The current IBF, IBO and WBA (Super) unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0) has been speaking with The Sun and the topic at hand, was once again the monumental see-saw battle in April against the now retired, budding heavyweight ring legend ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ Wladimir Klitschko (64-5).
‘AJ’ reflected on a particular phrase he said to Klitschko in the midst of battle, with such high stakes on the line. Joshua had just suffered a hard knockdown and had just started the process of beginning to clear his head and told Wladimir while directly opposite him in the squared circle in that memorable 6th round; “When I’m talking to Klitschko after he’s knocked me down, I’m just letting him know that ‘if you let me get through this next round, I’m going to knock you the f*** out” Joshua recalled.
Looking back, Joshua interprets the move as somewhat of a motivational boost and an attempt to instil the belief that he could still pull off the victory. “It was just the warrior in me reassuring myself that I was still in the fight. The one thing my coach has never taught me is how to take a punch and lie down for ten seconds and get up before the count is over. He’s never come into the gym with a baseball bat and said ‘what we’re going to do is smack you around the jaw ten times and you’re going to lay on the floor and then see if you can get up’. Reflecting on that moment, Joshua believed he activated a reservoir of strength that he did not know he had or had been prepared for.
Joshua went on to explain given how evenly he and Wladimir matched up with one another was, the slimmest of margins make all the difference and the fight came down to raw desire and because he wanted it more, he was able to triumph. “When you’re up against someone who can match you punch for punch, power for power and speed for speed, it becomes who you are and how bad you want it. That fight was everything I’d trained for, for the last eight years. Forget everything else, it was mano-a-mano. This was me and Klitschko, this was about pride.” Joshua concluded.