After his victory on Saturday night, Anthony Joshua would have been forgiven for celebrating with reckless abandon. He had, after all, just defeated Wladimir Klitchko, arguably the most feared heavyweight of our time since the retirement of his brother, Vitali. Although Joshua entered Saturday’s fight as the defending champion, Klitchko had reigned supreme in the heavyweight division for fifteen years to 2015. This was the fight where Joshua would show the world his full range of boxing skills, if you were prepared to buy it on Sky Box Office that is!
After the most testing and thrilling success of AJ’s career, he remained calm and offered words of wisdom to anybody wanting to conquer their fears in his post match interview
‘If you don’t take part you’re going to fail, so just give it a go and you never know the outcome’
The words of Joshua are sound advice to anybody facing a challenge. Everybody has their doubters, as AJ acknowledged. Yet the the perseverance of Anthony Joshua, now aged twenty-seven and heavyweight world champion, is proof that anything is possible.
The humility of both fighters was clear in the build up but even after the intense fighting and bloodshed in the ring on Saturday night, both fighters showed their class in calm and respectful post match interviews. Many onlookers commented that there was little edge before the fight and that the distinct lack of pre-match bravado may even have a negative impact on the fight itself. Those onlookers were proved wrong on Saturday night. By the time Wladimir Klitchko and Anthony Joshua gave their post match interviews, eleven intense, action filled three-minute rounds of boxing had ensued. These rounds included the first knockdown of Anthony Joshua’s career in the 6th but crucially the knockdown of Klitchko in the 5th before he was stopped in the 11th after two further encounters with the canvas.
In the post match press conference Anthony Joshua repeated his mantra
‘If you get knocked down eight times, you get up nine. That’s what life’s about’
From the post match interviews and press conferences, Anthony Joshua acknowledged the impact that his actions will have on the current generation of boxers and the younger generations to come. Joshua’s awareness of the consequences of his actions and the impact it may have on younger generations is refreshing in a world where more and more ‘sportsmen’ are exposed for flouting the rules of their game or acting thoughtlessly in the public eye. Look no further than Joey Barton for the most recent example of a sportsman who was found incapable of acting in line with the rules of his sport and in doing so, became an ever poorer role model for younger generations.
No sooner had Anthony Joshua finished his post match interviews, opponents for his next fight were already being lined up. High profile heavyweights including Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder or the mysterious Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz could be on the cards. No matter who Joshua’s next opponent is, there is no doubt that Anthony Joshua demonstrated he was of the highest calibre of athlete on Saturday night. He has now defeated arguably one of the best current heavyweights in the world. The world of boxing better watch out…