Anthony Joshua at Final Press Conference: “I Came to Take Over”
By: Hans Themistode
Since losing his Heavyweight world titles, Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) has been given plenty of time to reflect. Six months to be exact. He has assessed what went wrong on June 1st, earlier this year against Andy Ruiz Jr (33-1, 22 KOs) and looks forward to righting what he believes should never have happened in the first place.
Joshua was given one final time before the weigh in and subsequent fight, to take a look at Andy Ruiz Jr as they hosted a press conference in Saudi Arabia.
It was your typical presser but yet, something looked odd. That peculiar image came from Joshua as he sat in his seat at the presser with no titles in front of him. It was the first time since 2016 that Joshua no longer had a championship title placed in front of him.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
It’s an unfamiliar sight, but one that he knows very well.
“It’s interesting to be on this side of the table but I’m used to this position,” said Joshua. “Even when you are champion you have to have a challenger mindset. It feels like my 16th fight so I go back to that and I’m hungry, determined and focused on the goal.”
When a once proud champion tastes defeat for the first time in his or her career, the questions always seem to surface regarding whether or not they have lost a piece of themselves in the ring. Is their desire and will to win still as prevalent as it was before? In this case, the answer is an emphatic yes.
“I didn’t lose any heart, I didn’t lose any fire in my belly. I’m actually really looking forward to it. There’s no fear in my heart, no fear in my eyes, no fear in my mind. I’m just looking forward to putting on a show and I’m confident. The focus has always been there.”
Naturally, with such a massive event, it needed a venue to match. The city of Diriyah located in Saudi Arabia has played its part in delivering on a platform that is well suited for this level of a contest.
“This is the real Mecca of boxing. We are going to turn this into something special. I went to the venue and it is perfectly designed. I said my prayers and I took the time to really embrace what is going to happen on Saturday night.”
Everything about this moment just screams special. This is after all, a Heavyweight contest between two of the best that the division has to offer with the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles up for grabs. The winner of this bout will remember being apart of history. That might be your take on it, but not for the former champion.
“It won’t be a special moment because I know I belong here. When I regain those belts, I’m going to keep calm and remain focused. It’s not a time to celebrate. I have to keep a challenger mindset and move on to the next target.”
The former champion might speak of his challenger mindset, however, make no mistake about it. He wants nothing more than to regain his spot on the Heavyweight throne.
“I never came to take part I came to take over. I’m not here to put on a show. I’m here to win.”
Frederic “Soap” Julan Ready for Brooklyn Debut
By: Bryant Romero
Undefeated Light Heavyweight prospect Frederic “Soap” Julan will be making his first appearance at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn on June 9, where he will face Eric Abraham (3-2, 0 KOs) in a scheduled six rounder. Julan (9-0, 7 KOs) will look to keep his undefeated record intact as he continues his climb through the rankings in a deeply talented rich light heavyweight division. The 29-year-old Frenchman is now living and training in New York and is fully dedicated to his craft in boxing after first realizing at the age of 19, that the sweet science would be his calling in life. Boxinginsider recently caught up with Julan to talk about his journey from being a kid living in the projects in France, to now living in the United States as he continues to pursue his goals as a prizefighter.
“We grew up in the projects,” Julan told me. “Until I was 14 and my parents got us out and we moved out, but I would still go see my old friends.
“As young kids, we were always fighting with the older guys. It was a game, the older guys wanted to beat us up.
“And one day when you’re with your crew and your fighting with one of the older guys, you beat him up and that was the game,” Julan said.
Julan was one of those kids that didn’t want to get beat up and he made sure he “stayed ready” even studying other forms of martial arts in his teens in order to defend himself from potential trouble.
“I was always really competitive. I always wanted to be the best and I never wanted to get beat up,” Julan said. “So I got into Taekwondo, some martial arts and I wanted to fight right away after 1 year because I was already doing some sparring.”
Julan’s stint in martial arts was short lived as he was unable to get a fight, so he turned his attention to another form of martial arts, which was boxing. He was introduced to the sport through his best friend who encouraged him to give boxing a try. Julan was immediately hooked to the sweet science after a just a single sparring session, but it was the type of sparring session that only the mentally strong in this sport would want to continue to come back to the boxing gym from.
“So I tried boxing and I got my ass kicked,” Julan explained. “I liked it. I wanted to get bigger and better, so I kept going back until I kicked the ass of the guy that was beating me up.”
From there a fire seemed to be lit up, but Julan was still not planning a career in boxing until his current trainer Simon advised him to meet with his best friend in New York to get some experience of what it’s like training in the United States.
“From that moment I was like okay boxing can become an option. At the time I was working in construction and I was like I don’t want to do that, that’s not the thing that I want to do,” Julan explained.
“So I was like I’m going to give everything to boxing and train my best. I lost my first (amateur) fight and won the rest.”
Julan only had 8 amatuer fights when he was France simply because the club he was training at was too small, but he explains it best when he says “I’ve had a lot of sparring, but not a lot of fights.”
In 2010, the 29-year-old got the experienced he needed when he took part of what he calls a boxing internship where he got to eat, sleep, and train boxing for 1 month in the United States. From there, the plan was put into place in raising enough funds to come back to America following his internship and pursue his dream of becoming a professional prize fighter.
“I was like yea man that’s what I want,” Julan said. “So I came back to France and I opened a company with a friend and we make a lot of money and put money on the side and we said we going to move to New York and that’s it, that’s what we did.”
Julan would go on to turn pro in July of 2016 and not long after would develop a reputation of being slippery in that ring and later be known under the alias of “soap.”
“One day I was sparring some guy at the gym and the guy couldn’t touch me. I was slipping and he was touching my shoulder and I was so slippery,” he told me. “And he said ‘man this guy is like a soap he’s so hard to catch.”
Not only is “Soap” slippery in that ring but it’s also interesting to hear him describe his boxing style.
“I don’t have a style. I just adapt my style,” Julan said. “I can fight, I can be slick, and I can be dirty. My style would be based on defense because I trust my defense.
“From that I can adapt to any type of fighter because you cannot be slick with everybody. Sometimes you have to fight and I know how to fight. I know how to be dirty, so yea I don’t think I have a style.”
As for his next opponent, the only thing Julan knows about him is that he’s a southpaw, but the Frenchman is hoping this is the first step to better challenges in the future. He is anxious to fight tougher competition to show the boxing world what he’s made of.
“Boxing is all mental, it’s all in the head, it’s being mentally stronger than your opponent,” Julan explained. “I want to step up the opponents. Get real challenge. This year I want to get an undefeated fighter and show people what I got. I want to step up,” he said.