This article titled “Anthony Joshua knocks out Wladimir Klitschko in heavyweight title fight – as it happened” was written by Bryan Armen Graham at Wembley Stadium, for theguardian.com on Monday 1st May 2017 07.24 UTC
That’s all for now. Thanks for following along with us and be sure to check back for blanket coverage of an unforgettable night at Wembley Stadium.
Updated at 11.43am BST
The official scorecards are in. Ringside judges Don Trella and Nelson Vazquez had Joshua ahead by scores of 96-93 and 95-93, respectively, at the time of the stoppage. Steve Weisfeld had Klitschko ahead 95-93.
Updated at 11.19pm BST
“I hope you enjoyed the fight,” Klitschko says. “The best man won tonight. And it’s an amazing event for boxing. Two gentleman fought each other and he was better today than I. It’s really sad that I didnt make it tonight I was planning to do it but it didnt work. But all due respect to Anthony. Congratulations.”
The fighters embrace in the center of the ring as Michael Buffer makes the official announcement: Joshua by knockout at 2:25 of the 11th round. “I’m not perfect but I’m trying,” says Joshua, who follows with a series of gracious words for the fallen Klitschko. What a night.
The 27-year-old has retained the IBF’s version of the heavyweight title while adding the vacant WBA strap. He’s now 19-0 with all 19 victories by stoppage.
Updated at 10.58pm BST
Anthony Joshua knocks out Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round!
Joshua looks to blitz Klitschko from the opening bell of the 11th and Klitschko is down! An uppercut! Klitschko is hurt! Joshua looks to finish the job and sends Klitschko crashing to the canvas again. Klitschko down a second time in the 11th! Klitschko beats the count but Joshua comes in for the finish, Klitschko buckling under a flurry of punches and the referee intervenes! It’s over!
Round 10 (Joshua 9-10 Klitschko)
Another good combo by Joshua to open the 10th. Lots of jabs from both men. Klitschko still looks fresh but Joshua’s shown him a new look and he hasn’t quite figured it out yet. A very close round. Too close to call. I think Klitschko may have nicked it, certainly helped by the right that landed right at the bell.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 9-10 Klitschko (Joshua 94-94 Klitschko)
Round 9 (Joshua 10-9 Klitschko)
A strong body shot from Joshua early. More of those would help. The young champion looks spent, but he’s recommitted himself to the body attack and that’s the right play. A sharp right by Joshua lands upstairs and gets Klitschko’s attention. A nice recovery by Joshua here and Klitschko isn’t doing much in response. Joshua does enough to take the round, surely. It’s up for grabs with three rounds to go!
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Klitschko (Joshua 85-84 Klitschko)
Round 8 (Joshua 9-10 Klitschko)
Klitschko stalking Joshua, whose legs have recovered but who still finds himself on the wrong end of an increasingly worrying jab from the Ukranian. Klitschko pushing the pace here and the chasm in experience is showing. A close round but Klitschko won it with the jab. They’re back on even terms, on my card anyway, with four scheduled rounds to go.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 9-10 Klitschko (Joshua 75-75 Klitschko)
Round 7 (Joshua 9-10 Klitschko)
Joshua looks somewhat recovered as the seventh begins, but Klitschko doesn’t wait a moment before teeing off with his ramrod jab. He’s now outworking and outlanding the younger champion. Say what you want about Klitschko but his conditioning is impeccable. Simply breathtaking. Joshua looks as if he took off the round in the hopes of recovering, but in the process Klitschko notches an easy one. Does Joshua have a second wind? Remember, this will be his first ever time past the seventh round …
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 9-10 Klitschko (Joshua 66-65 Klitschko)
Round 6 (Joshua 8-10 Klitschko)
Joshua loses his mouthpiece early in the round. And now Joshua is down! A massive right hand by Klitschko did it. Joshua in serious trouble! Oh dear. Joshua looks exhuasted. He’s taking shots that he sees coming. Too tired to move out of the line of fire. No legs, breathing through his mouth heavily. Now he digs deep at the end of the round but it’s surely too little too late. A hugely compelling fight is unfolding here at Wembley. Can Joshua recover?
