Heavyweight boxing world champion Anthony Joshua, who currently holds the IBF, WBA, IBO and WBC titles after famously knocking out the legend of the sport Wladimir Klitschko in April, is enjoying his time away from the ring before a possible rematch. Appearing on BBC One’s Graham Norton Show last Friday, the 27-year-old gave out some free boxing lessons to guests and viewers, as well as demonstrating his incredible punching power.
The Watford-born pugilist allowed the digits on the punching machine to speak for themselves, but not before he allowed Hollywood stars Rachel Weisz and Martin Freeman, as well as comedian Greg Davies and host Graham Norton have a go, tutoring them on boxing basics in the process.
Rachel, who stars in The Mummy and is married to Daniel Craig had to take off her stilettos in order to pack a better punch. The champion gave her some valuable advice about her stance and said: “Remember: your aim is to punch through the bag.” She notched a decent score of 182, although no one really knows what kind of units the punching-bag-machine operates with.
The Hobbit star, Martin Freeman, was up next and although he appears nonchalant enough, he comes away with a roaring score of 594, before stand-up comedian Greg Davies overtakes the pair by recording 632.
It was all put in perspective, though, once Joshua stepped up to the machine. Dressed in a sharp white shirt and black suit pants, he looked light years away from the boy who dropped out of school and hung out with gangs before being put on remand in Reading Prison back in 2009. The champion, who worked as a bricklayer before he started boxing, racked up a whopping score of 848.
During the show, Joshua, whose mother hails from Nigeria, also spoke about the importance of mental strength in boxing. When asked about what went through his head when he was knocked down in the sixth round against Klitschko, he said: “This is the one thing I didn’t train for. Out of all the stuff I’ve been training for, this the one thing that you don’t prepare for. So you go into that fight or flight mode, where it’s like ‘I could either stay on my back and say to myself I’ve given it my all and I’m happy with coming this far. Or you go and fight the extra round’.”
The London Olympics gold medalist, who until recently still lived with his mom in her house on a council estate in the capital, picked himself up and stopped Klitschko with an uppercut in the 11th round, to record his nineteenth knockout win in his nineteenth bout.
“It’s not something that you prepare for, so when you find yourself in that situation, I think then it becomes about character. So, who are you? What do you represent? And I’m a fighting man so I got up and carried on scrapping with him,” he said of his comeback.