Anthony Joshua celebrates defeating Alexander Povetkin to retained his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight boxing titles, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Wembley Stadium in London. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)LONDON — With blood streaming out of his busted nose, Anthony Joshua was in deep trouble once more in front of 80,000 stunned spectators at Wembley Stadium.Alexander Povetkin, a 39-year-old Russian with supposedly his best days behind him, was dominating heavyweight boxing’s new superstar with his powerful inside work and punching power.ADVERTISEMENT Like 17 months ago when he was knocked down by Wladimir Klitschko in the same venue, Joshua was looking vulnerable. And just like that career-defining night, he came through.Joshua slowly picked off a tiring Povetkin and delivered a brutal finish in the seventh round to retain his WBA, IBF, and WBO belt on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“A few years ago,” Joshua said, “maybe I wouldn’t have won that fight.”The end was emphatic, and trademark Joshua. A left hook left Povetkin open and Joshua followed through with a straight right that sent the challenger to the canvas. Povetkin had his head through the ropes at one point but he managed to get to his feet, only for Joshua to pile in with a flurry of punches that caused the referee to step in and stop the fight with 1:01 left in the round. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil On a rainy night that forced spectators at ground level to wear plastic ponchos as protection from the wet conditions, Joshua struggled in the early rounds and was rocked by a three-punch combination from Povetkin in the first.Blood poured from Joshua’s right nostril and he might have lost rounds two and three, too, with Povetkin dangerous close in and with his fierce left hook.“It’s a nice way to wake up and knew you’re in a tough fight,” Joshua said.Using his long reach and fighting on the back foot, Joshua came back into the fight and Povetkin was looking for the big punch for the knockout.Povetkin sustained a bad cut over his left eye in round four and was noticeably slowing up by the end of round five. He had no answer to Joshua’s barrage of punches in the seventh that set up the crowd-pleasing finish.The Russian, who was the WBA “regular” champion from 2011-13, was getting a shot at a world title for the first time since testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs twice in a seven-month period in 2016.Coming in the same week as his native Russia was welcomed back into global sporting competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency after a notorious doping scandal, the timing of the fight seemed apt.And he put up a game fight, one which proved to be Joshua’s toughest test since Klitschko. It was the first time Povetkin was stopped inside the distance.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “There is a lot of pressure, the whole country is rooting for me,” said Joshua, whose phenomenal pulling power has seen him attract almost 400,000 spectators to his last five fights. “The energy in here spurs you on and you do feel that pressure, I’m not going to lie.”Joshua’s record moved to 22-0, with 21 wins coming inside the distance. He is booked to return to Wembley on April 13 for his next bout, and the plan is for the opponent to be either WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder or former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.They confirmed earlier Saturday they will be fighting on Dec. 1, likely in Las Vegas.Asked in the ring who his preferred opponent would be, Joshua said: “My No. 1 would be Wilder, let’s not talk about a No. 2 or 3.”Selling the Povetkin fight was harder than usual for Joshua and his promoters, with the Russian boxer now at veteran status and conceding around 11 kilograms on the champion. Joshua was 1-10 to win with some British bookmakers.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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The teams could meet as early as the South Coast Tournament on Sept. 22 or Sept. 27 at Belmont Plaza Pool. Nothing personal, but at that point, their childhood ties will be cut. They won’t even make eye contact. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “It’s kind of a pride thing to beat Wilson when they have all of their best guys,” Snyder said. “Last year, it would have been a great accomplishment to overcome Wilson.” But it wasn’t to be. The Bruins edged the Griffins 11-10 in double overtime on their way to another CIF Southern Section Division I title. When they meet again, McIntosh will likely be in the cage for Wilson. For the past two seasons, the senior has patiently waited his turn behind Chay Lapin, who was considered the best high school goalie in the country. “I obviously feel pressure when it comes down to it,” McIntosh said. “When I was on the bench, I got everyone fired up. That’s my way of (easing) the pressure. When the team isn’t playing (to its potential), I think it’s my job to hold things together and not let us get emotionally down.” The Bruins return a plethora of players from a year ago. It’s Clayton Snyder’s last year of high school water polo. And once again, leading the Los Alamitos High boys water polo team to the CIF Southern Section Division II title and beating Wilson are on his things-to-do list. This year, Snyder will have to go through his friend and Bruins goaltender Jacob McIntosh to upset Wilson. Senior attackers Matt Sagehorn and Anthony Artukovich are National Age Group All-Americans, who will compete with the USA Junior National team at the Junior Worlds in Argentina in October. Senior 2-meter Charles Wright an All-CIF selection and Junior Olympics Honorable Mention All-American defenders Cody Walter and Scott Huntley and sharpshooter Kyle Wooten have the experience and talent to keep the Bruins afloat while Sagehorn and Artukovich are away. “Kyle does a great job. We are looking for him to step in a role of a counter player and tough defender as well as a shooter,” Wilson coach Tony Martinho said. The Griffins have a young team. “I am starting three freshman,” Los Al coach Dave Carlson said. “We might