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Anthony Joshua calls out Deontay Wilder after Alexander Povetkin win

By Opta
Anthony Joshua in action against Alexander Povetkin

London, September 23: Anthony Joshua stated his eagerness to fight Deontay Wilder at Wembley next April after overcoming a major scare at the London venue to emphatically defeat Alexander Povetkin.

Joshua was troubled by Povetkin early on and suffered a bloodied nose in the opening round, but ultimately retained his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world title belts in style with a brutal seventh-round stoppage on Saturday (September 22).

The champion delivered a stunning flurry of punches to ensure Povetkin was stopped for the first time in his career.

In a post-fight interview in the ring, Joshua initially suggested his fans should decide his next opponent, before acknowledging there is one man he wants most of all.

"My number one would be Wilder," he said. "That's it. Let's not talk about number two, number three. Wilder, that's it, yeah."

Speaking to DAZN, Joshua added: "Ultimately, we're two fighters, two champions in the same division at the same time. So at the end of the day, we have to fight each other. It would be silly of us not to."

Prior to that decisive response, Joshua - who is now 22-0 with 21 knockouts - insisted he does not care who prevails in the December 1 contest between the unbeaten Wilder and Tyson Fury.

"I'm not too fussed who wins, to be honest," said the Briton. "I only concentrate on myself.

"But good luck to both of them and may the champion bring himself to the UK, let's have a good dust-up."

There was significant clamour for a Joshua-Wilder fight earlier this year, but negotiations failed to bring a resolution, with both camps critical of the other.

"Look, I'm not in the blame game, it was him, it was me, tit for tat. We've both done a lot of talking and I'm here now," said Joshua.

"I had a good fight, I got my knockout streak back, I found my right hand – it went missing for a little while – but I found it and it's lining up for April 13.

"There are always some complications with negotiations, fair dos. But the sport is about what the fans want.

"Let's ask the question. There's no mandatory challengers. We're gonna put a poll out on Twitter, because anyone is welcome."

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    Story first published: Sunday, September 23, 2018, 4:40 [IST]
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