Anthony Joshua retained his heavyweight strap against Carlos Takam on Saturday night, as he capped off yet another remarkable year in his career. 2017 saw AJ defeat Wladimir Klitschko to cement his place as a top talent in the minds of boxing fans worldwide.
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff was packed out for Joshua’s clash with Takam, and the English Olympic winner didn’t disappoint the crowds, scoring a 10th-round stoppage.
Interestingly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in the camp for the heavyweight champion, and offered him some typically bullish advice.
“Zlatan loves his boxing and his mindset is phenomenal but he picked me up on something I said after my fight with Wladimir Klitschko earlier in the year,” Joshua said to Sky Sports.
“He pointed out that I’d said ‘I’m not perfect, but I’m trying’. Then he said ‘No, no no. What you must is say is ‘I am perfect and I’m not trying!'”
Zlatan, who is returning from injury to feature for Manchester United, is clearly impressed with Joshua.
“He is not as good at boxing as I am at football… but he’s getting there.
“He’s a knockout artist and his personality is good because he is perfect and he is not trying.
“That’s why everyone loves him. It’s why he’s the people champion.”
Next up for Joshua is an attempt to unify the heavyweight belts. Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker currently hold a belt each, and it’s likely that in 2018, Joshua will move to claim those titles.
It’s a fascinating time for heavyweight boxing. Watch this space…