Laura Woods from TNT Sports caught up with the ever-charismatic Anthony Joshua for a bit of pre-fight banter. Joshua is headlining the colossal boxing event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, set for December 23rd, dubbed #DayOfReckoning. This night promises to be a thunderous clash of heavyweights.
AJ, dripping with confidence and that signature swagger, chatted about his upcoming opponent Otto Wallin. He even hinted at future tussles with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Joshua also took a stroll down memory lane, discussing his journey since the upset with Usyk.
Watch the full interview on TNT Sports 1 from 6:30pm or the TNT Sports Boxing YouTube Channel. ‘Day of Reckoning’, Saturday 23rd December, as part of Riyadh season will be available live on DAZN PPV and TNT Sports Box Office.
Joshua’s Views on Tyson Fury
Joshua commented on Tyson Fury’s remarks about bodybuilders and how it relates to their potential fight:
“I’ve always wanted to get in the ring with him. He does a lot of talking, calls me a bodybuilder and stuff, but I [have seen] one of my other African pals (Ngannou) who’s a bodybuilder step in and smack him up for me… It’s tough at the top… Good luck to him anyway, but he’s got to stop running his mouth because it does come back and bite you.”
He also expressed his desire to face Fury, emphasizing his confidence in such a matchup:
“Bodybuilders up, dossers down, he just like a flat slob that just can’t fight and he says that bodybuilders can’t fight, but he got smacked up by one.”
Who Won? Fury vs Ngannou?
When discussing Francis Ngannou, Joshua expressed admiration for Ngannou’s journey and achievements:
“Francis Ngannou, inspiration, yeah, he’s cool isn’t he? His story, his story, wow. If you can’t take motivation from that and inspiration, I don’t know what would drive you in life. What a story he has.”
Regarding the fight between Fury and Ngannou, Joshua shared his observations and who he thought had the edge:
“I think Ngannou won, but the refs are there for a reason, they score it how they score it, and they’re professionals at what they do. I’m just an observer. So, Fury won, but I think from a fan point of view, Ngannou won.”
On Facing Usyk
Joshua shared insights from his fights with Usyk, emphasizing the learning curve:
“I’ve been in there with Usyk twice, I’ve shared the ring with him 24 rounds, a really talented fighter. So for some people, obviously, it’s a loss on a record, but for me, I took it as a learning CV. So I’ve learned from it, and I’ll come back stronger.”
Fury vs Usyk – Who Wins?
Joshua spoke about the potential undisputed fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, revealing his support for Usyk:
“Who wins that fight then, Fury and Usyk? I don’t know, I don’t know, but I’m team Usyk. Why? Respect, but you know Fury said a lot of bad things about me, so I’m never going to roll, I’m never going to ride with someone that disrespects me. That’ll make me a lunatic. I’m pretty levelheaded, so I’m going to go with the person who shows me more respect.”
Emotional Response to Losing to Usyk
Joshua also opened up about the emotional impact of his loss to Usyk and how it influenced his goals:
“You saw it after Usyk 2, that was grief, yeah, because I wasn’t in the Undisputed race anymore, I wasn’t Champion. So that was like a massive… something comes over you, but it’s just passion, a lot of emotion. So now I’ve got over that, it’s not part of my plan anymore.”
On Working with Ben Davison
Joshua spoke about his collaboration with coach Ben Davison, emphasizing the strategic importance of this partnership:
“I´ve been working with him. So obviously I’m based in America the majority of the time for training camp, and then when I’m back here rather than hitting a heavy bag by myself in a gym and making a hella mistake, I think it’s good to work with a coach to still sharpen my thoughts.”
Reflecting on his journey since winning Olympic gold at 22, Joshua discusses the significant changes he’s undergone:
“Yeah definitely, I’ve gone through different phases like different priorities have made me change… What I’m working on now is kind of like building my war council where everything’s in line. I’ve got my people in line, my family are good, my friends are good. We’ve got certain businesses set up, our ecosystem’s ticking nicely, we got longevity in our structure… There’s so much more I can do with the help of others.”
Life Beyond the Ring
Joshua emphasizes the importance of preparing for life after sports and focusing on business ventures:
“Make sure you have something to fall back on… The industry doesn’t love you as much as you think. If you think your value is in the industry when it spits you out, you’ll be left with nothing. So, take what you can before it gets rid of you. That’s what I learned, is to have your business head on because there’s a life after sports.”
Watch the full interview: