AFTER the Dillian Whyte fight I started a health journey, so I’m in way better shape for Anthony Joshua. I stopped eating red meat, and started eating fruit, and I lost eight pounds before my camp started.
I wanted to be in better health. We’ve got some stuff that runs in the family – diabetes; high blood pressure; heart disease – and I don’t want to be just another guy with the same problems, so I’ve been making healthy changes.
At first, I was craving beef like crazy, but now it really doesn’t bother me at all. I eat a lot of salads, salmon and chicken, and I started drinking juices. Now I get full so fast – it’s crazy.
It’s hard to try to change your life around in the middle of a camp when you’re used to everything and you’re doing too much to your body at one time. I thought it would be better to do it while I wasn’t working out, and before I got back in the gym.
I’m more in shape, faster, and can get around easier than I could before. It hasn’t changed my style, but it’s improved it.
I still think I outpointed Whyte seven rounds to five – Compubox had me eight to four – but that’s boxing. I’m not going to cry about it or complain about it. You just take the next thing.
From what I’ve been hearing Joshua’s going to knock me out in five rounds. I think he’s going to come out and try and be aggressive, and we’re ready for that. We’re ready for him trying to box, and ready for anything he can actually try to do.
I can’t speak about whether he’s damaged – I don’t know him that well. But I’m a competitor. In my head he’s training hard, and coming back for his name and to reclaim his status.
He lets his right hand go at the right times. A lot of the fights I’ve watched he throws decent flurries, but he’s got a nice right hand – he causes a lot of damage and his opponents start to get worried. But I’ve got a chin – you can’t break my will or take my heart. You’d have to kill me.
Everybody says if AJ loses to me his career’s over, but I don’t look at it that way. That’s insulting to me as a fighter. I still look at him as if he’s a world champion and holding three belts.
Boxing is the only sport where we write people off for a couple of losses. We don’t write a basketball team off when they’ve been in a slump, but in boxing, when you lose your throne – if you’re not at the top it’s like you’re at the bottom. He still has a chance to come back.
Derrick James is a great coach – he’s got world champions – but it takes time for a healthy relationship to develop. I could teach you some things in a short amount of time, but I still don’t know you inside-out – your weaknesses, your strengths or your flaws. It’s good for your coaches to know that, because they know the right things to say to you. It’s a little deeper than the training aspect of the relationship you have with your trainer.
It takes at least a couple of years. If you’re not that close anyway, you only see each other when you go to the gym. That’s a couple of hours out of the day. Most fighters probably only work out four times a week, so seeing a guy eight hours a week and expecting him to know you – it’s not really going to work like that.
Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury are the world’s top two heavyweights. Joshua could still be third, but after back-to-back losses, Deontay Wilder could be third. But in the same breath that’s still hard – it’s a tie between them and Andy Ruiz Jnr.
A lot of people sleep on Usyk and his skills. He’s very skilful. But I trained a little bit with Tyson before the Whyte fight – he doesn’t rush a lot but he has great timing, and a couple of tricks of the trade that throw you off your game. Usyk has great footwork – he throws a lot of punches and he’s super busy. It would have been a great fight, but as long as Fury could have kept his distance and kept the jab working he could have pulled it off.