Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko reaction - Joshua rallies to force stunning stoppage 

Anthony Joshua: I wouldn't mind fighting Klitschko again Anthony Joshua: I wouldn't mind fighting Klitschko again
01:15
  • Joshua wins by TKO in 11th round
  • IBF world heavyweight champ wins IBO and WBA belts
  • Joshua on canvas once, Klitschko three times
  • 90,000 crowd at Wembley for biggest fight for 80 years
  • Taylor, Campbell and Quigg all win in undercard

Anthony Joshua has retained his IBF world heavyweight title and won the vacant WBA and IBO belts by defeating Wladimir Klitschko in a pulsating, tospy-turvy fight in front of the biggest boxing audience in the UK for almost 80 years.

Joshua had to get off the canvas to do it after being knocked down in the sixth by the 41-year-old former champion and for a long troubling spell afterwards he looked on the brink of imminent defeat as he wobbled and clung on without counter-punching.

But he withstood all Klitschko's attempts to finish the fight off and rallied late to knock the challenger to the floor twice in the 11th round, the first teed up by a savage uppercut and the second with a venomous left hook.

Klitschko, who held at least one version of the title for 15 years from 2000, took mandatory eight counts both times but was then backed into a corner and forced the referee to step in to protect him because he was unable to defend himself.

Klitschko had also been felled in the fifth but Joshua also came desperately close to defeat after suffering the first knockdown  of his 19-fight professional career one round later.

Anthony Joshua's venonmous uppercut began the end phase for Klitschko Credit: Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Perhaps suffering momentary over-confidence, he was felled by a huge right hander in a bruising seesaw encounter that had both fighters scenting victory. 

Eventually it was Joshua, 14 years the 41-year-old Ukrainian's junior,  who showed the heart and stamina to claim an epic contest in one of the greatest performances by a British fighter and one raucously celebrated by 90,000 fans. 

 

A classy reaction 

It was a fight with a classy build up minus the trash talk. A bout that witnessed drama. A post-fight reaction that oozed respect.

Klitschko was treated to a rousing reaction at Wembley last night and has just shown his class again on Twitter.

 

Parker waiting in the wings?

This is how WBO champion Joseph Parker reacted to Joshua's win last night. 

The 25-year-old New Zealander was in talks to face Joshua last November but the fight didn't get over the line.

Parker in undefeated after 22 bouts with 18 KOs and defends his title against Razvan Cojanu on May 6.

 

Joshua favourite to win SPOTY

Joshua is the main man to beat for this year's Sports Personality of the Year award. Joshua is 1/4 to win the 2017 crown and clear of Johanna Konta and three-time SPOTY winner Andy Murray who are 8/1 and 10/1 respectively.

If Joshua wins the end-of-year BBC award, he will become the first boxer since Joe Calzaghe in 2007 to claim the honour.

Joshua is the favourite to win SPOTY

Joshua's trainer McCracken thought his man was beaten

Joshua's trainer Rob McCracken revealed he was 100 per cent sure his fight was on course to lose to Klitschko when the Ukrainian knocked him down in the sixth round.

"100 per cent when he got knocked down (in the sixth), when he got hit with the biggest punch in his career," he began.

"But we knew he could regroup and if he stayed with me and listened to me I would get him through it.

"We have drilled him for 12 weeks he has hated it but I have been lucky - this is the stuff dreams are made of.

"His will to win and determination has been the most impressive thing for us. He was getting mobbed a bit in the ring at the end but he is a great person. No one deserves it more than AJ."

Hearn on Joshua's next move

Promoter Hearn has been discussing Joshua's next move on Five Live's Sportsweek this morning.

Hearn says that Klitschko can have a rematch if he wants  one and revealed that Joshua and his team are in talks to fight at Beijing's National Stadium the Bird's Nest.

He adds that Joshua wants to conquer Africa as well as America and will fight no more than twice a year. In regards to names being mentioned, Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and Tyson Fury have all been mentioned.

