Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is busy preparing for his upcoming fight against Kubrat Pulev on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales.
Amidst the excitement and anticipation of his next big test, Joshua has disclosed insights of his bout with Wladimir Klitschko and what transpired during the fight itself.
The mega-fight in April between two giants of the sport was undoubtedly the biggest contest of Joshua’s career 'till date, but, for the first time, the Brit has come out to give a detailed account of the verbal duel that was in motion inside the ring, as well as what his own thought process was at the time.
In the middle of the grand crowd at the iconic Wembley Stadium, Joshua was floored by the dynamic Ukrainian, which led to an extraordinary mid-fight conversation.
Speaking on the issue with BBC for 'Anthony Joshua: The Fight Of My Life', he said: “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’, as per The Sun.
“It was just the warrior in me reassuring myself that I was still in the fight.”
He shockingly revealed that he was never trained by his coach how to recoup himself if dominated by the opposition.
“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 continued.
“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’."
The Londoner admitted that night in April proved to be a huge learning curve of his career.
“It’s a situation where you’re in a fight or flight mode and what I learned about myself that night against Klitschko was that I have the deep down character that no-one can teach you in training.
“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.
“When it comes to boxing I strip everything back to reality and focus on what it really is. It’s just me and a man coming to blows. And the best man will win.”
Joshua asserted that it was indeed the toughest fight he has had since turning pro as he ushered tremendous amount of courage and determination to outlast Klitschko and secure an epic win.
He believed he had everything in control after knocking down the 41-year-old in the fifth round, only to see the former champion rise up again.
A fight that delivered 11 rounds of brilliant action and dynamism from both boxers, which ended in favour of the British ace, but not until the pair matched each other on every manoeuvre as the fight progressed.
Joshua recalled: “Right from the start he was hitting my hands ‘bang, bang’.
“Years of training must have built up a lot of strength in that arm to knock my hands out of the way. That’s when I realised I was in with someone who’s just as strong as me and who can match me for ability.
“He was having a lot of success with the right hand early on. I had to get rid of the respect I had for Klitschko outside of the ring and just turn it into a dogfight.
“In my heart of hearts, I thought I had him when I put him down in the fifth. I roared to the crowd as if I’d done it and the ref was grabbing me, pushing me to the corner.
“What I didn’t realise was that Klitschko was rising to his feet like a Terminator, filling himself with a new lease of life and coming out to give it his last push.
“I’ve come in thinking ‘this is it’. I’ve swung a right hand, missed. I’ve swung a left hook, missed."
It was experience of the veteran which tested the 27-year-old to the limits.
He added: “Klitschko is fighting back and I’m like ‘woah, this ain’t what I’m used to.
“But I can’t say ‘one sec, Klitsch, I’m not used to this, bro. Let me just gather myself for a minute’.
“It took me 11 rounds to figure out the kind of combinations he throws, so as he’s thrown the right hand that comes straight out, I’ve decided to try to go under, right hand to the body, left hook to the head.
“Unfortunately, none of those punches landed. But out of the blue, as go you right and left you just naturally rotate. And what comes next is the uppercut.”
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms