World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua mixed strength and endurance when he knocked out Kubrat Pulev to raise hopes that a historic battle against Tyson Fury would soon take place.
The Briton hit home with a heavy right-handed three rounds that forced his compelling challenge to face a count and sent him to the canvas with an uppercut seconds later.
Joshua, perhaps outraged by the commotion, lowered the gas and allowed Pulev to at least make a minor threat, but a handful of nine touch signals descended on the Bulgarian and the pure right hand consumed him.
Will We See A Tyson Fury Bout?
A few minutes after this wonderful combination of courage and hard work, 1,000 fans offered access to the Wembley Arena roaring demanding that the IBF, WBA and WBO champion face WBC Champion Fury next.
“Anyone with the belts I want to compete with. If that’s Tyson Fury, let it be Tyson Fury,” said Joshua, 31.
His colleague Briton Fury quickly went to social media and wrote: “I want a fight. I want the next fight. I’ll get him out in three rounds. I can’t wait to get him out.”
Patience, Strength, Power
Joshua, wearing a white sleeveless ring, was brilliant from start to finish at the night when the anticipated battle against Fury – where four heavy world titles would be contested for the first time – dominated the narrative.
On his last trip, Joshua was under great pressure. A second defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr. in December would have left his career tense. He was a perfect boxer that night.
Defeat on Saturday would have made him a quick-witted guy in the midst of the Fury bout public demand. Again she was emphasizing.
He got his degree early on with sharp jabs as 39-year-old Pulev baked cautiously and struggled to throw anything quickly or cleverly.
When the challenge threw a jab for the third time, the counter fell to his jaw and surprised him. Pulev tried for a moment to smile and roar in the face of adversity but eventually turned his back on the attack and faced count. In a tragic turn, the uppercut then sent him to the site before the end of the round.
The two punched each other behind the bell, exchanging rays before the fifth and, while Pulev won at least the next round, he was unable to find anything that would allow him to call.
Some will ask why Joshua was not able to finish things so quickly, but after a year out of the ring, he managed to control a fight with a man who had lost once – to Wladimir Klitschko – on his record.
He wouldn’t miss a proper uppercut all night and the shot dropped Pulev’s game in the ninth minute, before jumping straight at his chin left him unable to turn the number as the champion trembled, knowing his night job was over.
It is proof to Joshua that he continues to experience and overcome such mental challenges.
Anger will go better than Pulev, punching in a wide variety of fists, believing in him more and setting more traps in the ring.
He will definitely bring a new level of mental warfare to any build in the event of this war.
Hope has never been as high as it will.
Shortly after Pulev returned to his feet, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said efforts to make the Fury fight would begin “tomorrow”, adding: “It’s the only fight going on in the boxing ring. It’s the biggest fight in British boxing history.”
Fury’s promoter, Bob Arum – who is one of the most important power traders – said he would work from Monday to make the biggest war since Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier’s existence in 1971 “.
That such figures look good, coupled with the fact that the financial divide agreement is said to already exist, gives real hope that the two could emerge from what Fury UK promoter Frank Warren repeatedly said would be “the UK’s biggest sporting event since the 1966 World Cup finals”.
There are a lot of problems that need to be resolved before the day comes – the hard deals of broadcasting television and the space between them. The sight of 1,000 fans singing Sweet Caroline before Joshua’s ringing signaled the return to full stadiums – which will be a must for the event – is imminent.
In the ring, both show signs of improvement. Fury has moved from a relentless battle to a pre-strike attack on Deontay Wilder last week. Joshua – on Saturday and by beating Ruiz – has shown that he too can do more than use his fists.
This was the number one defense in his second reign as a hero. A small group of men – Ali, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson among them – got a chance to take a world heavyweight champion tour.
Anger is in the selected group as well. The building lines are endless.
It’s time to wage war for the next generation.