Anthony Joshua speaks to Sky Sports News about where he feels he is at in his career, reflecting on the direction he wants to go with his boxing while also admitting he could fight again this summer after initially saying his next fight would be in December.
As he sits-down in Battersea, a few weeks after a victorious return to the ring with a unanimous decision win against Jermaine Franklin, this Anthony Joshua is reflective, unburdened and as he said, chilled.
After his win against Franklin, there were questions over Joshua’s tactics and lack of aggression to go for the knock-out, but those days may be gone as this is a different Joshua. A Joshua who simply just wants to win.
I’ve always tried to develop my boxing IQ but over 12 rounds there are times where you have to fight and I want to become a box fighter.
“It’s why that fight with Jermaine Franklin – I realised I was in with someone who’s a counter-puncher, you throw two, they try to hit you with three – so I changed my game plan, I stuck behind my jab, used my attributes and got the win.
“I can build on that because there will be a day where just being a fighter may not work against a certain opponent.
“The man who has a plan A, B and C in his locker because he can use his jab, he can move around, he knows how to defend – I think he’ll have more of a chance to be victorious on a tough night.
“I’m glad I got those rounds in the bank and I can move forward on my quest to become a full and well-rounded fighter.”
Next fight in December? Maybe not.
After his win against Franklin, Joshua surprised the world of boxing by publicly announcing on his Instagram he would next fight in December.
Most pundits and fans expected Joshua to fight again in the summer. One more tune up before a blockbuster bout at the end of the year, which could be against Deontay Wilder if reports are to be believed, so why the long wait?
“I’m a thinker… maybe an overthinker,” Joshua added.
“I thought as I’ve changed maybe three coaches in three years, it would be good to develop and work under the guidance of my new coach and by the time I’m back in the ring, I’ve cemented and implemented everything he wants.
“But the only way we’re going to put everything he’s teaching me to the test is through fighting but rather than putting pressure on myself.
“I just wanted to draw a line in the sand and say I’m not fighting until this date.
“If I, my coach decide to change my mind… I feel I’m able to change my mind right? So I’m able to fight in July or August if I want but right now it’s off the table, but we are subject to change providing my coach is happy with what he sees.”