Anthony Joshua has reflected on his “entertaining” victory over Wladimir Klitschko and revealed he thought the job was done in the fifth round.
In April’s heavyweight clash for the ages, Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) added the WBA Super title to his IBF crown with a dramatic 10th-round stoppage of Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) — bringing to an end a fight that had seen both men floored in the middle rounds.
Looking back on the Wembley classic, Joshua told ESPN: “I have watched the fight. It’s still entertaining. It was interesting. I thought I had won in the fifth.
“That is the worst thing. There is a way you can knock someone out when they are hurt. All you have to do is trap them and just tap one here, tap one there. At the time I was hitting him with big right hands, you know what I mean?
“I learned from it. The best thing I could have done is I came in a bit heavy for the training camp. Rob knew. So in sparring we were doing 15 rounds sparring and it’s not like it was a slow pace. I am sparring with amateurs, sparring with pros.
“They [sparring partners] are rotating. They are coming in fresh. Honestly in the spars, probably at round seven or eight, or round nine, eight, nine, ten I was tired in the spar and i would take a bit of time off. I would take a few.
“What I learned in the spars there is how to survive in tough times when I am tired and I still have ‘X’ amount of rounds left. We are not doing 12 rounds, we are doing 15 rounds. That is what got me through — the tough times in training got me through that tough time in the fight. I just knew how to survive in dangerous times.
“When it got to round nine, and Rob was like ‘there are only a few more rounds left’, I knew that is when I would have my last three or four rounds in my 15 round spar. When the next sparring partner comes in and does his four rounds, I know I can batter him in them four rounds because I have got my energy back after that rest. I knew. I just reflected back to training camp.”
Joshua, 28, is set to defend his titles against Carlos Takam in Cardiff on Oct. 28 with the Cameroonian a hastily-arranged substitute for the injured Kubrat Pulev — but many in the sport are hoping to see a unification clash with American WBC world champion Deontay Wilder in 2018.
On the prospect of facing ‘The Bronze Bomber’, Joshua added: “You know what, you have to be careful of the quiet ones. That is why I am not going to say much. This is why this fight with Takam is important because it does set up the questions for next year. What is he [Wilder] going to do? Imagine if that fight did come off in 2018…”