Anthony Joshua powers to ninth-round knock-out victory over Kubrat Pulev

PA

Anthony Joshua produced a devastating ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev to start the second defence of his reign as world heavyweight champion in style.

The Briton dominated throughout at Wembley’s SSE Arena and a stunning combination finally saw off the valiant efforts of the challenger, who had been down three times before at the fourth time of asking could not make the count.

It meant Joshua retained his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts and more importantly stays on track for a twin-fight with Tyson Fury in 2021.

A ‘Battle of Britain’ could sell out across the continent and plans for it to be hosted at Wembley will depend on how many fans are able to attend, with only 1,000 spectators inside the SSE Arena due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pulev had talked the talk in the build-up to this fight and insisted he had been waiting for a second chance at Joshua after he was forced to pull out of a 2017 meeting due to a shoulder injury.

But after putting the challenger down twice in the third, Joshua did the same again in the ninth and the final knockout blow proved too much for the 39-year-old to come back from.

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