Anthony Joshua: Deontay Wilder in champion's crosshairs after Povetkin knockout win

Lewis Collier
September 24, 2018

Anthony Joshua defeated Alexander Povetkin by TKO in the seventh round at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night in London during the headline bout of the inaugural boxing event on DAZN.

In front of a crowd of more than 80,000 people, Joshua erased some early-round adversity with a devastating left hook and right hand to the head that dropped his opponent.

The most hazardous course is the fight against Wilder or Fury for the WBC version of the world title.

Only Joseph Parker has interrupted Joshua's run of early finishes and the champion was pleased to win by stoppage for the 21st time.

In a poll he created on Twitter a couple of hours ago, Joshua asked fans if they wanted to see him face Wilder, Fury or Whyte next - so far, Wilder is proving to be fans' favourite with 53 percent of the 181,750 votes.

Should AJ's next fight be against Fury? "I should've been down there, I was down there and Sky brought me up to do this, I don't see the point".

"Never", Fury said in a video posted on Instagram.

"Deontay Wilder against Joshua is the biggest fight in world boxing and stylistically it's the most exciting match-up you could possibly make in boxing".

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"I heard it went very well..."

"It is not a 50-50 split against the number one heavyweight in the world - you can forget that completely".

"Even if he lost, I'd still fight him", Joshua said on YouTube channel iFL TV.

Wilder and Joshua could not agree terms, after both parties had made offers, to meet in a four-belt world heavyweight title fight to decide the undisputed champion.

With Joshua now starting to pile up the rounds with the home-field advantage on the judges' scorecards (58-56×2, 59-55), a decision win was unlikely beyond the 39-year-old. He's slow, methodical, ponderous at times.

BBC Sport boxing correspondent Mike Costello: "13 April back at Wembley is an absolute definite. If he changes his mind in the future, he knows where we are". If Fury wins, it's not what we want because Wilder will have a rematch clause.

Anthony Joshua is the one stepping up to fight these great fighters.

It has felt for the past week and throughout a dreary, miserable Saturday that a curse hovered above Joshua, that the universe was conspiring against him to burst his bubble and deal him the harsh reminder that every fighter eventually receives that they are not superhuman. If Wilder isn't serious there are other people out there. I'm not really swaying towards Wilder or Fury. The Gypsy King, the Dance Master...can you imagine? Povetkin got back up, but the damage was done and the referee was forced to call a halt to the action.

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