WHAT can I say about that? Wow. Congratulations to Anthony Joshua firstly. Everything is now cleared up, we know who the man is, and that was the fight he needed. It was a tough fight for him, it was a good fight for everyone watching, and he came through the tough times to be victorious.
Sitting at ringside was great, it brought back lots of memories for me and allowed me to relive my favourite memories through Joshua for one night. It made me think of the night I beat Frank Bruno at the National Stadium in Cardiff in 1993. I remembered the roar of the crowd, and that still lingers in my mind. It was a cold night, it was late at night as we entered the ring, and – like Joshua-Klitschko – there was lots of drama.
That’s what boxing needs, and for one night it was like the Super Bowl. There was 90,000 people there, shouting and singing, there was millions of people watching home and “AJ” wanted that. Everyone goes out on the street afterwards, everyone is happy, it’s like one big party for the whole country.
I can relate to how he felt afterwards. It’s a massive high, you just think ‘Wow, I did it.’ His dream is finally there, he asked for the major test and he came through it. The happiness that follows immediately afterwards is like you’re on top of the world. Everything you have been working for all those years, all the sacrifices you make has paid off.
For Klitschko, I expect he will want the rematch because nobody wants to go out on a loss, and he will want to put things right. But can he win the rematch? That’s a different story. I think Joshua was a little bit timid going into the fight, he’d never experienced anything like this before. But now he knows what to expect from Klitschko, he knows he can hurt him, he knows he can throw punches that will land and will hurt Klitschko. And he knows he can take the best shots from Klitschko. I think a rematch would be more one-sided, definitely.
There was a moment when it looked like Klitschko was going to win and it looked dodgy for Joshua when he went down. But what impressed me was how he took his time to get up.
I knew Klitschko would be ready to fight, he wanted it badly. It was like his legs had grown a couple inches from his last fight, as he was bouncing around. The loss to Tyson Fury made a lot of people think Klitschko was finished, but it was the sheer unorthodox style of Fury that beat Klitschko that night – it wasn’t an off night, he just lost to Fury.
Klitschko has been boxing that way for years, usually with great success but if you watch him, he only has three punches. There’s no body punches, he has the jab, the right hand and the left hook. Every time Joshua got close Klitschko would try the right hand and he missed a lot. After that he’d try with the left hook.
The heavyweight division is thriving again and there’s some good young talent out there, and Joshua is now at the top. He took this risk to get there, he went after the big man and now he’s the man that all the rest will be coming after. It’s hard to say how long he will be champion for, but with his mentality – he’s always hungry – I expect him to be at the top for a long time. There are things he needs to work on, and he’s going about working on those things the right way – he has the time and the platform to work on as much as he wants to.
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