 

10 most iconic images from a dramatic night

It was a heavyweight fight for the ages. Dubbed already as one of the best fights of all time, Joshua vs Klitschko had everything including some stunning pictures.

Heartfelt tweet

Former boxer turned promoter has kind words for both men. 

 

Klitschko to take time over next move

"I am not going to consider anything or be making any statements right now.

"It's too early; I actually feel pretty good, considering I lost. I will take my time. I have a rematch clause in the contract, which I can execute at certain times, and right now will not be making any decisions.

"If I'm going to fight it'll be a rematch, of course."

Arnie is impressed

Arnold Schwarzenegger  was impressed by what he saw

Tyson Fury accepts Joshua's challenge

Tyson Fury responded to Anthony Joshua calling him out immediately after his victory over Wladimir Klitschko by saying "challenge accepted".

Joshua established himself as the world's leading heavyweight by adding the WBA belt to his IBF title with a dramatic 11th-round stoppage of Klitschko in front of an estimated 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium.

The defeat was Klitschko's second in succession, having been beaten on points by Fury in November 2015, and an all-British fight between Joshua and undefeated former world champion Fury – should the latter ever return to boxing – could prove even bigger.

Tyson Fury Credit: Martin Meisner/AP

"(Tyson) Fury where you at, baby?" Joshua said while still in the ring.

"I love fighting. Tyson Fury, I know he's been talking, I want to give 90,000 a chance (to see us), I just want to fight."

Fury has been inactive since his defeat of Klitschko having most recently struggled with depression, but he has remained a consistent presence on social media.

Following Joshua's comments in the wake of Saturday's win, Fury wrote on Twitter: "Challenge accepted. We will give the world the biggest fight in a 500 years. I will play with you. You are a boxer's dream."

In another tweet, he added: "Well done Anthony Joshua. Good fight, You had life and death with Klitschko and I played with the guy. Let's dance."

Fury last year surrendered the world heavyweight titles he won by beating Klitschko in an effort to focus on his mental health problems.

The 28-year-old has won all 25 of his professional fights so far, 18 by knockout.

Joshua, meanwhile, now boasts a perfect 19-0 record following his win over Klitschko, with all of the 27-year-old's victories coming inside the distance.

Footballers hail Joshua win

 

Frank Bruno applauds both fighters

 

Joshua pays tribute to Klitschko

 Generous in victory, Joshua has hailed his opponent.

Joshua tweets 'onto the next one'

 

The final assault

Came after two knockdowns in the 11th round. I haven't seen a still of the uppercut that instigated the first (or second overall after one in the 5th) but it was as fine and sly a right-hand as I've seen. 

Credit: Matt Dunham/AP

 

Who next for AJ? 

Someone has a suggestion:

 But Deontay Wilder fancies a crack "with open arms" at a night like this at Wembley. And Tony Bellew is not ruling it out either.

Fighters' verdicts

 

And here is Paul Hayward's snap verdict

 

Wladimir Klitschko speaks

London I love you. The best man won tonight. Two gentlemen fought each other. Anthony was better than me tonight. It was really sad I didn't do it. Love and respect to you guys, you are awesome. I wish I could raise my hands instead of not winning the title back. [A re-match?] I have to work out what the hell happened here.  

Joshua speaks

Well, what can I say. First and foremost 19 and 0, three and a half years in the game. I'm not perfect but I'm trying. If you don't take part you fail. I want to give a biog shout out to my trainer and GB boxing, to 90,000 people in the arena and lastly a massive shout-out for Wladimir Klitschko. I'm not going to say too much in case he wants to come back and fight me again but he is a role model in and out for the ring and I've got huge respect and love for Wladimir Klitschko ... I am a little bit emotional because there are people who think I can't do it. I dig deep and you never know the outcome.

Boxing's about character and when you go to the trenches that when you find out where you are. There's nowhere to hide in that little ring. I came out and won that's how deep i had to dig. I fought my heart out.

