Joshua says he has put his ‘heart back’ into boxing

Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he still feels fresh as he aims for his first win since 2020 after putting “his heart” back into boxing.

The British boxer will face Jermain Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on April 1 after losing two previous fights to Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine.

Joshua’s last victory was against Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, while American Franklin defeated Pavel Sour and Rodney Moore before losing in hand-to-hand combat to Dillian Whyte at Wembley Arena in November.

Joshua has fought 27 times at the pro level, but the 33-year-old fighter says he still feels “fresh and young”.

“I adapted to certain fights so I didn’t get crazy punishments, so at this point in my career I don’t think… I got that many punishments or I’m war-torn,” he said. “I still feel fresh.

“I like making money, frankly, it’s a combat sport. People wonder if I’m in the game.

“So many fighters go to the gym every day, but it’s different when you put your heart into it and I had to get rid of some of the distractions and things in my life to get my heart back into the game.”

Joshua has moved to Texas, where he is coached by new coach Derrick James.

Despite the move, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist admits he hasn’t had time to enjoy his new surroundings as he prepares to fight Franklin.

“I’m here for nothing else, I’m a serious person, so I’m here for nothing else,” Joshua said. “In my entire career, this is probably the most serious thing I’ve taken.”



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