Anthony Joshua has discussed that feeling of sharing a ring with one of the greats as Wladimir Klitschko passed the heavyweight torch to him.
Despite Fury defeating Klitschko in 2015, AJ sees his victory two years later as the real sign of a new top division era.
‘The Gypsy King’ would firmly have something to say about this to Joshua, though. Not only for the fact that he won the Ring Magazine title from the Ukrainian legend.
Five years later, he did it again against Deontay Wilder. It means Joshua can never really be lineal or ‘have been handed the torch’ at 200 pounds plus unless he defeats Fury.
Going over the night he took down Klitschko, Joshua spoke to Apple Music on Songs for Life.
Firstly, he spoke about actually becoming the champion and then having to get in with the big boys.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I’m Heavyweight Championship of the World. Everything happened so quickly, but I’ve got to swim deep,” Joshua said on Songs for Life.
“And I was supposed to fight Klitschko in my 18th fight; this is one of the world’s greatest heavyweights that we’ve ever seen. He got injured, had to pull out, so I’ll fight Eric Molina.
“Then next, now I’m fighting at Wembley Stadium in front. I’m this kid from (London) that has now have to step up to the plate.
“The guy’s strong, technically sound. So, it’s like the raw, young lion against the old, experienced lion of the jungle. It just married up to be one of the greatest fights of that year.”
Asked about being solidly dropped in the mid-rounds and almost being taken out, Joshua laughed it off.
“I slipped. So, I,” The Briton joked. “So, I must have slipped. Right? That’s the word in the corner.
“So you see, when the young kids come up, they’ll be like, “No, he slipped. I heard him say it in the interviews. I’m going to keep on sticking with that. It’s my time for some clout.
“No, he hit me hard, but they say, if you land on your back, that means you can look up. So, make sure you get up. So, I landed on my back. I’m looking up, and that means that I can get up.
“So, it was a great, great experience and I managed to win.
“He handed the torch over that night, and after that fight, he retired. I’ll always hold his name in high regard.
“When I came into boxing, he’s someone I took inspiration from, in terms of educating myself, boxing well, speaking well, et cetera.
“He was a role model before he even knew about me,” concluded Joshua.
Fury indeed considers himself the number one on the planet. It may be hard for Joshua to argue until he rips away that famous ‘Rocky Belt.’
Songs For Life aired on Apple Music with Anthony Joshua and is available on demand at apple.co/_SongsForLife.