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Joshua finally vanquishes game Pulev with devastating ninth-round knockout

The Briton floored Pulev four times before the Bulgarian was finally unable to continue.

Anthony Joshua celebrates his stoppage victory.
Anthony Joshua celebrates his stoppage victory.
Image: Andrew Couldridge

ANTHONY JOSHUA PRODUCED a devastating ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev to start the second defence of his heavyweight world titles in style.

The Briton dominated at Wembley’s SSE Arena and a stunning jab-straight combination finally saw off the valiant efforts of the challenger, who had been down three times before he was finally unable to haul himself off the floor at the fourth time of asking.

It meant Joshua retained his WBA, WBO and IBF belts and more importantly stays on track for an undisputed title fight with Tyson Fury in 2021.

A ‘Battle of Britain’ could sell out on either side of the Atlantic 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.

The Bulgarian did grow into the contest in the middle sessions after inexplicably recovering from a third round in which he was fortunate to be allowed to continue.

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Joshua, though, smelled blood in the ninth, and stepped on the gas again before battering Pulev into submission.

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