Everyday’s a school day with AJ. The two-time heavyweight champion of the world admits to becoming a student of boxing and learning from the greats, in order to overcome Andy Ruiz Jnr in Saudia Arabia.
“If you want to be a great in today’s generation, you should do what the greats did in the past,” said Joshua.
“You can’t be one dimensional in professional boxing. It’s good to have a game plan and absorb the information given to me by my coaches and execute what they expect from me.”
With a unanimous points victory over the Mexican-American on Saturday night AJ received huge plaudits for learning from the first fight in New York. At Madison Square Garden, the Watford-man was caught out by the aggressive style of the heavier Ruiz, who used his quick hand speed to cause damage on the inside.
However, his tactics for the rematch were spot on, as he kept the shorter Ruiz away from him by using his reach and height advantage to full effect. His coach Rob McCraken, who some critics wanted replaced after the first fight, has also rebuilt his reputation with this win.
“The main people you want to please in boxing before my parents, before anyone’s opinion, are my coaches because they spend so much time putting their knowledge into me,” Joshua added.
“If they want me to box like Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, whatever they want from me, I can produce it because I’m a student.
“There’s not just one dimension to me, I’ll always bring something new to the table. I think I’ve shown I can box a lot of styles.”
Joshua will now enjoy some well-earned time off over the Christmas period before heading into a big 2020 for the 30-year-old. As for possible opponents, Joshua is likely to face Kubrat Pulev, Oleksandr Usyk or Dillian Whyte at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next, as discussed here, before the one we all want to see. A potential unification bout against Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.
He will certainly have to continue learning from some of the greats he named if he is to beat one of those two fighters, who were widely regarded as the top two heavyweights in the world after their meeting last year.