Anthony Joshua has explained his use of Floyd Mayweather’s signature move – the pull counter – in his win against Kubrat Pulev last December.
The British heavyweight defended his IBF, WBA and WBO titles in fine style against the Bulgarian with a ninth-round knockout.
Mayweather was ringside for the contest and whether by design or coincidence, Joshua paid homage to the retired 50-0 fighter.
“It was the first time we were allowed fans back and Mayweather was in the stadium,” Joshua told his personal YouTube channel.
“It was an honour to have him in the house. I respect him highly for what he has achieved.
“He came to see me perform and I pulled off one of his favourite moves – the pull-counter.
“If you watch boxing you will know that is one of Mayweather’s signature moves.”
The move itself was picture perfect with Joshua rocking back to evade a jab before throwing all his momentum into the right hand that landed flush on Pulev’s chin.
Clearly the respect is mutual and at the time Mayweather told Sky Sports: “I’m proud of Joshua. He is one of the best heavyweights out there.
“He won [an Olympic] gold medal, his career is going great, a two-time heavyweight champion. He is a hell of a fighter.
“He is a gentleman and I enjoy his craft.”
AJ also spoke about his mentality ahead of two possible fights with Tyson Fury to take place this year if both sides can negotiate successfully.
He said: “Some people may not understand it and I realise in this life is that 99 per cent of the population are civilised people.
“The job I’ve chosen is for the uncivilised. This is a sport of combat and war.
“We’re not civilised people, we’re warriors, and I love it.
“No matter what the tactics are, no matter how much you study, no matter how much you think you can beat me, I’m just there to win.
“I’m there to do a job, and that’s the fighter’s mentality.”