Joshua vs Klitschko: Anthony Joshua praises Wladimir Klitschko after stunning Wembley win
By Sky Sports Boxing
Last Updated: 30/04/17 12:17pm
Anthony Joshua felt character was the key to his sensational stoppage win over Wladimir Klitschko - and warned the rest of the heavyweight division that he can still get even better.
The 2012 Olympic champion maintained his perfect professional record with a 19th successive win inside the distance, although he had to climb off the canvas to triumph in front of a record 90,000 crowd.
Having dropped his opponent in the fifth round, the tables were turned in the sixth when Joshua was put down for the first time in his career.
However, the 27-year-old weathered the storm before finishing an exhilarating contest in the penultimate round, with a battered and bruised Klitschko stopped on his feet.
"This is boxing - I'm only going to improve," Joshua - who not only retained his IBF title but also won the WBA 'super' belt too - told Sky Sports Box Office.
"Sometimes you can be a phenomenal boxer but this sport is about character. When you go to the trenches, that's when you find out who you really are.
"In this small little ring there's nowhere to hide. As I said from the get-go, it will be a boxing classic and the best man will win. There's no complications with boxing - anyone can do this.
"I came out and I won - that's how far I had to dig. I didn't go into a 12-round slug-fest and struggle to beat Klitschko. I came back and fought my heart out."
Joshua also praised his beaten opponent, lauding Klitschko - who lost inside the distance for the first time since he was stopped by Lamon Brewster in April 2004 - as a role model for the sport.
"As boxing states, you leave your ego at the door and respect your opponent, so a massive shout-out to Wladimir Klitschko for taking part," the Englishman added during his post-fight interview.
"I'm not going to say too much in case he wants to come back and fight me again, but in terms of the boxing Hall of Fame and the boxing arena, he's a role model in and out of the ring.
"I've got nothing but love and respect for anyone who steps inside the ring.
"I'm a little bit emotional now because I know I've got doubters who think I can't do this and I can't do that. But I dig deep."
I enjoy fighting. I love fighting. Tyson Fury, I know he's talking a lot and wants to come back and compete.
As for his next opponent, Joshua teased the jubilant crowd by questioning if they would want to witness an all-English showdown with Tyson Fury in the near future.
"Is that what you want to see?" Joshua asked the audience.
"I enjoy fighting. I love fighting. Tyson Fury, I know he's talking a lot and wants to come back and compete.
"I want to give 90,000 people another chance to witness another night of boxing. But I just want to fight everyone - I'm really enjoying this right now."
There are two repeat showings of Joshua vs Klitschko at 9am & 4pm on Sunday. Book the event online here or via your Sky remote.