Anthony Joshua rose through the heavyweight ranks with twenty stoppages in his first twenty contests.
It was a unification bout with Joseph Parker that first forced him to go the distance, winning a unanimous decision against the tough New Zealander.
That was followed by another knockout – Alexandr Povetkin – before Joshua had a cruel taste of his own medicine in New York City. Andy Ruiz Jr capitalised on a man that was so used to finishing people off when they were hurt that he rushed in reckless.
His career has been up and down since then. A win in the Ruiz rematch followed by a knockout over Kubrat Pulev brought some confidence back, but two comprehensive losses to Oleksandr Usyk and a double trainer change saw it dip once more.
After beating Jermaine Franklin in April, Joshua is looking to prove he can still mix it with the very best in the world. To do so, many believe he needs to rediscover that killer instinct.
It’s something Frazer Clarke believes he can do. Speaking to The Independent, the up and coming heavyweight said Joshua would ‘finish you off with a sledgehammer’
“There’s a comparison of hitting something with a sledgehammer, or hitting something with a normal hammer a lot of times – you know, like when you hit a nail. [The latter] is what it is with Joshua, then he’ll finish you off with a sledgehammer on the last shot. Boom!”
Clarke was on Team GB with ‘AJ’ and has been drafted into camp on plenty of occasions as a sparring partner.
He has high praise for the two-time champion’s work ethic, and was keen to point out that he wasn’t just a big puncher, but a smart and effective one.
“It’s not nice. It’s not nice being hit by any heavyweight.”
“You only have to look at Anthony Joshua, the man is made of muscle – he has muscles coming out of places where muscles shouldn’t be – but when people think about Joshua punching, what they don’t realise is… it’s not the one punch. He’s actually a really good combination puncher, and a fast puncher.”
“When he gets the opportunity, he punches hard and often, and that’s almost worse than one single shot. You can prepare for a single shot – you can sort of brace on impact – but what you can’t prepare for is two, three, four shots from different angles.”
Those combinations may be key when Joshua steps through the ropes with arguably the biggest hitter in the sport, Deontay Wilder, later this year.
The American is known for his equaliser, but has been bamboozled from corner to corner by Tyson Fury, who perhaps showed other fighters the blueprint to victory.
Joshua looks set to attempt to be the second man to beat him this December in Saudi Arabia.