Anthony Joshua: Deontay Wilder in champion's crosshairs after Povetkin knockout win

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Whyte, who was among an estimated 80,000 crowd at Wembley, said of Joshua's latest victory: "He was patient and took his time, he was jabbing to the body and then brought the right into play which caught Povetkin by surprise".

When informed Fury was highly critical on social media of his performance versus Povetkin, Joshua laughed off the former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion's criticism.

The Russian eventually made it to his feet but another Joshua onslaught forces Povetkin's corner to step in and the action was stopped when the Russian was floored again, signalling the first stoppage loss of the 39-year'old's career.

He is hopeful of securing a rematch with Whyte but that seems unlikely anytime soon with the latter shaping as Joshua's next opponent if he can not come to an agreement with WBC king Deontay Wilder, who is slated to meet Tyson Fury in December.

"If Dillian (Whyte) wants to fight here he is also more than welcome".

But it appears as though neither Wilder nor Fury will be taking to the canvas opposite the unbeaten Joshua in the spring. It will look like absolute peanuts when this fight gets made.

Joshua, however, has had the last laugh. If Fury wins, it's not what we want because Wilder will have a rematch clause.

Hearn insisted: "We're not waiting for time-wasters; we understand if they lose we'll have to find another opponent, but if you win, we're not waiting until December".

In a video posted on Instagram, Fury said: "I think it's safe to say now that not team Joshua or Matchroom will ever fight the Gypsy King".

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Meanwhile the 28-year-old Joshua said he too had no intention of being messed about by Wilder.

Hearn told Sportsmail: 'We can not wait until the Wilder-Fury fight to make our decision on AJ's career.

"Let's see if Wilder v Fury actually happens". I'll always knock them down one by one, but people have to be patient.

'He had a back problem after about two weeks, and eight weeks out it was 50-50 whether he would be able to fight. April 13 is booked, so whichever heavyweight is serious, we can look at making a deal.

"It's about developing and I am in this game to win it and to learn".

Povetkin had the better of the opening rounds and caught Joshua at the end of the first - wobbling the Brit at the bell.

But perhaps the 26-year-old - 13 years younger than the Russian and with much fresher legs - would have been able to maintain the rage longer with a more lenient official and push "AJ" into deeper waters. Powerful? Yes. But they all are. Sometimes you have to go in there and really earn your money. "Povetkin is a tough challenger, for sure, but I knew how to break him down".

"I wasn't looking for the knockout but the instinct told he was hurt".

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