By Keith Idec
Anthony Joshua wasn’t disappointed because he didn’t knock out his opponent for the first time in his pro career Saturday night.
The undefeated heavyweight champion feels he displayed diversity by out-boxing Joseph Parker during their 12-round title unification fight in Cardiff, Wales. England’s Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) mostly used his jab to get past Parker (24-1, 18 KOs), who lost by big margins on all three scorecards at Principality Stadium (119-109, 118-110, 118-110).
When asked whether he felt disappointment because he went the distance for the first time as a pro, the big British knockout artist said, “None at all. Look, I’m not Mayweather or nothing. But you’ve got one of the guys you call the best ever and so on and so forth, went 12 rounds the majority of his career. So it shows it’s about boxing IQ. When Parker said in his fight build-up, ‘This is gonna be a war,’ I said, ‘OK, interesting because we’ve been working on technique improvements,’ and that’s what boxing is about.
“Before the war comes, you have to box and you have to be able to control your opponent. And sometimes, if it gets a bit sticky in there you have to dig deep. But I knew that wasn’t the route we was going. You know, it’s about being intelligent.”
The 28-year-old Joshua said before facing Parker that he didn’t expect to knock out every opponent for the rest of his career. Now that the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion has gone the distance for the first time, the 6-feet-6, 242-pound Joshua realizes more than ever that winning is more important than anything.
“So 12 rounds is fine with me,” Joshua said.
“And it’s not about, you know, the hundred-percent KO record at all. It’s about securing these [motions to belts] and winning and being victorious. Boxing is tough because there is no space for mistakes. You lose and the next man’s sitting here, getting praised. So it’s just about getting that ‘W’ on the record and trying to progress now. I’ve got a bit of time to work on the basics, and go again and display some good boxing skills with whoever I fight later on in the year.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.