A few weeks ago, Anthony Joshua raised some eyebrows when he offered to come in as a sparring partner for Tyson Fury, who is currently preparing for a February rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Fury and Joshua have traded words quite often over the last few years.
Joshua, the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion, reclaimed his belts earlier this month with a twelve round unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.
But Joshua is taking the Wladimir Klitshchko approach.
Klitschko, who ruled the heavyweight division for a decade, was the master of using top prospects and ranked contenders as sparring partners – in order to get familiar with them in the event he had to face them in the future.
He used both Joshua and Wilder as sparring partners.
Ironically, it was Joshua who ended Klitschko’s career in a Fight of Year scrap in 2017.
Joshua sees a potential sparring session with Fury as a big advantage for a future fight.
“It’s all for experience at the end of the day. What I learnt from myself and who I am – if I make a mistake once, I don’t make it again. With Fury, sparring him for the first time, maybe for my benefit I might go in there and just batter him around the ring or he might batter me around the ring,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“If that is the case, I know I can take my notes and go back when I’m ready to fight him and correct all my wrongs. Everyone’s like ‘you wouldn’t do it’ but no one knows how my brain works. Everyone talks from their own experiences and I can only talk from my own.
“So when I say I’ll go and spar Fury, it’s because I have a plan in my mind that no one will really understand. I’ll beat him.”