Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Physical Work Is Done Now I Just Need to Rest and Get My Mind in Good Shape

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Physical Work Is Done Now I Just Need to Rest and Get My Mind in Good Shape

Article excerpt

Byline: BIG FIGHT DIARY Anthony Joshua IBF world heavyweight champion

TODAY, for the first time this week, I was due to go face to face and eye to eye with Wladimir Klitschko at the press conference. The fight may be a mere two days away but those final days before stepping into the ring are absolutely crucial.

Sure, all the work in the gym is done -- in fact, my last proper training session was Monday and yesterday we just did an open session at Wembley -- so, physically, we are there. Now it's about staying focused and relaxed.

That's easier than it sounds, simply because my body and mind have just become so routinely regimented for weeks now on training, eating and sleeping.

Now I've got to fill those empty hours with something else -- and that's a lot of time when you look at what I do on a day-to-day basis at a training camp.

The first session is usually down at the track at 7.30am, developing my energy systems with sprints, on a bike or running a longer distance at a more moderate pace.

Then I go back to bed, have breakfast and then we're in the gym for 11.30am for strength and conditioning, working on getting as strong, fast and powerful as I can be and helping on foot speed and rotational power, too. Then it's back to bed again, followed by a lot more food and hydration, then boxing training at 5.30pm -- the most important session of any day -- where we work on technique, timing and movement.

So, when you are living that life over months in camp and then just before the fight, when you take away the training element, there's some empty hours.

As boring as it sounds, I fill them mainly by sleeping -- and the moments when I am awake and not doing pre-fight stuff, like the workout and media things, I just chill with the boys to take my mind off things. We'll watch some films, do a bit of gaming -- anything I can do to take my mind off things.

As hard as it might be to believe, I'm not really that aware of the huge interest in the fight because I'm locked away and I keep the team around me tight. …

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