Anthony Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles, is now less than two weeks away from his big fight at Wembley Stadium with Alexander Povetkin, and the champ isn’t revealing a whole lot about his strategy, but it does sound like he wants to get a knockout:
“Go in there, and have fun — don’t be cautious because it’s ruining my aggressive style. Go out there and take out Povetkin, like I would do with any other opponent. How will I approach it? Maybe I will box and keep it simple. Maybe I might keep a tight guard and go pound-for-pound, trade-for-trade. The reason I say that is because I’m versatile. I can keep it long or slug it out. It depends what I analyse from my opponent. I analyse them punch by punch and I switch up my style as the rounds go on.”
Joshua (21-0, 20 KO) had his perfect stoppage record as a pro spoiled last time out, when he went 12 rounds with Joseph Parker and took Parker’s WBO belt, adding to Joshua’s collection. There’s no shame in going 12 with Parker, who is a good and tough fighter, but Joshua had been known as a highlight reel before then, and he might be looking to get back to that in this outing.
He’s also not underestimating Povetkin (34-1, 24 KO), a dangerous opponent:
“He could swing a sweet left hook, boom, lights out. History changes. That’s enough pressure in itself because you know the backlash that it comes with. ... In terms of talent, we’re dealing with an Olympic gold medallist and a world title challenger with one loss to the all-time great Wladimir Klitschko.”
Joshua knows that Povetkin is no pushover, which is a good thing, because some of his prior comments seemed to indicate that he might look past a dangerous fight and ahead to a potential 2019 clash with Deontay Wilder. But that’s all on the back burner for now. First, Povetkin has to be taken care of, and that’s no easy task.