Anthony Joshua may have just admitted Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight in the world after a startling admission on eras
Firstly, the current four-belt world heavyweight champion has some tale to tell about goings-on over the past eighteen months of his career.
From discussions to fight Deontay Wilder for all the top division marbles to an opponent falling out due to failed drug tests for three separate substances. To a shock defeat, a redemption victory, and a subsequent deal to face Tyson Fury – again for every strap on offer – it’s never a dull moment for the Briton.
But reflecting on his recent spell, coupled with a look back to how far he’s come, Joshua is philosophical about his future.
AJ says he’s in a position far exceeding where he thought he would be at 30 years old.
Winning the 2012 Olympics just a few years after taking up the sport, Joshua still believes he’s way ahead of the game.
On how a loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in New York, the first of his career had affected him, Joshua surprisingly holds no regrets.
“There were certain things I was talking about perhaps two years ahead of that loss, and the defeat just showcased them,” Joshua told GQ Middle East.
“I know people say crazy things like, ‘Oh, we were planning on that loss,’ but it really was a blessing in disguise.
“It highlighted everything I had been concerned about. After that it was simple: these are the changes I’ve been talking about, now you need to listen.”
Needing to listen was maybe advice he could have given himself before the Ruiz implosion, Joshua is quite content with how his path has panned out.
The Londoner even says being considered alongside the likes of his rival and two-time lineal champion Fury, means he’s ahead of himself at the moment.
“I changed everything after that first fight,” says Joshua. “Losing to Andy made me rethink and restructure. I took the positives out of it, but it wasn’t easy.
“My training camp was six weeks of pure hell. I had new team members. I had injuries I was trying to overcome. There were so many different issues.
“But we got there in the end through will, determination, and intelligence.
“Being world champion, with all those knockouts, you do feel kind of unstoppable. But realistically, in boxing terms, I’m way ahead of where I should be.
“I’m working at such a quick pace. I shouldn’t even be in a position where I’m mentioned in Tyson Fury’s era. He’s five or six years ahead of me in terms of turning professional.
“In fact, when he was turning pro, I was just putting on my gloves for the first time.”
With Kubrat Pulev, a mandatory challenge from the IBF in his future, Joshua is simply waiting for the date to step up preparations.
The heavyweight clash has already been delayed from June due to the ongoing pandemic.
“I’m OK with (waiting), to be honest,” he says. “It’s saved me weeks of getting punched in the head. That can never be a bad thing.”