And Tyson Fury baby, where are you man? I want to give 90,000 people another chance to watch a night like this. 

The first knockdown in round 11

Is caught here:

After the uppercut, Joshua caught Klitschko on the way down with a right-hander Credit: AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL

 

Gareth on round 11

Rd 11 The place has gone mad. Klitschko is down twice after he was hurt by a left hook and a four punch combination. The brave old champion is up, and Joshua is on him again. Down goes Klitschko again as the spite is there in AJ from another murderous left hook.  Up again is the Ukrainian. But he looks gone. Joshua traps him in his own corner and unleashes hell, as he promised he would, and referee David Fields has seen enough as Klitschko's head is battered across his shoulders, Great fight, by any standards. Joshua wins by TKO in the eleventh round

What an extraordinary assault in round 11

First a vicious uppercut put him on the floor, followed by a right cross. A brutal left hook knocked him down a second time in this round then a crisp combo finished the old warrior in the corner and Klitschko went out on his shield. Brilliant finale. It was close and topsy-turvy throughout.

Anthony Joshua recovers to win

Sensational moxie from Joshua. Sensational. 

Joshua wins

The ref steps in to stop the fight with Klitschko finished but on his feet in a neutral corner and unable to defend himself. 

But not for long

Joshua knocks him down again with a right hand ... but he's up again!

Klitschko is down again

Caught with a brutal uppercut, He's back up ....

Round 10 of 12

Joshua has rediscovered some mojo and uses his right hand over the top to smack into Klitschko's neck. He's dancing again now though Klitschko knows he has this so far if nothing dramatic happens so stands behind the jab and when Joshua pushes it, Klitschko belts him with a big right hand. Tony Bellew thinks Klitschko is tiring and has to land a right hand and not play chess. 

Gareth's verdict:

Joshua has his senses back and is bouncing again on his feet. Big overhand right from AJ glances, and a better one glances, too. Then a body shot. Klitschko looks tired. Two rights on the bell from Klitschko. Klitschko 10/9

Gareth on round 9

They are tiring now and tying up more. Cuffing,sneaky right from Klitschko in the clinch. They are cancelling each other out. I think AJ is going on heart, and the old champion urging his old legs on. It is such a fascinating  fight. Nothing between them in that round 10/10 draw

Round 9 of 12

Klitschko is still on his toes but an excellent right from Joshua stops him in his tracks followed by a cute left hook to the solar plexus. Most people at the ringside have Joshua behind by at least a point and with Klitschko's experience at tying opponents up, Joshua needs to find some concussive rhythm and soon.  

Gareth on Round 8

Big right hand from Klitschko as they fence at each other with the jab. Jab, jab from AJ. My God he is learning on the job tonight. Klitschko creating angles and looking to do damage with that right hand again. Light on his feet, too. AJ less so. That big right wins WK the round. Klitschko 10-9

Round 8 of 12

Virgin territory for Joshua and Klitschko, at 41, still looks fresh in his footwork. Joshua was told to work the combinations and get his jab going but Klitschko is backing him into a neutral corner then attempting to work him over but he doesn't have the stamina to sustain the assault and Joshua is coming back and whacks him over the right ear with a long straight left. 

Klitschko knockdown Credit: Reuters / Andrew Couldridge
Joshua knockdown Credit:  Nick Potts/PA

 

Gareth on round 7

Klitschko boxing smart now. This is an amazing fight. the old champ has his jab going again, and Joshua is recovering. Huge fitness and heart. Huge lessons here for AJ. Huge. If he can come through this we will know that he can be hurt and win. Klitschko 10-9

 

Round 7 of 12

Klitschko is still trying to set up that right hand. Joshua is in retreat, throwing no jabs, breathing out of his backside. Klitschko's experience and wiliness are poised to pounce. With 40 seconds left Joshua is still on the back foot and looks like a sitting duck. But he withstands a heavy right and Klitschko nods at him. He's trying to play for time to recover. Klitschko should have finished it in the past two rounds. 

