Anthony Joshua returned to Wembley Stadium in style, stopping Alexander Povetkin in the seventh, but while he was the strong favourite, he still impressed. We asked The Panel to pick out what caught their eye…
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Joshua dismantles Povetkin at Wembley
Anthony Joshua knocks out Alexander Povetkin to defend world titles
Watch highlights of Joshua's KO win over Povetkin Watch highlights of Joshua’s KO win over Povetkin
I think he boxed completely different than any other of his fights we’ve seen. He had to box with patience, pause and had to be calm when he was under pressure because he knew Povetkin was dangerous. We saw him box like a champion, who is no longer a work in progress. His learning is now done.
He wasn’t messing around when it came to Deontay Wilder, and it proved he is not up for all that chat. He is a champion and he not only boxed like one, but behaved like an established one.
I saw the anger in him in earlier in the week and I saw that again, even in his post-fight interview. He wasn’t messing around when it came to Deontay Wilder, and it proved he is not up for all that chat. He is a champion and he not only boxed like one, but behaved like an established one.
Anthony Joshua says Deontay Wilder is his No 1 choice Anthony Joshua says Deontay Wilder is his No 1 choice
What we saw was AJ putting into action everything he has experienced in his last three fights. He never got flustered, he didn’t panic when he got caught, got his nose broken, and was behind on the unofficial scorecards early on. He stayed with it.
One thing we saw was that Joshua is a natural finisher.
But what impressed me the most was the way he finished Povetkin. You can’t really teach someone how to do that, they need that natural instinct to stay behind the shots and put them together. When I had it level at 3-3 I wasn’t looking at what boxes he was going to tick, I was just looking at him winning, but the one thing we saw was that Joshua is a natural finisher.
Joshua finished Povetkin off in round seven
I didn’t see anything I hadn’t seen before but he showed character, going through a tough fight and winning with the knockout. It had an air of the Wladimir Klitschko fight and although AJ didn’t go down this time, he took some pretty good shots and had a very tricky fighter in front of him.
Joshua had to show character, keep his composure. He didn’t panic, he didn’t fold and he didn’t make more mistakes when he was in stressful situations.
Povetkin doesn’t come across as the most athletic guy but he was very creative with the way he was attacking. He was keeping AJ off balance and there were momentum swings in that fight and I had it 3-3 at the time of the stoppage. Joshua had to show character, keep his composure. He didn’t panic, he didn’t fold, and he didn’t make more mistakes when he was in stressful situations.
Joshua had to ride an early storm
I’ve seen his resilience and his ability to recover from shots and still keep that self-belief and stick to the gameplan. We all saw that in the Klitschko fight, he had a couple of sticky moments against Carlos Takam, put on a clinical shut-out performance against Joseph Parker, but this had a bit of everything.
Although he didn’t go down, he looked shaky on his legs, but he did turn it round. He showed a lot of maturity.
It was either a head clash or a punch, but his nose was broken early on and although he didn’t go down, he looked shaky on his legs. But he did turn it round. He showed a lot of maturity.
Carl Froch said Joshua's win over Povetkin was one of his best fights Carl Froch said Joshua’s win over Povetkin was one of his best fights
I saw a boy who is learning from his experiences. The more experience he gets, the more he puts it in practice and we saw him break a man down. He did it against Joseph Parker, but this time he systematically broke him down, with the heavy punches, the body shots and the occasional right to the head.
He wasn’t 100 per cent tonight and that was the sign of a true champion, a man who performs even when he’s not at his best.
In there he showed me he learned from the Parker fight but he now knows how to close the show. He’s a patient fighter and dangerous and there aren’t many of them around. He wasn’t 100 per cent and that was the sign of a true champion; a man who performs even when he’s not at his best.