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Anthony Joshua delivered a stunning finish to stop a game Alexander Povetkin and retain his world heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium.

The IBF, WBO and WBA champion, criticised in some quarters for failing to finalise a deal with the division’s other high-profile names, responded emphatically with a seventh-round stoppage of the Russian, who had never been beaten inside the distance.

After an early chess match in which Joshua suffered a bloodied nose before cutting his rival, the Briton grew in confidence and a savage right hand followed by a left hook began an onslaught which would prove telling.

Another right-left combination downed Povetkin, who somehow made the count, only to stagger into a left hook which saw him slump into the ropes, leaving referee Steve Gray with no option but to intervene.

Roars poured down to ringside as the rain had all day, with Joshua’s corner ecstatic and rightly so. His display showcased poise, intellect and power, sending a message to the heavyweight division that the champion will take some stopping.

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