Anthony Joshua may hold three of the world heavyweight titles and have an Olympic gold medal.
But it is only now, at 28, that the WBA, IBF and WBO champion finally feels like a more “seasoned fighter”.
The evidence was in this performance as the British star refused to hit the panic button amid a nervy start that saw Russian challenger Alexander Povetkin land left hooks and right hands aplenty.
But Anthony Joshua soaked them up, cleared the blood from his swollen nose, got boxing behind his jab and found a way to win with a ruthless seventh-round knockout of his fellow Olympic champion.
All of that with a dose of flu in his system that had the Watford warrior more keen on a night in bed than entertaining 80,000 fans at rain-soaked Wembley.
“I felt like a heavy gust of wind could knock you over,” said Joshua. “I felt everything. On my way here, I was thinking I can have one more sleep.
“I thought to myself that I felt this way in training camp and still sparred 15 good rounds, so I’ve got one geezer in the ring who will fade sooner or later, so let’s just get on with it.
“Am I an experienced fighter now? A little bit more seasoned, not where I need to be yet.
“I haven’t found that perfect style but it is working at the minute.
“Someone asked if it is my vulnerability that makes thing exciting, yeah for sure because I’m still learning but I’m still good enough to get the outcome I want as well.
“I always think about that one punch. Nobody can beat me skill for skill I don’t think. It’s just that one punch, I’d hate that for to be the reason that I lose.
“I have no worry in the ring no more. I’m calm, relaxed. I went in to fight Povetkin ill, no problem. Injuries? No problem.”
Anthony Joshua ’s start was a cause for concern as a left hook just before the end of the first round clearly wobbled the defending champion and threatened his unbeaten record in his 22nd fight.
Blood poured from his nose but he brushed it off, found his rhythm and by the fifth was firmly in the fight with his considered attacks starting to take their toll on a tiring Povetkin.
Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken won’t be impressed with the shots that landed early on but this was proof that Joshua can handle a puncher and one of the top fighters in the world, even at 39.
“I dealt with a puncher,” said Joshua. “I didn’t think he was a puncher at first, I thought ’15 stone, this guy isn’t going to do s***’.
“Then he hit me with that left hook and it was ‘Oh my god, hang on!’. He bucked up my ideas quick.”