Johnathon Banks is a former world title challenger and current trainer to former IBO heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko. The pair have been working together since the passing of the legendary Emanuel Steward and they had not lost a fight together until November 28th, 2015 when Tyson Fury upset the odds and took their titles. Banks and Klitschko now have a chance to gain back some of the titles they lost when they face undefeated champion, Anthony Joshua, on April 24th.
In part 2 of my interview with Johnathon Banks, I discuss with him the upcoming challenge of Anthony Joshua and what he thinks of this match up. Banks also talks about Wladimir’s mind set going into this bout and what kind of fight they expect. Additionally, Johnathon gives his thoughts on what a defeat could mean for Klitschko and breaks down how he expects this fight to play out. Here is what Johnathon Banks had to say.
Robert Brown: We got a great fight coming up between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. What are your thoughts on the fight?
Johnathon Banks: You’re talking about a clash of two gold medalists of two different eras. This is going to be one of the most exciting heavyweight matchups in a long time. This is on the order of Lennox Lewis vs. Michael Grant or George Foreman going up against Michael Moore, and the list goes on. This is a very big fight in the division right now.
Robert Brown: How do you see Anthony Joshua’s technical skills and abilities?
Johnathon Banks: It still remains to be seen because Anthony Joshua is a very well conditioned athlete, he’s very good all around the board, but you still haven’t seen how he adjusts to a fighter of Wladimir’s caliber because he has not faced a guy of Wladimir’s caliber. I can’t say how he adjusts because no one really knows, because he’s never fought the opposition before.
Robert Brown: Has coming back as a challenger revitalized Wladimir in any way?
Johnathon Banks: I can’t say for sure about being revitalized and refreshed, but it seems that way to me as well, so I agree with that. I think all the pressure is off of him, the pressure to break Joe Louis’ record. He stayed on top for a little over a decade, which hasn’t been done in a very long time. He’s motivated and he’s obsessed with his goals to win and obsessed with his new goals to become a rare three time heavyweight champion of the world.
Robert Brown: Do you think his wish will be to retrieve that belt and then retire?
Johnathon Banks: I can’t speak for him or whether this will be his last fight or not. I don’t discuss retirement with him. We’ve been taking it one fight at a time. Every fighter looks for longevity and every fighter won’t get it, so just take it one fight at a time. That’s why you’re supposed to fight hard every single fight, because you don’t know which one is going to be your last. I don’t personally talk about it with him, but when he’s ready for that time or if I see him regressing as a fighter and taking a lot of punishment, I will step in. I haven’t seen that as of yet.
Robert Brown: How has this camp compared to previous camps, with the shape he’s in at this stage?
Johnathon Banks: It feels like we’re back in the 2004 or 2005 training camps. This is the first time in over a decade that he went into the camp not being a champion. That’s how it was in 2004, he wasn’t champion, so the atmosphere was a little different but the motivation and the goals are the same, it’s to get back on the winning streak.
Robert Brown: Do you think this fight will go twelve rounds?
Johnathon Banks: I’ll tell you this, both guys are big punchers. Joshua is 18-0 with 18 knockouts, and Wladimir Klitschko I believe has 64 victories with 53 knockouts, something around that area. It’s insane, you got two massive punchers and I don’t see it going the distance. You never know, but this fight has fireworks written all over it, I just don’t see it going the distance.