Gareth on round 6

Joshua felled by a huge right hand. Oh, this is so bad. He is in a very bad way. Makes it to his feet, ducks, holds, ducks again as huge left hooks miss and he sways his way to the end of the round. This is incredible. Klitschko should have put AJ away. Klitschko 10-8

Round 6 of 12

After knocking him down Klitschko is trying to set him up for the right, the Dr STeelhammer finisher but Joshua manages to weather the storm, The right-hand that landed was 'straight down the pipe'. He was badly shaken but is not finished yet. 

Joshua is on the canvas

Hit absolutely flush on the chin and his legs buckle, He's up for now ...

Gareth on round five

What a round. Klitschko down and looked finished, and AJ thought he'd won it. AJ  danced away with his hands in the air - inexperience there. But Klitschko makes the count, fights back, and AJ is on the ropes and nearly finished. So exciting. Both exhausted. Could go any way now, down to heart, desire and fitness... Score 10/9 Joshua

Round 5 of 12

Rob McCracken told Joshua to relax but he starts like a train and puts Klitschko on to the canvas with a punishing sequence of lefts but back comes Klitschko and lands right after left after right. It''s Joshua who is on the brink now. He stays on his feet but he is not defending himself properly. He rides it out. Blimey. 

Klitschko hits the floor

And takes an eight count. Brilliant from Joshua, Can he finish him off. There's sill two minutes left in the round. 

Gareth on round 4

Danger for AJ. Straight right from WK rocked him. But he weathered it well. Klitschko buoyant here. Big body slap from AJ. They exchange. Klitschko misses with the left hook, but AJ lands with the right. Klitschko still not doing enough. Both men landed one significant punch. 10/10

Round 4 of 12

Klitschko catches Joshua with a brutal right hand after a left hook and Joshua has to take recourse in a hold that the referee breaks. Joshua isn't troubled so much as disconcerted as Klitschko tries to line up the left hook. Landing those punches has spurred Klitschko's confidence  but he leaves himself open and Joshua snaps a left on to his opponent's jaw but not square on. Klitschko looks enlivened. 

Credit: Nick Potts/PA

 

Gareth's round three verdict

More aggression from AJ in that round, but Klitschko showing he is smart and knows how to survive. But the old champion throws so few punches these days - 50 per cent less in fights in the last few years. AJ needs to be careful of WK counter left hook. AJ 10/9

Round 3 of 12

Terrific combination from Joshua and he deploys his hand speed to catch Klitschko with a right-left-right to Klitschko's head. The challenger backs off and tries to get his hands up then jumps back to avoid the jab. Deontay Wilder says Klitschko cannot last long at this round's pace from Joshua who has got his percussive jab working. Klitschko looked rattled for the first time. 

Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP

 

Gareth on Round 2

Rd 2 Fascinating again. Chess match. Joshua winning the battle of the jab which means Klitschko can't jab, grab and tie him up. Joshua desperate to let right hand go. But patient and very smart so far. AJ 10-9

Round 2 of 12

Klitschko comes straight into the centre and throws a big right hand that doesn't rock Joshua but gas marked him above the left eye. Better from Klitschko, using the jab but Joshua rallies strongly and hits a rapid right overhand. Klitschko using his geometry to slip away. Has some sap in his legs too, Klitschko. 

Round 1 of 12

The crowd sings Oh Anthony Joshua to the tune of Seven Nation Army. There's a lot of  feinting and thrusting as they both try to scope out the centre of the ring. Joshua fires a right but is out of range. A couple of rights connect followed by a left. Klitschko is looking to stay way beyond Joshua's reach. Good body shot for Joshua. Nothing from cagey Klitschko, Joshua similarly conservative. 

