In order to get his career back on track against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday in London, British fighter Anthony Joshua acknowledged on Friday that he “plateaued” after winning the heavyweight title.
Since his three defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, the last of which occurred in August, the former Olympic champion has been the subject of retirement rumors.
Joshua’s battle against Franklin at the O2 Arena will be his first since 2015 in which no world championship is at stake.
But after establishing a base in Dallas over the winter and working with new trainer Derrick James to help him get back to his best, he thinks he has reached a new level.
After reaching a career-high weight of 18st 3lbs (116 kg) on Friday, Joshua said, “I got to a certain level but I plateaued there and I now realise that if I want to achieve again, I’ve got to go to another level.”
“I just learned that what I thought was good enough, wasn’t, and sacrifice is not a bad thing because throughout this struggle I’ve had to put myself through I’ve actually found potentially better than what I had before,” the speaker said.
Joshua has made sacrifices that go as far as avoiding his family, including his son, 7, since returning to the UK two weeks ago.
I haven’t yet seen them. No matter how much training you’ve done in practice, Joshua continued, “I think you run the risk of slipping in the last week or so and letting your opponent catch up.”
“Until battle night, I’ll keep it under control as I have up to this point.
Being at home is harder; being farther away has been beneficial.