By Keith Idec
Anthony Joshua had heard enough.
Seated two spots from Joseph Parker’s promoter Tuesday, Joshua interjected as David Higgins again discussed suspicions about Joshua’s chin. Higgins has repeatedly pointed out that Parker hasn’t been dropped as an amateur or as a pro, whereas Joshua has been knocked down at least “half a dozen” times during his career.
England’s Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) dismissed Higgins’ claims as a publicity stunt during a press conference to officially announce his March 31 fight against New Zealand’s Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
“Well, you know what I learned when I was dropped in that Klitschko fight?,” Joshua said. “Because a lot of people that have spoke of me getting dropped, and hand on my heart, have used it as a PR stunt. And in terms of what you’re using it as, as well. Because when you’ve talked about myself getting dropped, what you’ve done, it’s a marketability strategy.
“And when you wanna talk about facts, the three times I have been hurt or dropped, was in the European Championships, when [trainer Rob] McCracken actually knows I was banned from the GB team, because I was still getting in trouble. So I went back to Watford, I stopped boxing. And two weeks before that, the European Championships, I was called up to represent the country. I was very unfit. I didn’t get dropped. I got stopped. When your tank is empty, it’s hard to perform.”
The 6-feet-6, 250-pound Joshua showed tremendous resolve by getting up from a sixth-round knockdown against Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) to stop the former champion in the 11th round April 29 at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London. The IBF/IBO/WBA champ also explained getting hurt during a sparring session with British heavyweight David Price.
“The second time was with David Price,” Joshua said. “I came out of a police cell the day I went up to training. I’m not gonna use that as an excuse, but David Price is a puncher. Lack of experience. And then with Klitschko. You know all them times, what it taught me? It will take more than a human to stop me from where I’m destined to be. And that’s what I learned, not to walk with sight, because when you’re fatigued you don’t know where you are. I walk with faith in this journey.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.