During his marathon attempt to score a knockout win at Khabib’s expense, 42-year-old Fury was dominated for much of the night by Australian champion Joshua – who appeared to be on top on numerous occasions. But it all came to a sudden end when Wilder pressed a full-on counter right hook to Fury’s face on the inside, but a storm of anonymous “analysts” claimed the mis-hit was aimed at Joshua. “I cannot believe what I’m seeing and reading this morning. The announcement that the champion quit while he’s down tells me who won,” tweeted writer Michael Chikalia. “[Anthony Joshua] throws a jab and the crowd goes crazy – ‘what the hell?’ What’s wrong with the champ? WOW.”

GETTY Eddie Hearn (left) ridiculed AJ’s new enemy Wilder

REUTERS AJ imploded as he stopped Wilder in the eighth round

The sparring sessions were motivated by Anthony Joshua’s former Olympic gold medal rival Eric Molina’s prediction of a dramatic night in the ring. Fury, who admitted to being “extremely disappointed” with his performance against Joshua, was after all denied the opportunity to fight Joshua as his promoter Eddie Hearn went down a memory lane. He made light of the disaster, joking: “Listen Eric – you know I can’t keep feeling the same way. He’s lost his marbles.” Joshua, 29, but only a sub-par 10-rounder, refused to get involved in the debate but said: “I respect a lot of people and their opinions but that’s not what I’m here to do.”

GETTY AJ floored Fury in the ninth, but after that Joshua made the fight interesting

GETTY AJ will fight Tyson Fury again in a bid to win back the WBA heavyweight belt

Joshua decided to make the fight public when he announced he was working with Wilder to win back the title with a massive pay day fight in Brooklyn next year. The epic domestic affair which changed boxing forever will see the pair battling for the WBA title in an evening of carnage. A thrilling showdown is likely to see the champion sit ringside and the chippiest of action will see Joshua squared up to Wilder’s former Team Ring rival David Haye.

GETTY Wilder has been linked with a November unification bout with AJ