Wembley Stadium, London - In a very important battle for the IBF, WBA, IBO heavyweight titles, a record crowd of 90,000 fans saw Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) get off the floor, score three knockdowns of his own, to stop Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 54 KOs) in the eleventh round.
Coming into this contest, Klitschko competed in 28 world title fights and is the second longest reigning world champion in history. The 41-year-old fighter has been out of the ring since losing a twelve round decision to Tyson Fury in November 2015. It was Klitschko's first defeat in over ten years and considered a huge upset by most observers.
There was a rematch clause exercised by Klitschko, but Fury withdrew from two scheduled dates and eventually vacated his WBA, WBO, IBO world titles to focus on his mental health issues. The vacant WBO title was acquired last December by New Zealand's Joseph Parker with a twelve round decision over Andy Ruiz.
Klitschko came out pawing with his usual jab, before getting hit with quick right hand by Joshua. It wasn't long before Joshua was using his own jab. Joshua was landing some quick shots, but none of them were landing too clean.
Klitschko started the second with a big right and then Joshua came firing back with both hands. Joshua was showing a very solid jab that was mostly a range finder for him. Klitschko was using angles and trying to time Joshua for a counter punch.
Joshua rushed in with a few punches that missed the mark in the third. He was coming forward and letting his hands go, looking to apply more pressure on Klitschko. Joshua continued to jab with Klitschko in every minute.
The fourth started with Klitschko landing a good right hand. Joshua did not allow him to follow up and not longer after he clipped Klitschko with a right hand, but it didn't land flush. There was some holding when either guy came inside.
Joshua attacked Klitschko with a big variety of punches to drop him, and cut him, early in the fifth round. Klitschko was in trouble, but he managed to recover and started tagging Joshua with punches to get the young lion in some trouble. Klitshcko worked him over for most of the final minute.
Joshua looked tired at the start of the sixth, likely after throwing so many punches while trying to finish Klitschko off a round earlier. Klitschko was coming on and then drilled Joshua down with a huge hook. It was the first knockdown of Joshua's career. Klitschko was unable to finish him off.
Klitschko was coming forward with a lot of pressure in the seventh, landing a lot of punches and controlling the fight as Joshua seemed tired.
The first eight round of Joshua's career. Klitschko was working his jab and looking to land power shots. Joshua was able to duck away from any of the incoming bigger shots. Joshua was starting to get his hand going again, but not really landing much of anything.
Joshua was starting to go more often to the body in the ninth. Joshua was starting to get his hands flowing, mostly to the body. In the tenth, Joshua came out swinging early on with a combination before composing himself. Klitschko throwing a lot of jabs. There was a clash of heads at the end of the round that seemed to really swell up the left side of Joshua's face.
At the start of the eleventh, Joshua came out firing big shots and had Klitschko in some trouble. Klitschko seemed very tentative to come in and then Joshua landed a huge combination to send Klitschko down for a second time. Another big combination landed to send Klitschko down for a third time and it likely could have been stopped, but the referee allowed the fight to continue. Joshua was busting Klitschko up against the ropes and the referee waved off the fight.