Anthony Joshua defeats Wladimir Klitschko in rocky-esc battle to become the new big dog of the heavyweight division.

It was all out war at Wembley Stadium in a contest many will see as the greatest fight of the century.

For the first time in his professional career, Anthony Joshua looked in serious trouble.

Wladimir Klitschko, one of the all-time greats of the heavyweight division, hit the 28-year-old Brit with a hard right hook that had him fall on his backside during the sixth round of their epic clash at Wembley Stadium.

It was the first time since turning pro that Joshua had been put on the canvas. One round prior to that he had put the Ukrainian on the floor with a flurry of blows, but that seemed to use up all of his energy and now needed to try and survive until the bell.

Like true champions both rose back to their feet and battled on. Here we had two gladiators full of mutual respect for each other giving it everything they got.

The fight, which had as many twists and turns in it as one we’d expect to see in a Rocky film, lived up to the expectations fans, critics and fellow boxers had all expressed in the build-up.

With Klitschko looking to have established control as the contest entered its final few rounds, Joshua unleashed an uppercut from hell – a blow that almost ripped the 40-year-old’s head off his body – which left the legend vulnerable.

Joshua sensed his opportunity used everything he had left in his arsenal to not only fall the Ukrainian once but twice in the eleventh round, before American referee David Fields rightfully stopped the fight.

There were a record 90,000 people in attendance inside Wembley Stadium that night, with the fight was broadcast in over 140 countries. This victory not only furthered Joshua’s heroic status in the UK, but it also won him many admirers abroad.

The Brit then defended his belts last month in Cardiff with a a less than convincing TKO win over Carlos Takam. Still undefeated, the 28-year-old’s record now reads 20 fights, 20 wins and 20 stoppages.

So what next for Joshua in 2018? He holds two of the four heavyweight belts after defeating Klitschko (The WBA and IBF belts), and now looks like he wants to challenge one of the other two title-holders in another unification tussle.

New Zealand’s Joseph Parker looks the more likely to be Joshua’s next opponent early next year. The WBO champion has recently moved to the UK to try and raise his profile in the country, and according to his agents he has a more realistic deal in place should the fight go ahead.

However the fight everyone wants to see is Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion.

The American is just as big, just as strong and just as confident as the Brit and he hasn’t been afraid to hold back and call for Joshua’s agent Eddie Hearn to make it happen whilst both are at the top of their game.

Then there is the returning Tyson Fury to also watch out for. Having been the one to initially defeat Klitschko in Germany and end his reign as king of the heavyweights two years ago, Fury has not fought since due to a drugs ban and had his belts stripped from him.

But now he looks destined to return to the ring in 2018, and he wants his belts back with a vengeance.

The two British fighters have had a war of words on social media in the past and could now be about to put their fists where their mouths are. However I personally wouldn’t expect that fight to happen until 2019.

Looking down the line, if Joshua were to win both unification fights and then go on to defeat Fury, his name would not only be forged in boxing greatness forever, but he would become arguably the best British boxer of all-time.

Nick Blackwell’s current predicament shows Boxing still needs work medically.

Tonight, while some of you tuck into an hot cross bun watching the finale of the Night Manager, spare a thought for Nick Blackwell, who is in an induced coma following last night’s middleweight title bout with Chris Eubank Jr.

The 25-year old was rushed to hospital after the fight and it’s been confirmed that he has suffered bleeding to the brain.

This proves just how far Boxing has come in the last 25 years by the way medics were able to get him checked quickly.

But more importantly, shows how far away the sport actually is from making sure boxers are safe once they don the gloves and enter the ring.

Of course going into this profession means you are going to take some pretty hard knocks, suffer a broken nose, cracked ribs, bruising and cuts to the face, but these are all injuries you can recover from.

In Blackwell’s case, a serious head injury could have more effects in the long term than in the short. Is boxing really worth that risk of long term damage?

Brain injury association Headway questions whether the sport is actually doing enough to preserve it’s talented individuals.

Chief executive Peter McCabe told BBC Sport: “At a time when responsible sports are rightly taking action to improve their concussion protocols to ensure participants are properly cared for when accidental collisions occur, it seems perverse that greater attention is not placed on so-called sports in which participants are rewarded for rendering their opponents senseless by targeting the head and causing damage to the brain.”

It’s hard to disagree. Everyone who watched the fight last night saw Eubank Jr utterly dominate Blackwell. He bloodied him after three rounds and then hit him with severe hard blowing shots in the seventh.

It was clear that the former Middleweight champion was struggling, yet the referee allowed the fight kept going until the tenth!

Did someone finally wake up and notice that if the fight continued we may have witnessed something far more tragic?

There is a video on the Daily Mail website, showing Eubank sr tell his son to stop hitting his opponent during last night’s fight.

He told his son to aim for the body because he knew Blackwell was getting hurt, but also questioned why the referee hadn’t stopped the fight earlier.

Apparently, Blackwell being in a coma is just normal procedure so that the swelling can go down, but I think it’s fair to say that no one wants to be in that position.

We all dream about being World Champion. No matter what sport we take part in. But this is a place we could also find ourselves if things go wrong.

I wonder how Eubank Jr has felt for the past 24 hours. He may be Middleweight champion, but like his father before him, he has reduced someone to needing hospital treatment. This is professional sport, not some fight to the death during the Roman Empire!

Boxing needs to look into this in more depth if it is to promote itself to the youngsters and move forward altogether.

Head guards are worn at the Olympics to stop such injury from occurring, and although it’s not the prettiest thing to be wearing, it at least offers some form of protection.

A more drastic move would be to stop over the shoulder shots altogether, but again, it would protect boxers from the possibility of long-term mental damage.

Rocky may just be a movie franchise, but the way things are going ,we may see an Apollo Creed v Ivan Drago moment, something no one involved with the sport wants to see.