According to British rival David Haye, Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte was a real 50-50 fight with all the bad blood needed.
In 2015, the fight still had unfinished business from a failed rematch, and Haye says the animosity is one hundred percent true.
“It was very hostile and split right down the middle. There’s a lot of people believing that Anthony Joshua was a hype job and Dilllian Whyte was the real deal,” said Haye.
“Anthony Joshua had been to the Olympics. He was the darling of British boxing and Dillian Whyte, for instance, had to do it the hard way.
“He had been fighting on small hall shows for no money effectively.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn recalls taking a risk with the fight.
“This was Anthony Joshua’s first pay per view event in the UK. This was the first time he completely sold out the 02, but it was the first time he took a risk in a fight, really.
“It was the first time we thought ‘Blimey – this is a real fight,” he added.
Once the fight was underway, AJ himself opened up about getting hit in the second round.
“Boxing is a discipline. It’s the art of sweet science, to hit and not get hit. And if that goes out the window, when you’ve got a technically good guy, kickboxing background, boxing background, he knows how to throw, to hurt. He has bad intentions – his throwings actually hurt.
“So as I’ve gone to throw a right hand, you’re supposed to sit back on your back firm and rotate to get your leverage or leverage.
“What I did was, I leaned over my front hand, which puts me in the firing line. And boom! Left hook hits me.
“I didn’t see it coming because I wasn’t interested in what’s coming back. I’m just interested in attacking DillIan.
“It was a peach of a punch and shook me down to my boots.”
On finally delivering the winning blow, Joshua said: “I started throwing the right hook around the side, and the right hook started connecting. So instead of throwing the left, I switched to the right.
“There are a few times he threw a shot, I’d kind of ride it, right hook, and what happens is that the legs start to plant, and they start to stay still.
“So they’re now easier… they’re an easier target to hit than someone who is moving a lot.”
“So I line them up with a lead hand, and I whip this one round one – whoomph! – it’s out of his peripheral vision. So he’s coming around – boom – lands on the side of his temple.
“And the same thing happened to me in round two. It shook Dillian right down to his boots.
“And the key to victory there was not giving them a chance to reboot, keep on sending little viruses into his system.
“Left here, jab, right here, and I didn’t give him a chance for his system to reboot.
“When you’re in that ring, you feel someone’s aura and strength. With all these punches and pushing and shoving, you’re feeling how strong that person is.
“And it’s very draining when you’ve got someone that’s just chasing you around the ring, pushing you, shoving you, punching you, leaning on you.
“All you want is like five seconds to breathe. And I’m not giving them one second to regain his legs and get himself together.”
Anthony Joshua, David Haye, Eddie Hearn talked to DAZN for its latest original production, The Making Of Anthony Joshua.
The first episode is now available on DAZN.