Anthony Joshua marked out of 10 before Alexander Povetkin bout
|Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin|
|Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday 22 September|
|Coverage: Live text commentary from 20:00 BST on the BBC Sport website|
Those closest to Anthony Joshua have simple words of advice for how the athlete, pupil, businessman and - though he may not like the word - celebrity can enhance what he offers, in and out of the ring.
In truth, they have to work hard to find action points. On 5 October it will be five years since Joshua's first professional fight and few then would have predicted the rapid nature of his rise to the top of the sport and into the public consciousness.
As the WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champion prepares for fight number 22 against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday, BBC Sport asked those who work with him to rate the man and his five professional years in and out of the ring.
And we want your thoughts too. How would you sum up Joshua's five years as a pro? Tweet #bbcboxing with a mark out of 10 and your take on half a decade of knockouts and memories.
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The man himself - Anthony Joshua (10/10)
The record reads 21 fights, 21 wins, 20 by knockout. The 2012 Olympic champion, who destroyed Emanuele Leo inside a round on his pro debut, speaks to BBC Sport after working out at his Sheffield training base.
"Out of 10, I'd give my five years a 10 because I've won," says Joshua, 28. "That's what's important right? It's all that matters. It goes down in the history books.
"Remember, some people used to cuss Lennox Lewis, some people say Mike Tyson didn't fight enough top heavyweights. It's not always about what people think and want, it's about how you feel and if you're content. So for me, it's a 10 out of 10. Look back in history and a lot of people were not achieving what we have in 21 fights."
The business manager - Freddie Cunningham (7/10)
Cunningham worked with Joshua at his former management company before the fighter asked him if they should set up on their own, forming Anthony Joshua Boxing and Commercial.
"If you look at some of the biggest UK names like Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton, they were with some of the biggest management firms. Now they have their own company to run things. The fact AJ was coming to me to start his own management company when he wasn't even British champion, let alone a world champion, I was very impressed with the thought and his self-belief.
"He had a vision back then. When he started the company, it just allowed him to channel ideas. Believe me, he has a lot of ideas.
"It was hard at the beginning because we were still being selective. We wanted him working with boxing brands but also those brands outside of the sport. The amount of people we used to speak to and they'd say 'no, we don't work in combat sports' or 'boxing is not a sport for our brand'.
"Now I have many of those brands begging me to form partnerships. Now we are refining things, making our partnerships with brands longer and making sure they are global, with a view to the US and Africa.
"To rate his five years as a businessman he gets a seven. He has unbelievable ideas. He understands the business. When photographers are taking images of him training, he knows if he gives them a good shot it will be used widely, which is good for those backing him. How does he get to 10? He needs to attend more meetings."
The promoter - Eddie Hearn (10/10)
Hearn swooped to sign Joshua off the back of his London 2012 success and has helped guide him to a point where his last three bouts have sold around 250,000 tickets.
"I can remember his first news conference. He was still very focused in a suit and waistcoat and for someone who didn't really know a great deal of what was going on, you wouldn't have thought it.
"Five years, I mean wow, it has been faultless really. It's great as a promoter to know you have this guy who you don't have to worry about.
"You don't have to worry about him wanting to go out, wanting to give up boxing, wanting to spend money on stupid things, you just have a very focused disciplined fighter.
"It's cringeworthy to say but he's practically perfect. If I had to pick one thing, it would be more aggression at press conferences. You have these Instagram heavyweight champions of the world, the likes of Deontay Wilder, he would never behave like that and thinks it's cringe.
"If I said to him 'could you do a video pushing the pay per view or ticket sales' I'll get a reply saying 'no, that's cringe, I ain't doing that'.
"For five years as a fighter to promote, I would have to give him a 10. What more could you do? He has unified the division after 21 fights."
The trainer - Rob McCracken (8/10)
McCracken - who trained Carl Froch to world-title success - knew all about Joshua having guided him as an amateur. He remains performance director of Great Britain's amateur set-up but also leads staff including analysts, nutritionists and strength and conditioning coaches for Joshua's camps.
"AJ has been fast-tracked," McCracken tells BBC Sport. "He has done things in half the time that most people do them. He stepped in with Wladimir Klitschko having been a pro no time and he boxed for a world title barely through year two as a pro.
"When we started, he needed to use his reach more, he needed to box a little bit more - sometimes coming over the front foot and being prepared to exchange hooks with opponents is not always the safest way to go about your job.
"But he developed, he has learned to control the pace of a fight and the distance to his opponent. And he got 30-odd rounds in his last three fights which has been vital in his development.
"The next step is we get him to punch more, and at the right times.
"For five years as a fighter, I'd give him eight out of 10 for his development. If he wins the next three or four he will go to nine and then the 10 is one he will be striving to do with me until he stops boxing."
The publicist - Andy Bell (9/10)
Bell looks after other notable sportsmen such as Sir Bradley Wiggins. He originally worked for a firm that took care of Joshua's publicity but started his own firm which Joshua's management company uses for PR services.
"I began working with him the Monday after his first pro fight," says Bell.
"Things back then were very, very different. The pressure has got bigger but it hasn't really changed him. He is very clear and asks the same question: 'If I'm giving up my time to do something, can you explain why I'm doing it?'
"At the start, we weren't chasing notoriety but we were having to give people a reason to write about him. Now you have reached the top of the hill and you have a lot of incoming requests.
"I think successful sportsmen now largely realise that the picture is bigger than your own sport. I was aiming at the mainstream, consumers, how could we cross him over into modern culture?
"And the demand for him now is unbelievable. Domestically we have hundreds of applications to attend news conferences. You probably have six media applications for every seat you have available.
"Rating his approach to the media for our five years, I often joke with him that if he wanted to, he would be far better at my job than I am because he has this unbelievable ability to understand what people want out of a situation. I hate to say it but I'd give him a solid nine. "
The analyst - Chris Connelly (8/10)
Connelly, head of analysis for GB Boxing in the amateur set-up, worked with Joshua sparingly but became a fixed part of the team in 2016.
"I analyse all his training and provide analysis of his opponents too," Connelly explains.
"What we do now is put sensors in his gloves for sparring. It provides us with punch count but so much more as we can see the type of punch, what time in a round they come at and the velocity also.
"This then allows us to compare to last week or perhaps the same stage in the last camp. It also lets us know if he needs a rest or if we can tweak his physio or strength work based on the numbers.
"At the beginning I was the driver of information but that has started to shift and now he asks more and more questions. I'll send a weekly report and he'll email me perhaps asking what Povetkin throws compared to his numbers or 'what did I throw against Klitschko?'
"I feed into McCracken, who is the guru and has an unbelievable relationship with him. With me AJ's very inquisitive. That's the key word. Questions all the time. He rang me at 10pm the other night about some stats he'd seen and asked 'how do I compare to that?'
"It's not even about making him the best AJ anymore, it's trying to get him cemented with some of the greats of the sport.
"He watches so much boxing. He will say 'did you watch this bout or that bout?' and he's constantly comparing himself."
"For my time with him I'd give him an eight out of 10. He was a six when I started. Moving forward to get to a 10, he'd need to refine his questioning so he's not overly critical of his own performance. He needs to realise he can compare himself to himself and not other legends because he is his own boxer."