Anthony Joshua acknowledges that his heavyweight boxing rivals are out to “take his head off” but the British star is defiant that he is the division’s No. 1.
On Saturday 22 September, Joshua defends his three world champion belts at Wembley Stadium against Alexander Povetkin, and the 28-year-old revealed he has taken on extra sparring sessions in preparing to face the Russian.
Joshua, who is undefeated in 21 fights, told Sky Sports: “People aren’t coming to give me rounds anymore. They don’t say: ‘what do you want me to do?’
“No. They’re coming to take my head off because I’m the hunted. I’ve become the hunted and I’m well aware of that, and it’s made me up my game. This is the reality I live in.”
Joshua’s two biggest rivals in the heavyweight division are fellow Brit Tyson Fury and American Deontay Wilder.
Fury and WBC champion Wilder have agreed to fight, and the BBC reports that an announcement on the date is “imminent”. The Daily Telegraph adds that the Fury vs. Wilder bout is expected to take place in Las Vegas in early December.
“God willing, I beat Povetkin, and hopefully me fighting [the winner of Fury-Wilder] is quite straightforward,” said Joshua.
“At the moment, it is like a power struggle in the heavyweight division. Good luck to Fury, Wilder and myself. But when all’s said and done, I won’t be that geezer in the pub telling war stories about ‘I was the lineal champ’.
I am not that type of geezer. I am focused on my own career and where I am going.”