Boxing: Anthony Joshua decimates Kubrat Pulev to retain WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles

Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has knocked out Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev near the end of the ninth round to retain his IBF, WBO and WBA belts at Wembley Arena.

The 31-year-old Brit was close to winning, when he floored Pulev in the third round with a sweet right hand, but the challenger recovered to test the home favourite in front of a limited crowd of about 1000 fans.

Pulev, 39, remained dangerous, without causing Joshua many anxious moments, but there was no escape in the ninth.

Joshua landed a clubbing right upper-cut that sent Pulev to the canvas for a third time.

The Bulgarian got back to his feet, but Joshua connected with another huge right hand to end the contest. 

Joshua was delighted with his performance, but was quick to cool talks on an immediate turnaround for the undisputed title against Tyson Fury.

"I hope everyone enjoyed that," he says. "More action, less talk.

"I stuck with what I know best and put my shots together tonight.

"If Tyson Fury has the belt, then I want to fight him, but I don't care of he's next. I just want to take it one fight at a time."

Promoter Eddie Hearn is a little more forthright, promising to "play nice" and negotiate a deal to fight Fury. 

 "We know what we have to do," says Hearn. "Starting tomorrow, we will be doing everything we can to make the fight with Tyson Fury."