Anthony Joshua reveals why Klitschko fight was a turning point, and what it taught him

Anthony Joshua has had a glittering boxing career already, with many great nights en route to two world heavyweight titles and a 27-3 pro record.

Within that resume though there are routine nights and victories, but also moments which were seismic moments on a massive learning curve which has taken him to the pinnacle of the fight game.

Now AJ is looking to scale boxing’s highest mountain for a third time, as he prepares to face a mighty foe in the shape of former UFC king Francis Ngannou. They will do battle in Riyadh next Friday night (March 8) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The bout goes down live on DAZN PPV globally and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

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It promises to be another crossroads moment for Joshua – win and he is one step away from the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. Lose to a relative boxing novice, and there will be serious questions to be answered.

As he goes into the final countdown ahead of fight night, AJ spoke about another massive night in his career – that epic Wembley victory over the great Wladimir Klitschko back in April 2017.

In front of a massive Wembley crowd, Joshua looked set for a dominant victory early, before the tide turned and Klitschko took the young lion out to very deep waters. Joshua ultimately prevailed though with an 11th-round stoppage. It was a fight which saw the reputations of both men grow greatly, and it taught Joshua a lot about the sport.

Joshua vs Klitschko, and ‘levels’

He reflected on the bout as he looked at picture of Round 5, with him standing, arms raised, after sending Klitschko to the floor for the first time.

He told Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel: “I thought I had won! And I thought I was going to win it from this point on. This is round five and I went on to fight another six rounds after this.

“So yeah, I thought I’d won it but there was still a long, steep mountain to climb against one of the former greats in Vladimir Klitschko. What I learned after this fight is that there are levels.

Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko uppercut
Anthony Joshua’s uppercut against Wladimir Klitschko provided a highlight-reel moment (Image – Amara Shaw).

“This guy [Klitschko] is the first guy who ever took me to 11 rounds and obviously he had the pedigree to be in that position to do that. For me, I’ve always said that I need to be a cut above the rest, so I went away to improve, change my style and so forth… and it has brought me to where I am today you know. That fight is the fight that brought to this point here and big-time boxing is back.”

YouTube video