursday that “my well is deep, my heart can definitely go through hell and back”, was certainly being tested in the opening exchanges, although he did start to respond with some single-punch jabs.

And come the fourth round, Povetkin had a significant cut above the left eye. Nevertheless, at the end of the sixth he was still in the contest only for Joshua to seal victory barely two minutes later.

But whether this win takes Joshua any closer to a fight with World Boxing Council heavyweight title-holder Deontay Wilder, who next fights Britain’s former world champion Tyson Fury on December 1, remains to be seen.

“My No 1 would be Wilder,” said Joshua, whose promoter Eddie Hearn has already booked Wembley Stadium for April 13, when asked about his next opponent.

“May the champion bring himself here and have a good old fashioned dust-up.

“All I want to fight is serious challengers. If Dillian [Whyte] wants to fight here, he is also more than welcome.”

Joshua beat compatriot Whyte with a seventh-round knockout in December 2015 – his last fight before becoming a world champion for the first time

Whyte, who was among an estimated 80,000 crowd at Wembley, said of Joshua’s latest victory: “He was patient and took his time. He was jabbing to the body and then brought the right into play which caught Povetkin by surprise.

“Hopefully, it’s me next – I’m here and ready to fight.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the