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 8-10 Klitschko (Joshua 57-55 Klitschko)
Updated at 10.31pm BST
Round 5 (Joshua 10-8 Klitschko)
Joshua comes out firing in the fifth and he’s hurt Klitschko! Klitschko is down early in the fifth! Looks like a left hook did it, but really it was the accumulation of quick punches. Klitschko beats the count but he’s cut over his left eye and he’s in trouble. But now it looks like Joshua is gassed after trying to close for the big finish. Joshua looks tired as Klitschko is getting his feet back. What a reversal! Joshua takes a massive left hand. What a round!
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 10-8 Klitschko (Joshua 49-45 Klitschko)
Updated at 10.27pm BST
Round 4 (Joshua 10-9 Klitschko)
Only the third time Joshua has been past the third round. Klitschko scoring early with a sharp right. Then he cracks Joshua again with a punch that prompts a collective groan from the crowd. Joshua answers with a hook followed by a right hand. A nice counter right by Joshua. Joshua’s linear assault on Klitschko is making him a far too easy target, but Klitschko not making him pay enough.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Klitschko (Joshua 39-37 Klitschko)
Round 3 (Joshua 10-9 Klitschko)
The fighters are starting to let their hands go early in the round and the potential for fireworks looms. Joshua finally uncorks a right uppercut but misses the target, but even the missed power shot stirs the crowd to the back rows. Joshua yet to land anything strong yet but he’s looking more emboldened and opening up more. Klitschko still bouncing on the balls of his feet, looking fresh. But even though he’s making Joshua miss and think, Wladimir is just not doing enough to score on his own right. Another close round but Joshua takes it for pressing the fight.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Klitschko (Joshua 29-28 Klitschko)
Round 2 (Joshua 9-10 Klitschko)
Klitschko scoring with right-hand leads early in the second. A good straight right from the Ukranian. Joshua fires back with bad intention and the crowd is whipped into a frenzy but the punch doesn’t seem to have connected with effect. Another low-action round as the fighters spent most of the session trading feints. A better, busier round for Klitschko and he nicks it on my card.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 9-10 Klitschko (Joshua 19-19 Klitschko)
Round 1 (Joshua 10-9 Klitschko)
Klitschko pawing with the left jab from the opening bell. The 41-year-old looks light on his feet. Each man feeling the other out in the middle of the ring. Lots of jabbing. Joshua darts forward and tries a left-right combination but misses. What a massive sound from this crowd in support of their man! Joshua lands a good left. Klitschko looking light on his feet, but holding his left low … perhaps trying to set an early trap. Not much from either man but slightly more from AJ.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Klitschko (Joshua 10-9 Klitschko)
Updated at 10.12pm BST
Michael Buffer has announced the fighters. Not much longer now. Final instructions, seconds out … and we’ll pick it up with round-by-round coverage from here!
Anthem time. First the national anthem of Ukraine, performed by Natalya Klitschko, the singer-songwriter wife of Wladimir’s brother Vitali, the present-day mayor of Kiev who was no slouch as a fighter himself in his day. Now to perform God Save the Queen: 2015 X Factor winner Louisa Johnson.
And out walks Joshua, clad in an all-white robe. The song is They Ain’t Ready by Skrapz before a quick cut to Seven Nation Army by the Stripes. He looks loose and relaxed. Then another cut to Juicy by Notorious B.I.G., a song that came out just before his fifth birthday. He’s through the ropes and into the ring. Spine-tingling atmosphere, truly.
Updated at 9.55pm BST
Klitschko emerges from the tunnel to his traditional ringwalk song: Can’t Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Pyrotechnics abound. Boos sound from pockets of the partisan crowd, but a mostly respectful reception. He’s dressed in a spartan black robe and walking at a brisk pace toward the ring. All business.
Predictions for this one are all over the map. How do you see it?
Five minutes from ringwalks and the atmosphere in the building is electric. Gala’s Freed From Desire pounds at an ear-splitting pitch from the Wembley sound system as 90,000 fans sing along in full throat.
Also, failed Celebrity Apprentice host Arnold Schwarzenegger is here. Sad!