have a year where we take some lumps early on. We lost nine seniors. We have a lot of holes to fill. I have only two guys with crunch-time experience. I don’t know how the guys are going to respond to adversity. The freshman are going to face it the first month.” The Griffins, who topped Villa Park in the Division II final, are currently ranked second by CIF. “It’s based on what we did last year,” Carlson said. Freshmen Michael Delaney (goalie), Forrest Watkins (center-back) and Austin Trinkle (attacker) are a part of Los Alamitos’ youth movement. Here’s a closer look at this year’s water polo scene: MOORE LEAGUE Best team: Wilson (29-2) first place. League outlook: The Bruins are heavily favored to win their 30th league title and 18th consecutive crown and to win their fifth consecutive Division I crown and 11th overall to tie Newport Harbor for the most in history. Sagehorn is a returning All-CIF first teamer and will be surrounded by plenty of talent. Chase Gilmore and Scott LaBounty, whose brothers competed on championship squads, are among the seniors who add depth to the bench. … Poly High coach Scott Penttila has plenty of talent returning from last year’s team that edged Millikan for second place in league. After two games, junior 2-meter offense David Sodeberg leads the Jackrabbits (1-1) with 10 goals. Junior 2-meter defender Martin De Jong, junior goalie Duran Reid, senior attacker Justin Ward and sophomore attacker Billy Brightenburg are the core group of returnees. “I only graduated three seniors, and I think we can do it,” Penttila said of holding on to second place in league. … Millikan, which features senior attacker Brian Mattingly, has a new coach in Tim Fredericksen who takes over for Johnny Bega. In wins against Fountain Valley and St. John Bosco, Mattingly has tallied 12 goals. Senior attackers Brandon Larson and Rico Martinez, sophomore utility Scott Butler and senior goalie Dillon Wood will try to wrestle second place from Poly. … Lakewood coach Sean McWhorter has the most balanced Lancer team he has had in eight seasons. “We have a lot of seniors who are contributing in different ways,” he said. Junior attacker Josh Fisher (four goals vs. Warren) has been a pleasant surprise for the Lancers (4-2), who finished third at the Bell Gardens Tournament. Senior attackers Jose Guzman and Kyle Jasper, senior goalie Kyle Grieving and senior utility players Justin Palmer and Jacob Schuster are among Lakewood’s key players. SUNSET LEAGUE Best team: Esperanza. League outlook: Los Alamitos (25-6 last year) is the defending league and CIF-SS Division II champs. But the Griffins aren’t the same squad. Snyder, who has drawn considerable interest from UCLA and Pepperdine, and Jeff Tsim will have to carry much of the offensive load until the youngsters grow up. What makes the Griffins’ task even harder is that they compete in the toughest league in CIF-SS. Esperanza is expected to give Los Alamitos the most problems in defending its crown. Huntington Beach, Edison, Marina and Fountain Valley usually are among the toughest teams in Orange County. GABRIEL VALLEY LEAGUE Best team: Downey (21-9) first place. League outlook: There has already been a change at the top of the Vikings’ program. Jamie Whyte, who guided Downey to the SGVL title and to the quarterfinals of CIF-SS Division III a year ago, returned to Servite as an assistant, leaving Peter Muller in charge. Senior goalie Alan Nevarez, who made key saves down the stretch of the Vikings first-round playoff victory against Whittier last year, had 10 saves last Tuesday. Senior utility players Sean Feliciano and Jarrett Powers, junior 2-meter Patrick McCarthy and attackers David Correa and Ethan Klotzer are back to defend their league title. … Last season, Cerritos (20-6 last year) placed second in league competition. This season, senior utility Jan Michael Pineda (eight goals) and junior 2-meter offense Dan Biag (14) have the Dons off to a good start (5-1). Senior attacker Chris Kim, senior 2-meters Torrence Lee and John Chao and senior goalie Steve Laos are the supporting cast. “I am a little disappointed that we didn’t make the (CIF Division III) Top 10,” Cerritos coach Ray Contreras said. “We played a lot of Division I schools over the summer, and we are a much better team than we were last year. We have more experience and more patience with the ball. We should have a really good showing.” … Despite a 7-7 record last year, Whitney finished third in the SGVL and got an invitation to the playoffs. Coach Paul McManus has a solid group of returnees in senior 2-meter Marvin Cho, junior attackers Grant Shin and Raj Mehta, senior attacker Peter Nguyen and junior goalie Albert Song. Freshman utility Marvin Shin can play any position. … Two years removed from winning the SGVL title, Gahr has emerged from obscurity with an eight-man squad. Jerry Portillo, who coached the girls water polo team last year, has taken on the task turning the program into a contender again. Senior attacker Chris Villa, who competed for the Gladiators’ program two years ago, is the team’s lone experienced player. … There’s also a new coach at Warren. Joy O’Dowd, who served as assistant coach last year, took over for Justin Davis and is the Bears’ third coach in three seasons. Senior 2-meter Scott Solvyan and senior attacker Mark Wray are two players on the squad with three years of varsity experience. Junior 2-meter Ryan Gutierrez has club water polo experience. “The rest of my team are really, really green,” O’Dowd said. SERRA LEAGUE Best team: Servite League outlook: St. John Bosco coach Rob Smith is hoping the Braves will finally have something to show for all the hard work they have put in over the past four seasons. Seniors Justin Brown (goalie), Shane Fleming (2-meter), Scott Bender (2-meter), Andy Domngern (defender) and Adam O’Connor (defender) began their careers with Smith. They, along with the addition of freshman 2-meter Carl Sandstram, will have to buckle down on defense if they plan to upset Servite this season. “I’ve had this group since my first year, so they know what I expect,” Smith said. “Shane Fleming has five goals on the season. He has been the biggest surprise.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!