Joshua KOs Klitschko in an epic Wembley fight

Joshua KOs Klitschko in an epic Wembley fight

Anthony Joshua climbed off the canvas to produce a dramatic late stoppage victory over Wladimir Klitschko in an epic heavyweight world title fight at Wembley.

The 27-year-old appeared to be on the brink of his first professional defeat when he was floored in the sixth round, but produced a dramatic late onslaught to halt Klitschko in the 11th round.

Joshua successfully defended his IBF title, while also claiming the WBA ‘super’ belt, but there could be calls for a rematch after a classic heavyweight unification clash in front of a record 90,000 crowd at the national stadium.

Klitschko had overcome a heavy knockdown in the fourth and the former unified champion defied questions about his advancing age until he was pounded to a halt by Joshua.

A fiery pyrotechnic show was part of Joshua’s ring walk, but he was unable to display his explosive power in a tentative first round as Klitschko kept him at bay with probing jabs.

Joshua knocked down Klitschko in the fifth round
Joshua knocked down Klitschko in the fifth round

Klitschko landed his straight right hand at the start of the second round, which was shrugged off by Joshua who answered with a crunching combination from close range in the third.

Seconds into the fourth round, Klitschko stunned Joshua was a booming right hand, forcing the British fighter to hold on grimly before he replied with a right of his own.

Joshua stormed out for the fifth and floored Klitschko with a brutal barrage of punches, but the 41-year-old was far from finished and uncorked a lightning left hook to leave the home favourite in desperate trouble.

With Joshua sagging worryingly on the ropes, Klitschko appeared on the brink of a stoppage victory, as he piled on more punches.

But the Ukrainian produced a stunning fightback to floor Joshua in the sixth
But the Ukrainian produced a stunning fightback to floor Joshua in the sixth

Klitschko continued to stalk Joshua in the sixth and detonated a searing right hand to dump him heavily on the canvas.

Into the seventh, Joshua started talking defiantly to his seasoned foe after eating a few more punches, but Klitschko was having the final word with his piston-like jab.

Joshua had been dragged into the longest fight of his career and tried to claw back control with two big right hands in the ninth, although he walked into a right from Klitschko in the 10th.

Joshua finally hurt Klitschko again in the 11th round
Joshua finally hurt Klitschko again in the 11th round

Sensing the need for urgency, Joshua exploded out of his corner in the 11th and an uppercut sent Klitschko crashing to the canvas.

Joshua ruthlessly finished off his dazed foe, flooring him again with more savage shots, and referee David Fields signalled the finish to spark scenes of relieved celebration.

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