 

Gareth's verdict:

Fascinating. Real battle as they both try to establish dominance of the jab. Better work from AJ. More landed. He's up against a great boxer and he knows it now. No right hands from Klitschko - yet. 10/9 Joshua

Here we go

The bell and Klitschko in grey advances on Joshua in white trunks. 

He's said it

Buffer, that is ... "Let's get ready to rumble..." and introduces the 1996 Olympic champion Wlad and the 2012 gold medallist, AJ. 

And here's a first look at Joshua

Credit: Reuters / Andrew Couldridge

 

Time for the national anthems

Gareth is ringside and is hugely impressed:

It feels huge, so huge in here. Huge. Both pacing around inside the ring. Very tense. Both look nervous.

The first pics of the fighters have arrived

And here's Wladimir Klitschko, the challenger:

Wlad's Medusa stare Credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

 

Joshua arrives on a ramp

Credit: Sky Sports

 My word he looks relaxed, composed. He seems to have ice in his veins. Uncanny. 

Buffer's back on the mic for Anthony Joshua

And here he is: 

Credit:  Reuters / Andrew Couldridge

 He's getting  £4m  for this according to reports. 

Klitschko enters 

And is on his way, watched by Arnie:

Credit: Andrew Couldridge/REUTERS

 To the sounds of the RHCP:

 

Gareth A Davies has had a vision

Closed my eyes... soaked it up, and I've just had a vision/premonition, of Anthony Joshua grinning away in the dressing room after the fight, with media gathered around him,., having KO'd Klitschko in the fourth or fifth round. I think AJ will try to establish his jab to be faster than WK in the first and then get more bullish in the second. This  is so, so big for him. It will never be the same if he loses. ... now the OH OH ANTHONY JOSH-U-A has started. It will be Sweet Caroline too in mo... here we go...

Michael Buffer is on the mic

"Let's get this paaaaaarty started ..." He introduces Wladimir Klitschko who chooses Led Zep for his entrance riff ...

 

We're ready for the ring walks

The spotlights are doing their Leni Riefenstahl thing and we're treated to Neil Diamond and Sweet Caroline to presage the entrance of Wladimir Klitschko.

How does Gareth think this will pan out? 

Klitschko has been accustomed to controlling fights. Joshua will not want to let him, and will look for a steady assault from late in the second round onwards. If the home favourite has not hurt, or stopped, Klitschko by round seven, the youngster could get manned out of the fight by the wizened old ways of Klitschko. We cannot rule that out, but I do not see it. For me, Joshua stops Klitschko inside five rounds, his vim, vigour, explosiveness and youth proving too much for the old legs of Klitschko.

Victories for all of Eddie Hearn's fighters so far

As you'd expect: Joe Cordina, rather too easily for the matchmaking business, Katie Taylor was stretched a little more and looked scrappy at times, Luke Campbell grew into the fight and wore Perez down with guile and class while Scott Quigg slugged it out and used his superior power to win in unanimously on points. 

Credit: Nick Potts/PA

 

The fight is due now at 10.10pm

The undercard is finished, no room for the floaters and now we're ready for the main event. Or to be more precise the 50-minute build-up to the main event. 

Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

 

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Gareth A Davies reports

Amazing sporting occasion and real sense of a special moment here, the sun is down the neon has taken over and there is almost a distracted hubbub in this near full stadium as we await the arrival of Joshua and Klitschko. These are the die hard boxing fans and the hipster chattering classes on a great night out. They expect. England expects, the UK, Nigeria and even America expects - Anthony Joshua must deliver.

Massive massive cheer when the jumbotron screens above the ring showed AJ with Rob McCracken having his hands wrapped in the dressing room. 

I'm hearing it will be 9.30 pm ring walks, Klitschko first of course and it's growing a little chillier. The ex champion could be out here 20-25 mins before that first bell. He ll need to stay warm. 

The anticipation is so palpable here 

Scott Quigg 

Wins by unanimous decision, by six points on two cards and two on the third. 

