By Minnie Larry
In front of raucous spectators at Wembley Stadium, 90,000 boxing fans witnessed undefeated Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19KOs) score a 11th round TKO win over Wladimir “The Steel Hammer” Klitschko, (64-5, 54KOs) to retain the IBF title and claim the WBA title.
The fight started off slowly with both fighters hesitant for the first two rounds. The battle would pick up in round 3 with Joshua pushing the action to Klitschko. In round five, Joshua pressed the action landing a thunderous shot to Klitschko’s temple, which caused the former heavyweight champion to kiss the mat. Klitschko would answer the call, a little worse for wear, sporting a gash above his left eye. In the 6th round, the Ukrainian “Hammer” decked Joshua with a right hand, sending him flailing to the canvas; this would be the first time England’s favorite son suffered a knockdown, in his professional career. Klitschko would continue clipping Joshua down the stretch in rounds 7 and 8. Joshua would recover in the 9th and begin advancing toward a drained Klitschko.
It was put up or shut up once the fight entered the championship rounds. In the 11th, Joshua would land a solid right uppercut stunning Klitschko. Joshua followed the uppercut with a right hook, directing Klitschko backwards, to the canvas. Klitschko would fall to the surface, a second time, just seconds later. The former heavyweight would beat the count, however, a subsequent barrage of punches would be all she wrote for Klitschko. Time was 2:25 at the time referee David Fields, waved off the fight. The judges scores were 96-93, 95-93 Joshua, and 95-93 Klitschko.
After the fight
In an act of sport chivalry, Klitschko raised Joshua’s hand in victory. Joshua told the sold out crowd “Klitschko is a role model, inside and outside of the ring” then proceeded to thank the Ukrainian born brute for taking the fight. Klitschko commented, “the best man won tonight, Anthony was the better man tonight.” Joshua complemented Klitschko for being a great fighter. Anthony would then call out fellow Englishman and former embattled heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.