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Photos: Joshua vs Povetkin result: Anthony Joshua survives suspected broken nose in first round before stopping Russian in seventh

Brit champ retained his WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight titles with a seventh-round stoppage at Wembley

ANTHONY JOSHUA survived a close shave to demolish Alexander Povetkin and retain his heavyweight world titles.

The WBO, IBF and WBA king beat his Russian opponent with a seventh round stoppage against a foe who proved well worthy of getting a shot at the belts.

The fight ended in spectacular fashion - a knockout that will be replayed again and again - but it only came after some brutal rounds in which AJ struggled to get the upper hand.
Povetkin appeared to shatter Joshua’s nose in the very first round but the Londoner regained control of the fight and finished it in sensational style, dropping the Russian twice before he was saved.

Povetkin’s peekaboo style was never going to edge him ahead on points as he looked for the KO from the off.
And he had shock success at the very end of the first round when he pounced up from his crouching position to land two short and sharp hooks that caused the champ to stumble and appeared to crush his hooter.
AJ started the second with his nose oozing blood and threatening his breathing as the rounds went on.

The 39-year-old veteran was having all the success with the bullish tactics he was always expected to use but seemed to stun the Brit hero with.

The break gave Joshua’s corner ample time to mop up the blood around his mouth and clear his nostrils with cotton buds.
The underdog was reacting rapidly to AJ’s jabs and darting in behind his defence but the hometown hero enjoyed his best round with in the third, he seemed to settle and find his range.

And the fourth started in similarly promising fashion when an uppercut caught the Soviet star and reminded him of AJ’s power.

A cut around Povetkin’s left eye was starting to leak into his line of sight and fans could see their hero growing in stature and belief.

The Povetkin hooks that slaughtered David Price back in March were a constant threat but AJ proved he had adapted to them by the fifth when they seemed to pose far less of a problem.

AJ gave his rival a a taste of his own bitter medicine at the start of the sixth when he landed with a lead left hook and followed it up with an uppercut but the wily ex-champion can take a punch.

With over a decade separating them, Povetkin ended the sixth with a huge gulp of air, if he had hoped for a quickfire finish he was found lacking and was headed for the trenches.

And he was not long for the war as the seventh started.

Povetkin landed with two hooks that put him in control but AJ roared back with a sensational right hand that robbed the Russian of all of his senses.

A thunderous flurry followed that sent him head-first through the ropes, his vulnerable rump left dangling inside the ring while his head was in the crowd.
Somehow he made the count and Steve Gray let the action continue, but AJ - busted nose and all - smelled blood and floored him again before the fight was called off.

Wembley was once again the centre of the boxing world on Saturday night.

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