Scott Quigg has just won a unanimous decision over Viorel Simion in their 12-round IBF featherweight title eliminator. Two judges handed down scores of 117-111 with a third seeing it 115-113. (I had it 116-112.)
Here’s a look at the previous undercard results if you’re just checking in now.
- Joe Cordina TKO 1 Jay Carney (four rounds, junior lightweights)
- Katie Taylor TKO 7 Nina Meinke (10 rounds, female lightweights)
- Luke Campbell TKO 9 Darleys Perez (12 rounds, WBA lightweight title eliminator)
Updated at 9.20pm BST
The temperature has dropped a touch to 13C (56F) but the atmosphere in Wembley is sizzling with anticipation for tonight’s main event. The upper decks are filling by the minute as the stage is set for what could be the latest indelible chapter in Britain’s decorated fistic annals.
Our Jim Powell has put together a retrospective looking back at a few of those famous nights. Might one day Joshua v Klitschko be mentioned alongside them?
Quigg and Simion have just made it through the seventh round of their 12-rounder when the massive screens on either end of the stadium flash to a live shot from Joshua’s locker room. Cue massive cheers that cascade down from Wembley’s upper reaches, only a brief taste of the raucous reception that awaits the 2012 Olympic gold medalist when he emerges from the tunnel in roughly 40 minutes for the fight of his life.
As for Quigg: The Bury featherweight is ahead 68-65 on my card after a sluggish start cost him the first two rounds.
Lots of reader emails about tonight’s timings, so here’s the score. Tonight’s fighter ringwalks, which, we’re told, “promise to be a spectacle befitting an event of this magnitude”, will begin at 9.35pm BST (4.35pm ET). The first bell itself is scheduled for 10pm BST (5pm ET). Simple arithmetic tells us to expect 25 minutes of pre-fight pageantry that one can only hope the bout itself can match.
A packed house of 90,000 is expected for tonight’s showdown. And if you doubt the true sense of occasion in a sport not exactly shy about the oversell, bear in mind that tonight marks only the 11th card in the history of Wembley Stadium (per BoxRec) – and just the second in the building’s current iteration.
The first was back in 1924 when Islington’s own “Basking” Jack Bloomfield took on the American light heavyweight Tommy Gibbons in a non-title fight against the backdrop of the British Empire Exhibition. Bloomfield was knocked out in the third round that night and never fought again. The locals who are slowly filling the bowls of Wembley to capacity at the moment can only hope Joshua avoids a similar fate tonight.
Hello and welcome to Wembley Stadium for tonight’s heavyweight title blockbuster between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. It’s a crisp 14C (58F) with roughly 75 minutes before the men of the hour make their long, lonely walks to the squared circle.
Right now former world champion Scott Quigg and Romania’s Viorel Simion are making their way to the ring for an IBF featherweight title eliminator. Then we’ll have two more swing bouts before the main event, which has been billed, and not completely without merit, as the biggest night for boxing’s prestige division since the summit meeting between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson in 2002.
Plenty more to come from London. Do send along your predictions for the main event so you can stand up and be counted.
Bryan is at Wembley and will be here very shortly. In the meantime, here’s Kevin Mitchell on the build-up to the fight:
There was nothing more to say but they said it anyway. Hoovering up a few more pay-per-view clicks at the end of a long promotion ritually relies on pre-fight shenanigans but there was no chance of that when Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko stopped short of eloping together on Thursday as their world title fight on Saturday night looms.
For weeks now, the bloodthirsty wing of the sport has complained these guys were way too nice. They shook hands every time they met, they laughed at each other’s jokes – such as they were – and, even when they had their face-off on Sky recently, there were as likely to tip the table on Johnny Nelson’s head as David Haye was to go on holiday with Tony Bellew.
On Thursday at Sky’s headquarters in west London, they tried again. We might as well have been in Disneyland. There was zero tension. You kind of wanted Tyson Fury to charge in dressed as Batman and moon the cameras. In a world where all the comedy is unintentional, irony rules.
For the full report, click here:
Updated at 7.59pm BST
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