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Heavyweight Anthony Joshua returns from injury this Saturday

31
Mar
Anthony Joshua (l) unloading on Hrvoje Kisicek/ Scott Heavey/ Getty Images

Anthony Joshua (l) unloading on Hrvoje Kisicek/ Scott Heavey/ Getty Images

Fast rising heavyweight colossus Anthony Joshua is eager to prove that an injury layoff has made him even more determined to fulfill his vast potential and that is bad news for any fighter residing within the sport’s glamor division.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist suffered a stress fracture to his back, which cost him a January date against former heavyweight title challenger Kevin Johnson. That bout has been rescheduled to May 30 but first Joshua must repel the challenge of unheralded American Jason Gavern in Newcastle, England, on Saturday night.

“I was on a roll and there was great momentum, but I think I can pick that up again,” said the 25 year old via a press release from Matchroom Boxing. “I wanted to fight but people were telling me not to and of course they were right. It will be great to fight in another massive city in the UK. I expect the atmosphere is going to be fantastic, the fans up there love their sport and I am really looking forward to doing my thing for them.

“It (injury) was going on since October but heavyweights have big muscles to support their bones, so when it happened the muscles tensed up around the bone when I was training. I took two weeks off after the Michael Sprott fight, the muscles relaxed and I didn’t realize it was a bone injury, I thought it was the muscle that was hurting. I got it checked and they said it was a stress fracture. I wanted to carry on training but had I done that it would have got worse and it could have even turned into a chronic injury.

Joshua continued, “You have to have great rehabilitation with an injury like that, with the best physiotherapists, doctors and medical advice you can get. I got back to the gym ahead of schedule but an injury that could have been a chronic one has been solved by eight weeks of rest.”

Recent setbacks aside Joshua (10-0, 10 knockouts) is one of the hottest prospects in world boxing. Matchroom Promotions are bringing him up the ladder at a steady pace and the likes of David Price and Tyson Fury could provide huge domestic interest should those fights come to fruition in the future.

World domination is the ultimate dream although Joshua is remaining humble in the face of such lofty expectations.

He said, “The pressure to be great, saying I can be the next this and that, or saying that I can’t, it’s just fuel to my fire. I want to be successful, to thank those people that have helped me and backed me, and to those that doubt me I would want to say think twice before you think your opinion is fact. Life in general is hard and there are people out there with real problems, so the pressure I feel is nothing.”

 

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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