Anthony Joshua admitted he felt like a “novice” after trainer Robert McCracken gave a damning assessment of his win over Wladimir Klitschko.
The British heavyweight holds the WBA ‘super’ and IBF titles after he climbed off the canvas to stop Klitschko in the 11th round of an epic fight at Wembley in April.
But McCracken issued stern criticism on the first day back at the gym for Joshua, who is expected to make his next title defence against Kubrat Pulev after the retirement of Wladimir Klitschko.
“It was like I was a novice,” said Joshua. “We ticked the entertainment factor, but from a coaching point of view there was a lot of mistakes made, and a lot of things we could do better, and that’s what he looks at.
Not only are there tougher fights in front of you, there’s other people gunning for you to beat you, so you’ve got to get serious
“He was straight up: ‘Yeah, great, whatever, but that was four weeks ago; we’ve got to start preparing for the next three years. Not only are there tougher fights in front of you, there’s other people gunning for you to beat you, so you’ve got to get serious’.
“‘You’ve got to get back on it now. Your left hook was bad’. I was still living off the adulation, thinking: ‘What? This guy’s taking the mick’. But I’m over it now.”
Joshua has continued his stringent fitness regime as he awaits a date and venue for the Pulev fight.
“The confirmation of the fight will come from us,” he said. “The best thing I’ve done is maintained; you can have a rest and feel worse than you did while training.
“I actually feel decent because I’ve been ticking over. I need to improve, get better, and the only way to do that is keep training, sparring.”