Feature | Apr 29 2019

How the Wladimir Klitschko fight changed Anthony Joshua

'I don’t just watch boxing now, I understand it.' Anthony Joshua on the formative experience of fighting Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley stadium
Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua in action with Wladimir Klitschko

ANTHONY JOSHUA discovered something different about himself when he fought Wladimir Klitschko. The two collided at Wembley stadium on April 29 2017, battling for the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles. They traded knockdowns before Joshua finished the former champion inside the 11th round, in what was an instant classic.

That experience has given Joshua a new perspective on boxing and on himself. “Now when I watch boxing, I watch it completely different. When you watch a George Foreman and Ron Lyle kind of fight or an Ali and Foreman fight, where a bit of their soul and spirit disappears, I always wondered how they were doing it. And how they were taking those shots,” he said.

“You always question how, why, and what makes people do what they do. Until I went through it, I would always watch boxing but now I don’t just watch it, I understand it. I know the thing that you can’t be taught is how to survive in the trenches. I just feel like my heart is very big and I wear it on my sleeve in this sport.”