Andy Murray admits he couldn't bear to watch Joshua fight
- Andy Murray and Anthony Joshua met prior to the London Olympic games
- The tennis star admitted he could not watch Joshua’s entire bout against Wladimir Klitschko
- Joshua was victorious, beating the 41-year-old at a packed Wembley stadium
You will rarely meet a more ardent boxing fan than Andy Murray, but he admits that he was barely able to watch Anthony Joshua’s triumph over Wladimir Klitschko.
Murray, who has known Joshua since they met prior to the London Olympics, has developed a problem watching boxers that he personally knows when they are in the ring.
‘I found it hard to watch the other day,’ said the world tennis number one, who had just arrived back from his tournament in Barcelona on Saturday night. “I got in and my wife and mother and father-in-law were there and they were really pumped to watch the fight and they asked ‘Are you excited?”
Andy Murray admits he couldn’t bear to watch Anthony Joshua take on Wladimir Klitschko
‘But I shake when I watch boxing. My wife was like: ‘Are you OK?’ I had to leave the screen. I was unpacking my bag for 30 seconds, then I would come back and watch a little bit. I find it really difficult to watch, especially when I know someone that is in the fight.
‘With the heavyweights as well, because one punch can change the whole fight, you are kind of on edge the whole time.
‘I don’t know what it is exactly. I never used to have that and I don’t get it watching fights where I don’t know the person.
‘The first time when I couldn’t actually watch the fight was when David Haye fought Klitschko. I bought the pay per view, a few of my friends came round and we had it on downstairs.
‘I left the room after three rounds and checked my phone for the updates to make sure he was fine. I watched the fight back after it had finished. But watching it live, I find it hard.’
Joshua beat 41-year-old opponent Klitschko in front of a record crowd of 90,000 at Wembley
Murray’s admiration for boxers – he has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport – knows no bounds.
‘When you’re watching tennis and people say “that was an amazing comeback or hugely brave” it’s not really a comparison to what they’re doing. Both of them showed it the whole way through. Joshua was maybe just a bit fresher at the end and produced an amazing finish. Big respect for both of them.’
From his personal knowledge of Joshua he feels confident that he is equipped to remain at the top for a long time.
‘When you listen to him speaking and talking about his own career, he does appear to be very grounded and very aware of where he wants to get to, and the best way of doing that. Just from talking to him, I get the sense he has spoken to a lot of people in a lot of different sports.
‘He went out to train with Klitschko just to understand how to run a professional training camp. If you’re willing to learn and take on board the advice of people at the top of their sports, you’re going to understand quickly that the one common thing is that you have to work hard – all the time. You can’t just be doing six months going out partying and then expect to just in a couple of months get yourself in great shape, or turn up for the big events only. You need to be putting the big effort all the time.
Murray believes Joshua is capable of remaining at the top of the sport for many years to come
‘I met him the first time at the Olympics in 2012 before it started. We did some media stuff with all the tennis players, and then had lunch with the boxers. He doesn’t seem any different to how he was then.
‘He maybe has a bit more of an aura now and is a little bit more confident. But he doesn’t appear to have changed at all, which is refreshing, because a lot of the time, in some sports, especially in boxing, there’s a huge drama around every fight and a lot of it might be to sell the fight.
‘He was pretty much selling out a 90,000-seat stadium without any of that, and that’s because of how he is. People like to see that.