Joshua has heavy respect for Wladimir Klitschko
When Anthony Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko last year some considered it a passing of the torch so to speak. Although Klitschko had lost his world titles to Tyson Fury his previous bout, many still considered Klitschko the head of the heavyweight division with the turmoil surrounding Fury.
When Klitschko lost to Fury one couldn’t help but watch the fight and feel he was finally too old and father time not Tyson Fury is who beat the longtime kingpin of the heavyweight division. Almost a year and a half later the Ukrainian turned back the clock against Joshua as he looked as good as he had in quite a few bouts.
A rematch between the two was expected to take place but Klitschko chose to finally walk away from the sport. Most pundits felt he couldn’t have done so on much better terms than following the valiant effort he put forth against the man many consider to be the future of the division in Joshua.
Klitschko has since expressed his respect for Joshua and stated he feels his former sparring partner could make a great ambassador for the sport going forward. The UK superstar is fast becoming the biggest name in the sport and feels the support of Klitschko can only make him better.
“If [Klitschko] can give me a little bit of his knowledge, I think it will spur me on to do better than I project,” Joshua said to Sky Sports.
“I need him on my side, definitely. I have so much respect for him. His brain is like a boxing encyclopedia. I will always look at [Klitschko], even though I beat him, as the better man because he’s done more than me.
“Even though I beat him that night, in terms of his overall career, he’s done so much. I will always take my hat off to him, and respect him. [Klitschko] was in the era when mistakes were looked at as a way to improve yourself,” Joshua said. “He lost [three] times then reigned as heavyweight champion for 10 years.
“That’s phenomenal – he must have learned so much. When you fail, then you go again, then you fail, then you go again – he built himself to perfection.”
Klitschko most recently went on record to say that he believes Joshua easily beats Fury but feels a fight between AJ and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder could literally go either way.
It’s always good to see present and future stars pay their respect to previous greats. While some fans still question Joshua’s limits inside the ring, his respect for the sport we all love seems strong.
By: Chris Henderson