Anthony Joshua became the unified heavyweight world champion by adding the WBA belt to his IBF title with an 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko in a thrilling fight.
The 27-year-old was knocked down in round six but twice had Klitschko on the canvas in the penultimate round before the referee stepped in.
England’s Joshua remains undefeated as a professional, with 19 victories.
A post-war record 90,000 fans at the national stadium were treated to a see-saw contest, Joshua dropping the former unified world champion in the fifth round, before being put down – for the first time in his 19-fight career – in the sixth.
Both men looked in danger of being stopped over two rounds which will live long in the memory, before Joshua delivered the clinical blows in the 11th.
The Briton landed a brutal uppercut which gave him the platform to send Klitschko down with an immediate flurry.
‘Dr Steelhammer’ stood, was dropped by a left hook again moments later, and then stood again, only for referee David Fields to save the challenger when pinned against the ropes.
Joshua threw his arms into the air as roars rolled down the Wembley tiers. He had come through his stiffest test to date, while Klitschko had answered questions of his own, showing he remains competitive at world level, even at 41.
He will rue not finishing the job when he floored Joshua and appeared tantalisingly close to reclaiming two of the titles he lost in his last fight against Tyson Fury in 2015.
“What can I say? 19-0, three and a half years in the game,” said Joshua. “I’m not perfect but I’m trying, and if you don’t take part, you’re going to fail.
“As boxing states, you leave your ego at the door and you respect your opponent. So a massive shout-out to Wladimir Klitschko.”
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