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.
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.