Round 12 of 12

Quigg's on top here after a hell of a war. Simion has stones of stone but Quigg will get the verdict, surely. 

Round 10 of 12

Quigg showing his doggedness and strength again even though he continues to be caught by the spirited Simion. What a terrific fight this has been and Simion is still hanging in there, exposing Quigg's defensive flaws. Carl Froch, the co-commentator, thinks Quigg simply doesn't rate Simion's power so is prepared to take risks.

World champ Lee Selby thinks he knows what will happen to the winner:

Round 9 of 12

Simion rears up and delivers a flashy combination though he is struggling under the sheer volume and weight of Quigg's shots to the body and those nasty right uppercuts. Simion's face looks like it could be painted by Francis Bacon. 

Round 8 of 12

If this goes the distance then it will take us past 21:02 which means both float bouts, Okolie v Henshaw and Kelly v Khan won't get on here. Quigg is taking some shots on the back foot and the sages on social media think this is why Lee Selby will beat him convincingly next up. 

Round 7 of 12

Simion is caught twice in this mano a mano contest. Quigg lands a low one accidentally and is forgiven by referee and opponent. This scrap is getting scrappier by the round. Nice right hand from Simion but Quigg's punishingly destructive uppercuts are weakening Simion's stamina.  

Quigg takes control

Both look beaten-up and Quigg is bleeding behind his left ear but a sequence of spiteful left hooks must take their toll on Simion. At last Quigg steps back and throws a steely right hand that crashes into Simion's temple but the game Romanian will not be cowed. This is tremendous. Fighting not boxing but a remarkable spectacle. 

 

Round 4 of 12

Carl Froch wonders if Simion lacks the power to end this for all his qualities of resilience. There's no subtlety or noble artistry out there now. It's a punishing old broil. Quigg has started to gain ground with heavier shots. 

Scott Quigg, right, goes toe-to-toe with Viorel Simion Credit:  Reuters/Andrew Couldridge 

 

Round 3 of 12

Simion has a crafty knack of dipping his shoulders to evade blows. Quigg has discovered more precision now with a series of malignant body shots. Simion had the better defence but then takes a vicious right to the left cheek. He counters forcefully, though, and elicits a slip from his opponent. This is some scrap. 

A brief chat with Anthony Joshua

I feel wiser and more confident. There's no nerves, I enjoy boxing and always have. The only nerves are to perform. A prediction? I'm not Muhammad Ali. Round by round I shall get a victory. 

He's so calm he's virtually horizontal.  

Simion starts like a train

Quigg has the shortest shorts of the night, he throws a left and leaves his chin open for a Simion left hook. And again. That's a frantic start from Quigg, very loose. Simion is a tenacious so and so and the effect is two terriers going for it straight from the off. Simion connects with another left hook behind Quigg's right ear. Quigg goes for body shots. This is something of a tear-up already. Simion won that comfortably. 

Before the main event here's a Coral offer

Anthony Joshua is strong favourite with the bookies but, if you don't already have a Coral account, you can get odds of 25/1 on him to beat Klitschko. 

Find out more.

Scott Quigg is about to enter

He takes on Viorel Simion in an IBF featherweight title eliminator. Quigg, who lost his world super bantamweight title to Carl Frampton in what I always like to think of as the Nynex in Manchester 14 months ago, comes out to the familiar strains of Oasis's Rock and Roll Star. 

Lennox Lewis is sitting next to Evander Holyfield ringside

 

Campbell wins in the ninth

Excellent comeback from Campbell after a testing first three rounds. Perez walks away after a long spell of Campbell targeting the body. After that praise for him as a warrior, Perez pulls out. Sorry about that...

Round 9 of 12

Perez hurts the inside of his arm on Campbell's elbow and retreats, wincing. After a word from the ref he advances but Campbell closes off the ring and Perez calls off the fight, claiming his left arm is injured, on the inside of his elbow. 

