Saturday, 29 April 2017
Joshua climbs off floor to unify, stopping Klitschko in 11.
In one of the biggest heavyweight title fights in recent history, undefeated IBF champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) climbed off the floor, to scored a dramatic eleventh round TKO over former two time unified champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 54 KOs) to retain his IBF title and grab the vacant WBA and IBO straps in a record 90,000 packed Wembley Stadium.
Both fighters played it cautious in the early rounds, Wlad connected most notably with a right hand in the second while Joshua returned fire in the third, both fighters began to roll the dice a little in the fourth, the first glimpse of risk taking by either man.. Joshua took the bull by the horns in the fifth, changing the whole tempo, rocking Klitschko badly dropping and cutting him in what was the first real breakthrough, Wladimir however managed to maintain his composure enough to hurt Joshua later in the session. The sixth saw the biggest twist, Klitschko turned the tides and dropped the IBF champion with a tremendous right hand with much of the round remaining.. Joshua appeared distressed, open mouthed and heavy legged, unable to defend himself correctly as Klitschko cautiously moved in for the finish, miraculously surviving the round.. Joshua still looked gassed into the seventh, allowing Klitschko to take take control for the first time in the bout. Klitschko continued to frustrate Joshua with his jab through round eight, but couldn't maintain it, allowing Anthony to find his second wind.. A huge right hand at the conclusion of the tenth seemed to wake Joshua back into the fight, the Londoner emerged into the eleventh revitalised, looking to pressure the older man, obeying instructions from the corner to regain control.. within a minute and a half he'd found his measure, dropping Klitschko badly twice, before closing the show, pinning Wladimir in the corner with :35 seconds left in the round.. Referee David Fields stepping in to call a halt with Klitschko unable to fend off the young champion..
It was a terrific fight and a wonderful bit of heroics from Joshua to emerge victorious after overcoming such a dramatic crisis..