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Anthony Joshua shows power of a true champion against Povetkin | Sean Ingle

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The Russian provided some anxious moments early on but Anthony Joshua, even when he was bloodied, never panicked and was too hot to handle

Afterwards, when the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts were once again strapped to his waist, Anthony Joshua insisted that he had had “fun” against Alexander Povetkin. It sure did not look that way. Indeed, for the first six rounds Wembley was gripped with something unmistakable and unusual for a Joshua fight: an eerie, apprehensive silence.

It started when their man had his nose bloodied by a brutal uppercut at the end of the first and there were gasps every time Povetkin landed with a left hook. As the fight entered its second half, there seemed a growing possibility that the Russian – who has twice failed drugs tests – might just leave London with three of the four heavyweight belts, even though all three judges had Joshua up at halfway.

Related: Anthony Joshua resumes knockout run against Povetkin to retain titles

Related: Anthony Joshua knocks out Alexander Povetkin – in pictures

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