Round 7 of 12

Campbell carries on in the ascendancy and though he has worn a couple of big shots in the past couple of rounds, his right-hand body shots are causing Perez real problems. The former world champ looks seriously hacked off when he wobbles from a stinging right cross. Campbell firmly in control now. 

Campbell switches tack 

And draws some of Perez's sting with body shots. You can see Campbell's youthful bounce by contrast with Perez's shimmies now but just as I wrote that he does an Ali shuffle and counters strongly, landing with a left-right combo to the head, pulls him in close and then cracks a couple of sly ones to the back of Campbell's head.  

Credit: Andrew Couldridge/REUTERS

 

Campbell shows a more aggressive streak

And is quicker, rocking Perez with an overhand left to the back of his right ear and a waspish body shot. Perez wobbles but regains his balance and comes back determinedly with really venomous shots to the body. Very good round that. 

Perez continues to look assured

Campbell  comes in closer and lets off a couple of double-right jabs in his southpaw stance but when he tries to set him up for the crashing left hook over the top, Perez slips it and counters with a withering right. Perez is answering everything and looks as though he's enjoying it. My, he looks sharp, exploiting Campbell's lack of experience.  Better round for Campbell. 

Cagey start from Campbell

Using the jab  and keeping out of range, not landing many, Perez is a class act and hits Campbell twice with jab, spearing right-hand combos. Campbell then clips him with a right hook. No doubt Perez has found the target with more precision in the opener. 

Here's footage of Joshua's arrival 

And his stop and chat with the Real Deal:

 

Next up is Cool Hand Luke Campbell

Who takes on Colombia's Darleys Perez in a WBA lightweight title eliminator. Perez, of course, did not make weight yesterday so winning guarantees him nish. 

Play the predictor

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Anthony Joshua has arrived at Wembley

And hugs Evander Holyfield as he walks to his dressing room. Carl Froch is ringside, back at the scene of his disabusing of the doubters.

 

Referee ends fight, Taylor wins

He concludes that Taylor was so dominant and Meinke, brusied, had lost every round. She was stuck in a neutral corner and failing to parry or avoid a series of combinations. So Taylor is now the WBA international lightweight champion. 

 

Taylor squarely on top

Meinke comes out for the third without her gumshield, smiles when she realises and goes to fetch it. Taylor uses her power to wriggle out of the attempted headlock and land some quick combos on the inside then impressively slips a hook when they separate before firing two accurate lefts. 

Taylor started at a good, purposeful pace Credit:  Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Meinke is very keen on holding when against the ropes but dances into the open ring, trying a couple of big shots. Her eye is starting to swell and she is hit by a steely left and right that causes her to stumble. 

Next up is Katie Taylor

She will fight over 10 rounds for the first time, taking on Germany's Nina Meinke for the WBA international lightweight title. The Irishwoman won the Olympic lightweight gold at London 2012. Spandau's Meinke is 5-0 in her pro career, Taylor 4-0. 

Credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP

 

Cordina can only beat what's put in front of him

And I know it's only the Cardiff lad's second fight, but Vib was seriously outclassed. 

Joe Cordina celebrates after defeating Sergej Vib in the first round of the Super Featherweight bout  Credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

 

Joe Cordina wins in the first round

Vib, who took this fight only a few days, is quickly in trouble and goes on to his knee after a glancing left-hand to the temple, perseveres then goes down a minute later when hit with a right to the body and a crisp combination to the head. It's all over in the first because Vib cannot get up to beat the count. 

Here's a betting offer from Coral if you fancy a flutter

Anthony Joshua is strong favourite with the bookies but, if you don't already have a Coral account, you can get odds of 25/1 on him to beat Klitschko. 

Find out more.

And here's our other man at the prizefight

 

Gareth A Davies has arrived at Wembley and reports

It's been a very busy week in the build up for all of us but the roll of 90,000 fans to this huge boxing event is taking its toll on all roads leading to Wembley Stadium. As a fight correspondent I really do adore and savour these nights ... the deadlines, the excitement, just bring the jungle drums ... it's Fight Night, baby."

