Anthony Joshua knocked out Kubrat Pulev in spherical 9 to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world titles on Saturday evening in London.
The British champion floored his Bulgarian challenger 4 instances in a dramatic and entertaining contest, which can hopefully arrange an undisputed battle between AJ and Tyson Fury subsequent 12 months.
The competition started with a cagey opener as each males appeared hesitant and exchanged jabs.
In spherical two, AJ started to open up and fired off a mix of hooks and uppercuts.
Pulev simply smiled again and absorbed various physique jabs as he tried to shut the space.
The battle exploded into motion within the third as Joshua hammered Pulev with a tough proper hand and adopted up with a collection of energy punches.
The Bulgarian initially laughed in response however then turned his again and was smashed into the ropes by a follow-up mixture, prompting a depend from the referee.
Pulev fought on however was as soon as once more floored, this time by a large uppercut from the champion.
Remarkably, he recovered to his toes for a second time and survived the spherical.
At the beginning of the fourth, Joshua ensured that he wouldn’t endure from the identical errors as he did in his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.
The Brit attacked cautiously, understanding his opponent was nonetheless sturdy.
This theme adopted into spherical 5 and opened up alternatives for Pulev who landed two important proper fingers.
As they approached the midway level, the challenger gave the impression to be rising in confidence and had the champion on the again foot.
Pulev was additionally warned a number of instances for rabbit punching within the clinch.
Within the seventh, Joshua planted his toes and fired consecutive uppercuts on the Bulgarian who once more stood agency.
Pulev caught the Brit with a proper hand in spherical eight and appeared often harmful, simply as his opponent did susceptible.
Nevertheless it was throughout three minutes later.
AJ discovered one other knockdown in spherical 9 after which ended the battle with a brutal proper which put Pulev down for the depend.
Joshua reacted post-fight: “I caught to what I do know greatest, boxing, taking a look at the place I’m gonna put my pictures, put them collectively.
“After they’re profitable, they’re profitable, it’s much less discuss and extra motion.”
Requested whether or not the needs the problem of dealing with Fury, he replied: “In fact I need a problem.
“It’s not in regards to the opponents, it’s in regards to the legacy of the belt. Whoever has obtained the belt, I would like the problem. If that’s Tyson Fury, let it’s Tyson Fury.”
With an settlement already in precept for 2 conferences between Fury and Joshua in 2021, solely the finer particulars must be resolved for a mouth-watering unification bout.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, added: “We will probably be pleasant, we will probably be good and we all know what we have now to do. Ranging from tomorrow let’s make this Tyson Fury battle occur.
“It’s the solely battle to make in boxing, it’s the largest battle in boxing and the most important battle in British boxing. I do know he needs it.”
Fury, who declined a proposal to attend, instantly took to Twitter after Joshua’s victory and stated: “I would like the battle, I would like the battle subsequent and I’ll knock him out inside three rounds.”