A post-war record 90,000 fans at the national stadium provided the setting and the warring pair inside the ring delivered the epic fight that was fitting for the momentous occasion.
The record-breaking crowd 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.
The 27-year-old from Watford produced the performance of his career to add the WBA world heavyweight title to his IBF crown with an enthralling knockout win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium.
Both men looked in danger of being stopped during the battle, which will live long in the memory, before Joshua delivered the clinical blows in the 11th.
The Ukrainian stood, was dropped by a left hook again moments later, then stood again, only for referee David Fields to save him 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 also answered questions, showing he remains competitive at world level, even at 41.
At the time of the stoppage, Joshua was up 96-93 and 95-93 on two cards, with Klitschko leading 95-93 on the other.