Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev round-by-round: Brit heavyweight ace wins all nine plus FOUR knockdowns on way to victory
ANTHONY JOSHUA emphatically knocked out a resilient Kubrat Pulev after nine thrilling rounds.
Pulev picked himself up off the floor three times before he was finished off for good and laid out on the deck.
AJ landed a string of devastating uppercuts which left the Bulgarian barley beating the count.
But Joshua made no mistake of closing out the show as soon as the ref waved the action on, as a beautiful one-two ended it all.
Here SunSport runs down the fight round by round…
Joshua comes out feinting, looking nimble on his feet but cautious.
Cagey opener in the first round, Joshua lands the jab to head and body more frequently.
Pulev, does, however hold the centre of the ring.
First right hands of the fight lands for AJ as Pulev lunges in.
He then opens up with a combination but Pulev shows off smart defence and covers up well.
Joshua is winning the battle of the jabs but has his heavy shots blocked.
Joshua counters a jab with a massive right hand which shakes Pulev's legs.
AJ pours on the pressure as Pulev desperately holds on but he's backed into a corner, turns his back and the ref calls an eight-count.
Joshua comes out swinging and lands with massive uppercuts, sending Pulev crashing to the canvas.
The challenger beats the count and just about makes it past the round with two knockdowns scored against him.
Pulev starts the round on the back foot but Joshua looks cautious, learning from the mistakes he made in the first Andy Ruiz Jr fight last year.
The Bulgarian underdog comes forward with a big one-two but the champion just evades the trouble.
Pulev lands a short uppercut to end the round. He recovered from the disastrous third in convincing fashion.
The pace has slowed at the start of the fifth but as the two comes close, Joshua throws a double uppercut.
Big right hand lads over the top for AJ, but Pulev shows his experience by holding on.
Pulev lands two right hands of his own to close out the round, a sign he is still in the fight.
Pulev comes out quickly, for the first time showing real urgency.
Joshua is staying on the outside, flicking the jab out but just misses with a right hand over the top.
AJ appears to have let Pulev recover from the early onslaught.
Joshua lands a right hand but forces Pulev to cover up – the champ finds home with a short uppercut on the inside.
AJ comes forward, triples up with his right uppercut but Pulev SMILES back at Brit star.
Pulev lands a one-two down the middle to close out the round, showing off amazing resilience.
Pulev scores with a right hand to the top of Joshua's head, but he fires back with two hooks of his own.
The challenger throws a wide left hook which AJ just ducks underneath in a close call.
Joshua again lands with a big uppercut but just misses with the following left hook.
Left hand rocks Pulev's head back, AJ comes forward and lands FOUR consecutive uppercuts which finally drops his man.
Pulev beats the count but straight away Joshua throws a perfect one-two combination down the middle and lays the challenger out.
Joshua has done it – four knockdowns in total to close out an action-packed nine rounds.
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