ANTHONY JOSHUA named Wladimir Klitschko as the hardest puncher he has ever faced in the ring.
The British star beat the Ukrainian with an 11th round knockout at Wembley in 2017 – but admitted he could have been "carried out on a stretcher".
Joshua, 32, suffered the first defeat of his career when he came up against 25/1 underdog Andy Ruiz Jr in New York back in 2019.
The British star was left battered and bruised after he was knocked to the canvas four times by the hard-hitting Mexican.
He was also outpointed by Oleksandr Usyk last year at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But he has revealed that it was Klitschko, 46, that possessed the most powerful punches he has come up against.
During a JD Sports Instagram live prior to his first fight with Usyk, he said: "Who hit me the hardest? Yeah, Klitschko.
"When I went in with Klitschko, yeah, I just knew this could go two ways.
"I could either win or I'm gonna be laid out on my back. You know when you get carried out on a stretcher?"
"It was the 15 that came after that as well. This guy's a beast, he's a beast.
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"I was gonna say Ruiz Jr, but when he hit me that like a concussion on the back of my head."
Joshua was floored for the first time in his career when Klitschko landed a heavy right hand in the sixth round.
But the Watford-born bruiser bounced back in spectacular fashion to add the WBA world heavyweight title to his IBF crown.
Klitschko crashed to the canvas three times before Joshua secured the victory in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley.
Joshua is determined to win back his belts when he rematches Usyk next month.
The duo will meet again on August 20 in Jeddah, with Tyson Fury potentially being tempted out of retirement to face the winner.
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