Joshua knocks out Povetkin in 7th to retain titles

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PHOTO. Britain's Anthony Joshua (C) celebrates after defeating Alexander Povetkin.

"I got my knockout streak back, I found my right hand again".

Joshua, returning to the arena where he knocked out Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in April, 2017 to become a unified heavyweight world champion, was given a hero's reception by the nearly capacity crowd.

"I knew he was strong to the head but weak to the body".

In an era of social media changing the way athletes connect with fans, both Wilder and Fury (who will square off December 1 on pay-per-view) are among the most captivating communicators in all of sports.

The loss was just the second of 39-year-old Povetkin's 36-fight career - his only other defeat was to Wladimir Klitschko, who Joshua scored a TKO win over last year to claim three of his four world titles.

This fight was the latest in a line of professional heavyweight title bouts, featuring the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman, between two former Olympic champions, with Joshua having won gold in front of his home crowd at the 2012 London Games - eight years after Povetkin stood atop the podium in Athens.

After an early chess match in which Joshua suffered a bloodied nose before cutting his rival, the Briton grew in confidence and a savage right hand followed by a left hook began an onslaught which would prove telling.

Joshua, 28, originally from Watford but now living in north London and training in Sheffield, was more composed in the fourth round and his work left Povetkin cut above his left eye.

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"Joshua is not even close".

Friday's weigh-in also confirmed a significant size difference, with Joshua tipping the scales at 17 stone 8 pounds (111.5 kilogrammes) compared to Povetkin's 15st 12lbs.

Klitschko was the only man to have previously inflicted a blemish on Povetkin's now 36-fight record, with a points win back in 2013.

"Let's figure out what's happening on April 13", Joshua said.

"We're not willing to wait until December", Hearn said.

"But good luck to both of them and may the champion bring himself to the United Kingdom, let's have a good dust-up".

"If I had a pecking order it would be Wilder, Dillian (Whyte) and then Fury", Joshua told taskSPORT.

"We will go away now and try and make a fight with Wilder", Hearn said.