Anthony Joshua: The Best Thing I Can Do Is Get Back To The Gym

Anthony Joshua was nonchalant, having despatched Francis Ngannou in crushing fashion in Saudi Arabia last night.

He carried that demeanour with him into the post-fight press conference, where he was later joined by Ngannou.

The former London 2012 Olympian, who had with the knockout improved to 28-3 (25 KOs), and the 34-year-old two-time world champion was open to boxing again in the early summer and that he would head straight back in to training having boxed four times in a year.

“The best thing is I can get back to the gym, and I can build on another solid training camp and I can get back in the ring and do another job, that’s what I’m happy about,” said Joshua.

“We get in there, we give our best, thanks to my coach [Ben Davison] as well, these guys, they put in a lot of time, they push me in the gym, shout out to all my sparring partners as well, thanks to my team and thank you to Francis Ngannou for taking part and making boxing great again.”

Joshua encouraged Ngannou to continue on his boxing journey, and described the early knockout of the year contender that he detonated flush on Ngannou’s face.

“He’s a big, strong guy, talented guy, he got up, he looked pretty stable, so I thought just keep doing what I’m doing don’t get carried away, and what will be will be. We managed to drop him three times, one, two and then the third one out. So the first time it was like, ‘Okay, he got back up, he looks good’, and just stay consistent. He’s very strong, I think he should continue in boxing, because heavyweight boxing is a league of its own.

“You get the big punchers, you get people that are quick, you get thudding power, you get snapping like a lightning-strike kind of power, he’s up there in terms of power. You could feel it in the clinch, I felt fine, I felt, ‘Hang on, I could probably take him in UFC’, but I’m joking!

“He is strong but I stand my ground, it’s a fight, and it was in my favor tonight and we move onto the next.”

Joshua took some time to joke with the media, pointing out that he felt that many were tipping him to be upset by the Cameroonian, and that it would be Ngannou who would be standing in the winner’s circle.

“Half of these people thought he was going to beat me, I know I can see all you lot,” Joshua remarked. “You lot all thought he was going to beat me, so I just do what I do, do my best, and I got the job done, but I don’t do it to prove anything. I just do it for myself.

Promoter Eddie Hearn was quick to label Joshua as the baddest man on the planet with the knockout, but Joshua said he had no interest in the title.

“I don’t want that title, I don’t want that pressure, I just want to do my thing,” Joshua went on. “I’m just keeping it simple. I don’t want that title as the baddest man on the planet.”

Joshua was also asked about who he would like to face next, and specifically whether he wanted the winner of the May 18 undisputed fight between Tyson Fury – who was ringside last night – and Oleksandr Usyk.

Usyk has two wins over Joshua, and asked whether he would like a third fight with Usyk for all of the belts, Joshua said: “That would be good, but why not fight them both [Usyk and Fury]? It shouldn’t really be one or the other, I should have the opportunity to compete with them both, and also not just those two, there are so many other fighters I want to compete with.

“Let’s keep on going, I’m not here forever, let’s make hay while the sun shines. If there’s an opportunity to go again, I’m ready, June, July…”

Promoter Hearn was a happy and likely relieved man. He said: “Tonight, I have seen one of the most devastating knockouts I’ve seen like from, in my opinion, the baddest man on the planet. That is how you do it, that is how you deal with it [the pressure].”