IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has come a long way in the last decade.
He captured Olympic gold in 2012, his first world title in 2016, and unified world titles in 2017 and 2018. He lost his titles back in June to Andy Ruiz, and then reclaimed his titles earlier this month in Saudi Arabia.
"The last 10 years I’d describe as hell and torture, but in a way that you walk through it in grace," Joshua said to RT. "The first time you walk over the hot coal it burns your feet, but you get used to it. It’s a painful journey, it takes a lot of sacrifices but there are memorable times and memorable moments that come with it. Experience is the best teacher, so I’ve learnt a lot and it makes me the man I am today."
For Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), one of his biggest career accomplishments was to defeat Ruiz in their rematch.
The first time around, Ruiz dropped him four times and stopped him in seven. The second time, Joshua outboxed him over the twelve round distance.
"It’s good to beat Ruiz and prove to myself I can do it, but I’ve always known it was in me," Joshua explained. "I always said that when I win, or they asked me how do I feel when I lost, I said I belong at a top level so it’s normal to me.
"But the main benefit of it to me is my supporters, because they felt my loss. When I lost it echoed across different countries, like when I went back to Nigeria, they felt it. So to win was like a benefit for people around the world. For me, I know I can do it, I believe in myself, but no one knows what I feel inside. Some people were wondering am I going to quit, am I still going to box, there’s all these questions, was I concussed.
"I’m just happy that my supporters are now smiling and they can turn off the trash-talk button, and now they’re walking with their chests out and their heads high."