As Ugandans were preparing to bed, the world was waiting for the most highly anticipated Heavyweight title fight, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko went toe-to-toe at Wembley Stadium. With Joshua’s IBF title at stake, along with the vacant WBA and IBO belts, it was Joshua who prevailed with three knockdowns of the Ukrainian in an incredible war, which included a knockdown by Klitschko.
Rounds 1 and 2 were a feeling out process. Both men stuck out their jabs frequently, but Joshua mixed in a couple of solid left hooks. Klitschko connected on a straight right to start the second, while Joshua jabbed effectively and got in a right of his own. Joshua had a solid round 3 and turned up the heat a little more, scoring with combinations and jabs to the body. Klitschko backed Joshua up in round 4 with hard right hands and perhaps took the round off the back of his early work.
Joshua floored Klitschko with a flurry of punches in round 5, starting with a left hook. Klitschko appeared to be in big trouble but Joshua was not able to go for the finish. A big left hook rocked Joshua and he looked to be tiring. Klitschko unleashed a series of blows that made Joshua grab. A huge right hand by Klitschko dropped Joshua in round 6. It put Joshua in a moment of danger he’d never experienced in his career. Klitschko poured on the pressure and Joshua was badly hurt and covering up against the ropes. Joshua was able to survive the onslaught as Klitschko decreased his output.
Wladimir’s jab and right hands were on point in the 7th round as he looked to have the momentum in front of the partisan crowd. Joshua found a second wind and appeared to be recovered both with his cardio and his pacing in the 8th. Klitschko was still landing at a good clip in this incredible fight. Joshua’s 9th round was a strong one, as he bashed Klitschko with multiple heavy right hands and the left hook to the body. Klitschko’s left eye was swelling and his activity was waning.
Round 10 was another close round with both men landing good shots but Joshua edging it on power. In round 11, Joshua rocked Klitschko with a big right hand and had him on wobbly legs. Klitschko appeared to recover momentarily but then Joshua turned things in his favor for good with a fabulous right uppercut. Klitschko was dropped seconds later but somehow got up. He returned to his feet but Joshua swarmed again and dropped him again. With time running out in the 11th, Klitschko was out on his feet and the ensuing flurry against the ropes forced the fight to be called off. A tremendous showdown that lived up to the hype. Wembley Stadium went berserk.
Official result: Anthony Joshua def. Wladimir Klitschko by TKO at 2:25 of round 11
Joshua remains unbeaten but loses the 100% KO ratio, while Klitschko is on his first ever two-fight losing skid. He also keeps his undefeated record intact, along with his 100% KO percentage, and has surely cemented himself as the best heavyweight in the world and one of boxing’s biggest stars.