ANTHONY JOSHUA cannot wait to show the lessons he learned from his epic battle with Wladimir Klitschko in his next world heavyweight title defence.
Joshua meets his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on October 28 after his planned Las Vegas rematch with Klitschko was scuppered by the Ukrainian’s retirement from the sport.
Klitschko’s decision denied a repeat of that brutal Wembley clash in April, which Joshua won by an 11th-round stoppage after being knocked down earlier in the fight.
But Joshua still plans to draw on that incredible contest, saying: “I am looking forward to expressing a kind of different approach to my boxing skills.
“What I went through in my last fight was a new experience. I want to show what I have learned from that. It is about finesse and outclassing your opponents, but if I need to go to war, I will go to war.
“I’m prepared to go into the trenches, but sometimes I can be smart and wise and take an opponent out without taking too much punishment.
“It depends what fight my opponent will bring to the table. I just look for the win one way or the other.”
Bulgarian Pulev has won 25 of his 26 fights, with his only defeat coming against Klitschko when he lost inside five rounds in November 2014. But despite that loss, Joshua – who is also the WBA heavyweight champion – says he is taking nothing for granted ahead of the fourth defence of his IBF title.
“I learned that sometimes you can watch a million videos of your opponent and prepare for something,” Joshua said at the first press conference to promote the Pulev fight.
“But it is always different when you step into the ring. I always prepare for an improved fighter from what I have seen on video.
“It is not so much about making a statement to anyone – it is just showing my coach that I an listening to his instructions.
“As long as my coach and the old-time fighters are impressed by what I’m doing, that’s all that matters.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring. As soon as my last fight was over on April 29, my next question was, ‘When’s the next one?’ I’ve been ticking over after I left the body to recover, and it’s no problem to get energised once again.”
Pulev is recognised as a creditable opponent as he has a top-three ranking with the WBC and WBO as well as holding his number one status with the IBF.
And speaking through a translator, the 36-year-old said Joshua should be wary of street-fighting skills he learned in his native Sofia.
“It is not just the ring where I am experienced,” Pulev said. “I have experience on the streets as well, which is another advantage.”
Asked if they were frightening experiences, Pulev replied: “Maybe for my opponents, yes, it was very scary, but for me it was okay.
“Personally, as a man, I love challenges. That’s what makes me very happy. It makes me alive.”