Carl Froch saw Anthony Joshua in ruthless training tear up he believes shows world champion material 6 years ago

Carl Froch saw Anthony Joshua in ruthless training tear up he believes shows world champion material

If you thought retirement would diminish Carl Froch's lust for boxing, you'd be dead wrong.

The former world super middleweight champion might have hung up his gloves, but he's just as obsessed with the sweet science as he was in his fighting days.

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Britain has now got 12 reigning world champions and the heavyweight division has been reignited by Tyson Fury's incredible victory over Wladimir Klitschko and the comeback of former champ David Haye.

But there's one name above them all that has really got the Sky Sports boxing pundit excited - and that's Anthony Joshua.

There's so much hype around the unbeaten Watford fighter who is yet to be truly tested against a big-punching, world class opponent.

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But Froch told JOE he's seen a ruthless and steely side to Joshua in training that few people get to see.

What he saw behind closed doors has convinced him that the 26-year-old former Olymic gold medal-winner will be a dominant world champion one day.

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JOE: Who would you pick between Fury, Joshua and Haye?

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Froch: It’s hard to say. I picked Joshua as my Number 5 in the world recently in my poll on Sky Sports.

I came under a lot of fire from people saying ‘how can you pick Joshua as your Number 5? You can’t stick him above David Haye’.

Of course if David Haye hit him on the chin, it’s going to be lights out. But you never know he might recover and take Haye the rounds.

Joshua has not got the experience of the top level, but that doesn’t mean he can’t go in there. Yes he’s never been past six, except in his last fight with Dillian Whyte.

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But you can’t say he’s not good enough to beat someone like Haye or even Fury because he’s not got the experience of going the rounds.

You look at Mike Tyson – when he was coming through before he was world champion he never went past two or three rounds. He never got the experience or ring craft because he was knocking people out then he went for the world title and won it.

In my opinion that’s what Joshua is. Joshua is a physical specimen of a heavyweight – he’s tall and he’s big, he’s heavy and he can take a shot like he showed against Whyte.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in action during the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title contest at The O2 Arena on December 12, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

What is it that really makes you think Joshua is the real deal?

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I’ve seen him in the gym for the past five or six years training at the EIS in Sheffield.

I’ve seen him spar big, hairy, heavy Kazakhstan fighters landing big right hands over the top and head butts and landing big heavy shots. I’ve seen him get wobbled, recover and fight back. I’ve seen a side to Joshua that people haven’t seen when they see him box.

He won an Olympic gold medal. They don’t just give them out, you’ve got to be able to fight. You've got to have that mindset.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: the referee assists Dillian Whyte as he clings to the ropes after being knocked down by Anthony Joshua in the seventh round during the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title contest at The O2 Arena on December 12, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Can he beat the world class fighters?

Joshua is capable of beating any of them. Would I put them in with him? No, of course I wouldn’t. He’s young, he’s got time on his side, he can build on it and become a champion and when he’s champ he can remain champion for many years.

You’ve got to do a proper job with him. You’ve got to give him a couple more steady fights. He beat Dillian Whyte to become British champion, let him defend the title a couple of times to win it outright, then let him fight for an interim world title then let him fight someone like David Haye or Deontay Wilder.

There’s no rush. At the minute do I think he can win? Yes I think he can win, but I wouldn’t put him in because you’ve got to do the right job for him.

It’s going to be great watching his career unfold. I don’t think he’ll ever fight David Haye. Haye is 35 and he’ll have to wait a couple of years if he wants the Joshua fight.

Carl Froch is working in partnership with Sony Mobile to integrate the Sony SmartWatch 3 into his fitness regime.

As part of the campaign, Carl used the SmartWatch 3 to monitor and track his fitness and achievements over one week. You can see the results at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj1GDsjJrrM