 

The doors are open at Wembley

And the knitted event merchandise is as ubiquitous as ever. Are you blue or are you red? 

Credit: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Meanwhile, a word from the last man to win a world heavyweight title belt at the old Wembley:

 

The experts' verdicts

Who is going to be walking away from Wembley triple-belted tonight?

 

Your Sunday morning reading sorted

 

The fear factor

On a night like tonight it always pays to remember the words of Cus d'Amato if anyone mentions the fearlessness of the fighters:

Boxing is a sport of self-control. You must understand fear so you can manipulate it. Fear is like fire. You can make it work for you; it can warm you in the winter, cook your food when you’re hungry, give you light when you’re in the dark and produce energy. Let it go out of control and it can hurt you, even kill you … fear is a friend of exceptional people.

 

Joshua's promoters are amped

 

Wembley Stadium's past as a boxing venue for top of the bill fighters

In the old Empire Stadium in 1924 Tommy Gibbons beat Jack Bloomfield. In 1930 Young Stribling defeated Phil Scott. Five years later Walter Neusel forced Jack Peterson to retire and two years on Neusel fought there again and beat Maurice Strickland. 

Wembley plays Tetris Credit: Andrew Couldridge/REUTERS

 The first post-war fight there was not until 1956 for a low-key super lightweight bout between Arthur Murphy and Phil McCoy, In 1959 Wembley hosted a proper stramash between Willie Pastrano and Joe Erskine before Henry Cooper vs Cassius Clay in 1963 and 23 years before Bruno v Witherspoon and another nine-year wait for Frank's greatest night.

In the new stadium all we've had so far is the Froch vs Groves re-match in 2014 when Froch settled it beyond all doubt. 

Are you ready to rumble?

Tonight, shortly after 10pm, after months of preparation, hype and high, apple pie, in the sky hopes, Anthony Joshua, Olympic and IBF world heavyweight champion of Garston, near Watford in Hertfordshire, takes on Wladimir Klitschko, Olympic and former world heavyweight champion, of Kiev, Ukraine, for the IBF, IBO and WBA belts.

There will be 90,000, mainly partisan home fans at Wembley Stadium for the fight who will be fizzing with eager anticipation for Michael Buffer to take the microphone for the main event. Boxing schedules are as elastic as London Underground departure board minutes so it is unlikely that things will get underway according to plan when the clock strikes 10. Nonetheless Buffer, reported to be earning £4m for tonight’s shift, will be greeted by a full-throated Wembley roar, the kind that resounded when Carl Froch met George Groves there in 2014 and at the old stadium when Frank Bruno fought Tim Witherspoon in 1986 and Oliver McCall nine years later.

Joshua, 27, the smart, engaging favourite with a sprightly levity as well as the tungsten-toughness, has weighed in at 17st 10lbs, 10lb heavier than the 41-year-old Klitschko. It is clear from his size that Joshua’s intention is to use his considerable, concussive force to bully Klitschko who looks sharp, honed and sounds imperturbably focused.

If Joshua fails to stop Klitschko early, there are legitimate concerns about his stamina, his ability to carry all that weight for the first time over an entire 36 minutes but there are bigger doubts about the challenger who, in truth, hasn’t been consistently dominant against a credible opponent for more than a decade, since his second victory over Chris ‘Rapid Fire’ Byrd in 2006.

Joshua vs Klitschko: head-to-head stats Joshua vs Klitschko: head-to-head stats
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A vast global audience anticipates a classic and though they are rare these days, Klitschko’s pride and savvy and Joshua’s class and boldness justify the optimism. All the same, we know it will be an occasion, a potential ‘great night in British sport’, one whose repercussions will resonate beyond sport. Join us here for the duration, for build-up, analysis, live reports, the undercard and full coverage of the main event. Are you ready to rumble?