Heavyweight championship boxing returns today, as three-belt heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua will step into the ring to defend his titles against the risky Alexander Povetkin.
The fight marks Joshua's return to Wembley Stadium after his first time headlining the colossal venue saw him knock out Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.
The fight promises to be Joshua's toughest bout since his thrilling stoppage of former champion Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April a year ago. After knocking Povetkin to the ground, Joshua waited for the referee to complete his count - which the 39-year-old survived - before immediately setting on him and ending the fight in spectacular fashion.
"Dillian is a serious fighter and I want serious challenges", Joshua said, "We have respect for each other, fighter to fighter".
"We both showed that against Klitschko, dug deep and stayed in there".
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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.
"I'm not too fussed who wins between them, good luck to both", Joshua said. "It's great for boxing that we are seeing the best Russian fighters going up against the best United Kingdom fighters, it's great for the fans and I truly believe it will produce some of the best fights we have ever seen". The fight will show everything. Let's ask the question, I have no mandatories, ' he said.
The only blemish on the Russian's 35-fight record is a 2013 points defeat by Klitschko. Povetkin won round one, landing a good left hook late. I just signed my end of the deal and the contract for the Wilder fight.
"I got my knockout streak back, I found my right hand again". "It's time to just put on a performance".
Both men had won Olympic gold medals, but it was the youthful energy of the 28-year-old Joshua which proved decisive as Povetkin visibly exhausted halfway through the contest.