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Trainer claims Anthony Joshua became ‘gun-shy’ after ‘terrifying’ moment in specific fight

Adam Booth believes Anthony Joshua has become “gun-shy” as a fighter following his explosive victory over Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.

During the first phase of Joshua’s professional career, he was one of the most exciting (and hardest punching) heavyweights in the world, but he currently adopts a more reserved approach.

Joshua is coming off victories over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius. Before these two wins, he had lost three of his previous five fights.

The Brit suffered his first loss in shocking fashion in his debut in the United States against Andy Ruiz Jr before he was outclassed by Oleksandr Usyk in back-to-back bouts.

The best win of his career arguably came against Klitschko, who was on the downturn when they faced off at Wembley Stadium in 2017.

Joshua and Klitschko were both hurt during this classic fight, but the Brit managed to stop the Ukrainian in stunning fashion in round 11.

Booth – former trainer of David Haye and George Groves – thinks Joshua’s fight with Klitschko may have led to him becoming a “better fighter with self-preservation instincts”.

“Is AJ gun-shy subsequent to the Wladimir Klitschko fight, or is he a better fighter with self-preservation instincts?” Booth said via Up Front with Simon Jordan.

“Klitschko gets knocked out by Corey Sanders, comes back a better winner but a less entertaining fighter because his primary concern is not getting knocked out whilst winning.”

Booth also pointed out that it is a “terrifying experience” when you are “knocked out or concussed in a fight” and Joshua may have gone through this as a result of the Klitschko bout.

“Anyone that’s been knocked out or concussed in a fight knows what that feels like, and it’s a terrifying experience that no one ever sees,” Booth added.

“So if you don’t know after that Klitschko win how much he was hurt – was he concussed? Was he throwing up that night with the blistering headache and the confusion and coming out a concussion thinking ‘I don’t want that to happen again?’

“Being concussed makes people come out and think ‘I’m going to be a bit more savvy here, make sure I don’t get hit, I don’t need to be in a war, why be in a war?’

“I think the majority of fighters go in there saying ‘I’m prepared to win, but I’m not prepared to die for this or give myself damage."

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