At 27 years old IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua may only have 18 fights under his belt, but he may have the potential to be fastest rising boxing star on the planet. And now, as he prepares to take on Wladimir Klitschko on April 29, he’s hoping that a good showing will make him a household name in the U.S. market.
"The United States is the mecca of boxing and we are trying to build an American audience, a bit like [Ricky] Hatton, [Lennox] Lewis and [Naseem] Hamed managed to do.
"You've got the UK market and then the other territory is America. I am going there soon to promote and build the Klitschko fight and see the interest.”
With a win over Klitschko, the obvious fight to make would a heavyweight title unification with WBC titlist Deontay Wilder. That would be a surefire big-money fight which in and of itself could bring the boxing spotlight squarely back to heavyweight division.
Joshua admits that Wilder is on his radar and that he’s been watching his rise Stateside, so an eventual meeting is certainly something to look forward to. And if and when it does happen, Joshua says he’s coming for all the marbles:
"I want it all, I want the attention and live for the glory nights. We are building stuff all the time so we won't be denied when agreeing these big fights."
Oddly enough, this statement is in stark contrast to an interview Joshua did last month where he specifically said that he doesn’t fight for the money nor the glory nights, but that he was just a kid who wanted to get in shape. Perhaps he’s had some PR media training since then...
But as of now Joshua certainly looks the part of a potential global star, yet hasn’t display the truly compelling or divisive personality that’s typically associated with building a fighter’s brand. I’m sure that’ll be something to keep an eye on going forward.