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Seeing stars: Ranking Anthony Joshua’s 5 greatest knockouts

In anticipation of his Wembley showdown with Wladimir Klitschko, we review the heavyweight champion's greatest hits...

12 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Seeing stars: Ranking Anthony Joshua’s 5 greatest knockouts

Anthony Joshua has scored plenty of devastating knockouts in his relatively young career.

The IBF world heavyweight champion has taken out all 18 of his professional opponents to date inside the distance, and is  in the latest boxing odds to do the same to Wladimir Klitschko on 29 April.

Here, we look back at his five best stoppages…

5. Joshua v Emanuele Leo (5 October 2013)

We start, appropriately, at the beginning.

The first fight of Joshua’s professional career ended the same way that many of the ones to come would: with an early, violent knockout.

The then-23-year-old entered the ring with enormous pedigree, having won Olympic gold just 14 months earlier.

And he lived up to expectations entirely, cornering the undefeated Italian Leo and landing a five-punch combination that ended the fight with 13 seconds remaining in the first round.

It wasn’t the best example of Joshua’s training – half of his shots clattered into his opponent’s gloves.

It was, however, a glimpse of his tremendous power and killer instinct.

4. Joshua v Kevin Johnson (30 May 2015)

Johnson was supposed to be a step up in class for Joshua in his 13th bout.

The durable American had never been knocked out in his 36-fight career, taking opponents such as Tyson Fury, Dereck Chisora and Vitali Klitschko the distance.

But after two knockdowns inside three minutes – one of which left the 36-year-old hanging halfway out of the ring – the end was near.

Johnson made it to his feet but was sent sagging into the ropes once again less than halfway into the next round, forcing the referee to step in for good.

Another opponent put away inside two rounds. Another test passed.

3. Joshua v Charles Martin (9 April 2016)

Not the most emphatic knockout of Joshua’s career, but definitely one of the most important.

The Englishman took the IBF world title from the self-styled ‘Prince Charles’ – arguably the worst heavyweight champion in history – with a well-placed right hand in the second round.

It had been coming. Joshua had floored the American with an identical punch just moments before, and it was obvious from the start of the fight that Martin had no answer for his hand speed.

The way the champion rose ponderously to his feet in a half-hearted attempt to beat the count suggested he just did not want to continue when victory seemed impossible.

Nevertheless, that did not stop Martin calling Joshua out for a rematch on Instagram in December.

Rewatching this fight might make the American reconsider.

2. Joshua v Raphael Zumbano Love (9 May 2015)

This one was just brutal.

Joshua has faced a plenty of overmatched opponents in his career, and Love was certainly among them.

The Brazilian’s boxing – like his hair – was messy, frayed and lacking structure.

He barely threw a punch, and with good reason.

When he did finally leave a gap in his defences, Love was lit up with a booming overhand right that carried such venom that Joshua’s hand visibly recoiled after the follow through.

A fast, accurate and powerful straight, it was a punch that only Joshua could have thrown.

1. Joshua v Dillian Whyte (12 December 2015)

Joshua’s signature fight, win and knockout.

Fighting an opponent he had genuine bad blood with for the first – and only – time, the then-26-year-old almost hit an unexpected wall when Whyte rocked him with a left hook in the second round.

British boxing’s golden boy was suddenly on shaky legs, but managed to hold off Whyte’s manic attack and regain control.

From then on he broke his rival down with his relentless jab, and even found time to showboat in the seventh round – twirling his right fist and smirking, knowing that it was almost over.

One uppercut later and the Body Snatcher was on the canvas, one arm hanging out of the ring, with the referee waving his arms above his head.

Job done.