By Elliot Foster
Anthony Joshua recently admitted to being dropped in sparring by David Price –– but still vowed to come out on top in his next fight.
The WBA Super, IBO and IBF heavyweight champion told media at the Dorchester Hotel that he had been floored by the Olympic bronze medallist as he was hyping up his unification showdown with WBO champion Joseph Parker.
The pair met in London last Tuesday to promote their March 31 fight at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office.
And Joshua was quick to address such claims before hearing that Parker’s plan was to “put on a great performance, hopefully catch him on the chin and knock him out.”
“A lot of people have spoke about me getting dropped and, hand on my heart, have used it as a PR stunt, in terms of what you’re using it as, too,” Joshua told Duco Events head David Higgins at the top table in front of a packed presser.
“It’s a marketability strategy. And when you want to talk about facts, the three times I’ve been hurt or dropped were in the European Championships when [my coach Rob] McCracken knows I was actually banned from the GB team because I was still getting in to trouble.
“I went back to Watford, I stopped boxing and two weeks before that European Championships, I was called up to represent the country. I was very unfit but I didn’t get dropped, I was stopped. When your tank is empty, it’s hard to perform.”
The subject of Joshua being put on the canvas by Price has long been on the lips of many boxing fans and although many knew it to have been the case, this is likely the first time that the former Olympic champion and two-time ABA champion has admitted it publicly.
Joshua believes his training camp is going much better than what transpired in the gym in 2017, for his stoppage wins over Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam.
He plans to be quicker, in order to land devastating punches on Parker's durable chin.
“I am leaps and bounds ahead compared to the Klitschko and Takam fights,” said Joshua to The Guardian. “I’m watching what I eat, running further and doing more than I did last year. Last week I did 20 rounds in the gym which I wasn’t even doing for Klitschko, and we’re still 11 weeks to the Parker fight.
“I think speed is in power. When you’re heavy and you try to club these durable fighters, it’s not that simple just to go ‘boom’. Just because I’m the most muscly man, it doesn’t mean I can just hit someone and knock them out. It’s the shot that you don’t see coming that knocks you out. When I’m quicker – bang, bang, bang – that’s when I can knock my opponents down a lot easier.”