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01st May 2017

Anthony Joshua reveals what he said to Wladimir Klitschko late on in the fight

Respect went out the window momentarily

Darragh Murphy

Anthony Joshua is not renowned for his trash talking.

The IBF, IBO and WBA (Super) heavyweight champion tends to let his gloves do the talking and his proclivity for showing nothing but respect to opponents in the build-up to bouts has come in for criticism from some fight fans who prefer to see a bit of animosity in the ring.

Throughout the abundant media obligations which Joshua fulfilled alongside Wladimir Klitschko, the man ‘AJ’ put away in the 11th round on Saturday night, not a bad word was uttered.

An appearance on The Gloves Are Off was slammed by viewers as the least interesting episode yet due to the compliments that both fighters showered upon each other.

But, don’t be fooled, Joshua can talk when he needs to.

In one of the final encounters with Klitschko before taking to the ring, Joshua reportedly turned off his microphone to tell the Ukrainian that he intended to hurt him.

It was out of character from ‘AJ’ but quite an interesting new facet to his game.

And, come Saturday night, we saw even more verbals in the ring from Joshua.

On more than one occasion in the 11-round war, Joshua could be seen speaking to Klitschko.

Even after being hurt badly in the sixth round, Joshua continued to have words and seemed to be encouraging his 41-year-old opponent to come forward.

The goading didn’t work all that much as Klitschko remained typically disciplined and conservative which, it could be argued, cost him the fight as he didn’t pounce on a rocked Joshua perhaps as aggressively as he should have.

It was Joshua who showed the killer instinct in putting ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ away following a couple of knockdowns in the penultimate round and, in the wake of his victory, Joshua revealed what he said to Klitschko in the tenth round.

“I told him I’d whoop his ass in the next round,” Joshua said, with quotes appearing in the Metro.

An electrifying pair of rounds midway through the fight saw both men on the canvas but rounds eight, nine and ten were altogether more cagey affairs as neither man took too many risks.

With the result on a knife edge, Joshua seemed to have been conserving some energy before his fight-ending flurry in eleven and he has since explained that he had told his corner that he’d taken the tenth round off so that he’d have that late surge in his arms.

“My coaches said I needed to win the next round, but I told them I just took that round (tenth) off,” he added.

“I needed a rest.”