Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Anthony Joshua's Former Coach Expected Great Things in Pro Run

By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star

ANTHONY JOSHUA will bring a tear to the eye of the man he once feared on Saturday.

GB Boxing coach Paul Walmsley was in the corner throughout an amateur career that saw him go all the way to super-heavyweight gold at London 2012.

Joshua takes on IBF champion Charles Martin at the 02 Arena this weekend and if he wins, Walmsley said: “I might shed a little tear. I’d be that happy.”

boxing

Joshua, 26, was a late comer to boxing and had not even watched it in 2008 when James DeGale stormed to gold in Beijing. But by 2012 he was the star of the show.

Now he is closing in on a world title after 15 knockout wins in 15 fights and could become just the second British gold medallist after DeGale to win a world title in the paid ranks.

It is a journey that started in Finchley Amateur Boxing club in Barnet but really took off at the home of GB Boxing in Sheffield.

“He walked into the gym and didn’t want to come back because he apparently thought I was too military and too strict,” he said.

“I remember the first day he came in and he was a bit sheepish and he was nothing like the kid I expected because of the stories I heard. I took to him straight away and the feeling was mutual.

“The very first time he came in on the development squad around 2009, I looked at him and thought ‘what am I supposed to do with him’.

“He was a bit like a coal man with his stance, over the front foot, weight in the wrong place, but Anthony being Anthony he was just a sponge.

“He took everything on board you told him. He was always asking ‘what about this, what about that?’. He was first in the gym, last out of the gym. He just absolutely lives and breathes the sport.”

Walmsley is best placed to explain the 6ft 6in man mountain’s stunning rise.

Critics claim his world title shot has come too soon and even Walmsley said: “I don’t think this has been done before so quickly.

“That is Anthony down to a tee, if he gets his mind on something that is it. He gives it 100 percent.

“If he was going to be a runner he would apply himself the same. He is thorough about everything and how he goes about it.

“He watches other boxers, listens, wants to know what other boxers do, what their coaches do, wants to go into detail into coaches and what they have achieved. He goes through everything with a fine-tooth comb.”

Liverpool-born Walmsley knew he had a job on his hands when he first watched Joshua, but he also realised there was plenty to work with.

“There is always something when you see boxers like Anthony,” he said. “It is like an aura, there is something special about this kid.

“He was destined for great things. He lights up the room when he walks in with his personality and there is something else about him, it radiates from him. That belief he will and can do it. He makes other people believe his belief. He is incredible.”

There were worrying times along the way though.

Like when Walmsley took the call from the police after Joshua was arrested for possession of a class B drug in March 2011.

Or when Walmsley threw in the towel in the final of the European Championships a few months later as a hard-hitting Romanian went to work on the Englishman.

“I’ve been through so much with him,” is all Walmsley will say about Joshua’s brush with the law.

If he can deliver and hand Martin his first loss, Walsmley said: “It will be the icing on the cake for me.

“But I told him to do this for himself, he doesn’t owe anyone anything. I love the man, I hope and pray that he does it on the night.”

Sky Sports Box Office will show Martin v Joshua on Saturday. Buy now at www.skysports.com/joshua

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Frank Warren Breaks Down Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin Takam: If Povetkin Starts Slow, He'll Get Slaughtered By Joshua Ryan Garcia: Canelo Beats Golovkin Even Easier in Third Fight Daily Bread Mailbag: Canelo-GGG, Mayweather, Munguia, More Luke Campbell Very Confident as He Enters Mendy Rematch Bellew: Povetkin Should Be Banned, Not Getting Joshua Shot Wilder, Fury Promises Explosive Drama When They Collide Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit Added To Prograis-Flanagan Jermell Charlo Raises Hand To Face Floyd Mayweather in Return Jon Fernandez: We Just Had a Bad Game Plan For This Fight Canelo-GGG, Mayweather-Pacquiao - A Gem & a Pending Sham Foster Out-Boxes, Upsets Jon Fernandez in ShoBox Main Event Irvin Gonzalez Busier, Easily Beats Carlos Ramos Canelo Vows Quick Return: I Want To Fight in December Steven Ortiz Edges Wesley Ferrer By Majority Decision Misael Lopez Beats James Wilkins By Unanimous Decision Joshua: I'm The Best in The Division, No Doubt, It's Been Proven! Povetkin: I'm as Strong as Joshua, I Was Weaker With Klitschko Wilder, Fury Sign Contracts - Tour Begins on October 1 in London Luis Nery vs. Jason Conoy For WBC Silver, on October 6 Wilder-Fury Announcement Next Week; Likely 12/1, Staples Center Photos: Jayson Velez, Orlando Cruz - Ready For Puerto Rico Battle Joshua's Coach: Povetkin is Not Parker or Takam - He's Top Level Dutchover: Aguilar Won't Stop Me From Reaching Title Goal Sanchez: Golovkin a Little Angry Vegas Favors The House Fighter Povetkin: I Will Give Everything, It's One of My Last Big Chances Whyte: If Chisora Fights Me, It Will Be His Last Fight Photos: Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juanma Lopez - Square Up at Presser Photos: Campbell vs. Mendy, Okolie vs. Askin - Ready For Battle Photos: David Price, Sergey Kuzmin - Vow Fireworks at Wembley Photos: Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin - Ready For War Munguia Satisfied With Adjustments, Saw Canelo as Big Winner Badou Jack: Stevenson on different level than guys Gvozdyk beat Joshua Out-Weighs Povetkin By Almost 25 Pounds In London Hopkins: Canelo Flipped Script On Golovkin, Walked Him Down David Price: Beating Sergey Kuzmin Can Be Life-Changing Joshua vs. Povetkin: Chris Kongo, John Docherty Added James Wilkins' Big Moment Has Arrived in ShoBox Debut Amir Khan Tells Anthony Joshua To Head To America For Legacy Malignaggi: Fans Won't Watch Mayweather-Pacquiao 2? Bullsh*t!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement