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29th Apr 2017

WATCH: Anthony Joshua digs bloody deep to savage Wladimir Klitschko late on

Like something from a movie

Darragh Murphy

“If it finishes early, it will be AJ’s day. If it goes late, Klitschko could have it.”

Those were the overriding sentiments when it came to predicting how Saturday’s heavyweight showdown in Wembley would play out.

How wrong they were.

Anthony Joshua dug deeper than he ever had to in his young career as he proved he most definitely belonged among the elite with a stunning late stoppage victory over Wladimir Klitschko.

‘AJ’ dropped Klitschko initially in the fifth round but, between five and eleven, it was the Ukrainian who entered the ascendancy.

We looked to be on our way to a typical Klitschko decision when a second wind and unfathomable determination set up a glorious Joshua finish.

It had been suggested that the Klitschko test had come too soon for Joshua but how incorrect those detractors were as Joshua sent the 41-year-old to the canvas twice in the penultimate round before forcing the referee to jump in and save the veteran.

Klitschko had taken absolute control of stages of the contest with his jab but he had no answer for Joshua’s ferocity and focus to deliver an unforgettable night for his hometown fans.

‘AJ’ is the real deal. He’s 19-0. And he’s going absolutely bloody nowhere.