Anthony Joshua’s trainer Joby Clayton has called on his charge to revert to form and try to knock out Tyson Fury.
Joshua took back his WBA, IBF and WBO titles by wide unanimous decision in his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December after being knocked out in seven at Madison Square Garden six months prior.
Fury became the WBC heavyweight champion with a dominant seventh-round stoppage of previously undefeated American Deontay Wilder in February.
“Ruiz is an absolute killer if you’re about one metre away from him,” Clayton told Boxing Social.
“He’s the world champion of world champions within that one metre. It’s in AJ, some people are thinking ‘Oh is this how AJ’s going to box now?’ and I say ‘he can’t box like that, it’s not in him’.
“He’s such a competitor, he wants to go for the kill all the time. He wants to knock people out and he wants to be entertaining. He can’t help it.
“Fair play to him for having the discipline in that moment especially when you bear in mind it was such a short amount of time to adjust.”
Clayton admitted he was impressed by Fury’s performance against Wilder in the rematch.
“I thought he did fantastic,” he said. “In all honesty I think he has thrown down the gauntlet to greatness between him and AJ for this generation.
“I felt that he made some amazing adjustments and he is a very good fighter. I think he’s made life really interesting.
“It can only fuel the preparation of a competitor like AJ now to want to better himself and further himself now. I believe that the winner of that fight becomes mentioned with the greats.
“That is such a massive motivation and I think that’s such a privileged position for those fighters to be in. How many fighters can say that maybe in the next one or two fights that they could be considered a great?
“That’s a very special place for these two young men to be in. As a fan, I was very impressed with Fury. As AJ’s boxing coach, I wasn’t very impressed. I joke!”
While Joshua was known as a puncher rather than a boxer before the rematch with Ruiz Jr the reverse was true for Fury, who wasn’t known as a knockout artist until he beat Wilder into submission.
“Fury has always shown himself to be a very versatile athlete,” Clayton said. “Sometimes he’s just fought southpaw, the fight he got cut he had to go at mid-range and break the guy down at mid-range – he’s always shown himself to be a fantastically versatile athlete.
“These are the challenges you’re faced with when you want to be called a great. These are the levels you have to raise to.
“I talk strongly about the energy frequency of world class. Greatness has its own energy frequency. The likes of Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier – those guys they functioned on a different level.
“If you want to be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys, you have to function on a different level. I think it will bring out the best in both Fury and AJ.”
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