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Deontay Wilder: “Joshua’s Mentality Was to Survive”

By: Hans Themistode

Anthony Joshua may have successfully won back his Heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia when the two collided in their rematch this past weekend, but it wasn’t the sort of performance that impressed current belt holder WBC titlist Deontay Wilder. 

Joshua has always been known as a big puncher throughout his career. Yet in his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr, he decided to go away from his normal seek and destroy mentality. 

“Joshua did what he had to do to get the win,” said Wilder. “He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day. Basically, he had [Wladimir] Klitschko in the camp and he was a lot like Klitschko: that jab-grab-hold method. That’s all he did tonight.”

Wilder’s assumption wasn’t too far from the truth. 

“He said loads of stuff to me,” said Joshua during the lead up of his rematch with Ruiz. “Wlad was definitely ahead of the game. He was giving me dietary and training advice, and that is maybe what people are talking about now when they see a difference in my body.”

Joshua has always heard the criticism of his physique. This is boxing, not a body builder contest is what many have told him before. Following his loss to Ruiz in their first matchup, Joshua decided that it was time for him to change a few things in his diet. To his credit, he came into the rematch with Ruiz having shed ten pounds. Thanks to the advice he received from Klitschko, he was able to go a full twelve rounds without tiring. But it seems as though it was more than just advice he received from Klitschko. It appears as though Joshua may have adapted Klitschko’s fighting style as well.

The now two time Heavyweight champion boxed well but he had no interest in engaging with Ruiz at all. He simply wanted to get his titles back and leave the ring in one piece. 

“He was so hesitant, Joshua’s mentality was to survive,” the WBC heavyweight champion continued. “The Klitschko method. You want to dominate guys, man. I’m not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold. I’m going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no one is close to me, especially with what’s going on in the division right now. It’s a time of proving who is the best.”

With the victory, Joshua has effectively placed himself back into the conversation for the mythical crown of best Heavyweight in the world. Yet according to Wilder, there is absolutely no discussion in terms of who everyone should consider the best.  

“How can no one say I’m not the very best in the world now?” Said Wilder who sports undefeated record of 42-0-1 with 41 knockouts. “I’ve given you what you pay for each and every time, especially when we’re talking about a heavyweight bout. Fans come to see knockouts. They come to see something dramatic — a body lying on the canvas, spread like it’s having birth. That’s what people want to see, and that’s my mentality.”

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