Anthony Joshua has been branded the ‘New Klitschko’ following his revenge triumph over Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
The Briton, like Wladimir did during his career, regained his position as world heavyweight champion with a dominant display.
Joshua danced around an overweight Ruiz Jr. all night and won a unanimous victory in a huge boxing ring. It, for all the world, looked like Klitschko was back in there.
As the fight unfolded, Klitschko couldn’t help shout encouragement to the man he’d secretly been mentoring to channel him.
“Attaboy – keep on punching!” said Klitschko, who lost to Joshua in an epic back-and-forth battle in 2017.
Klitschko was tapped by Joshua after losing his title badly via knockout, something the Ukrainian experienced more than once during his career.
Taking his age-old tactics, and those which saw Klitschko reign over the division for a decade, Joshua did exactly the same to become two-time champ.
Speaking after the contest, Joshua said a lot of his performance was about being right mentally.
“Never a change in mentality. You know the saying, ‘Stay hungry, stay humble.’ I have stayed hungry and I have stayed humble.
“I am humble in defeat and I will remain humble in victory. Thank you again to Andy Ruiz and his family, to Saudi Arabia and all of the traveling fans, all of my supporters.
“It’s all about preparation. Like I said, one day when I release a book I will walk through my career’s experience. It’s just about creating great memories.
“I took my L and I bounced back. Life is a rollercoaster.”
My G ????????
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) December 8, 2019
On Klitschko, he added: “I just want to say I have the utmost respect for Andy Ruiz who beat me fair and square in the first exam.
“I failed the first time, but I came back and studied hard and passed this time. But this ranks second. The first would be my fight against Wladimir Klitschko.
“It means so much to me and I learned so much from that fight. I respect Wladimir so much and he gives me so much advice still. This fight ranks number two though.”
Social media was awash with comparisons of the two in the aftermath.
“Looks like Klitschko‘s won that for Joshua.”
“Man people are dumb. Joshua was superb , boxed a guy who beat him. An was never in danger. Done a job to a tee. People writing him of are clueless. He done wat Klitschko did for years. Boxed behind a jab. If cant get out of reach grab an get the distance. Superb from AJ.”
“Joshua jabbed and grabbed, it’s a successful style (aka Klitschko) but a boring ass fight, I’m 100% convinced Fury would box him face off and Wilder would put him in the grave with a rught hand… maybe we were all fooled by the Ruiz hype train.”
Whether the pair now make their arrangement a more permanent situation remains to be seen as Joshua seems set to face Kubrat Pulev in 2020.