Advertisement
Advertisement

Anthony Joshua Aims To Make a Statement in Debut

Anthony Joshua is determined to make a professional debut worthy of an Olympic champion when he faces unbeaten Italian Emanuele Leo at the O2 Arena on Saturday.

Joshua will face an opponent who has won all eight of his fights and, while Leo has previously campaigned well below the London 2012 gold medalist's level, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn views him as an "outrageous" first outing.

For Joshua, who co-headlines the bill with Scott Quigg's challenge against Yoandris Salinas for a portion of the WBA world super-bantamweight title, facing Leo over six rounds is about establishing respect.

"My opponent is here to win, I'm there to win. It will be a great start. It's about respect," the 23-year-old said.

"I want to get respect by beating an opponent that I shouldn't be beating. By fighting an opponent with that type of record I'll get respect.

"I'm going in as an Olympic champion so it's time to step up and raise the bar. I've got to start at a level that's credible for an Olympic champion.

"Becoming a professional has been tough, everything's based around three-threes, but my body's adapting really well. It's been tough but good."

Joshua is taking a different route to predecessor Audley Harrison, who fought a succession of poor opponents after winning gold at the 2000 Olympics, launching an undistinguished career that fell well below expectations.

"I have a lot of respect for Audley. The only thing he didn't do was win a world title. Obviously I'd like to, that's what I have my heart set on," Joshua said.

Hearn explained the thinking behind choosing Leo for Joshua's professional debut.

"We've been outrageous really in choosing an 8-0 Italian who's here to win the fight," he said.

"Most of the times at this level you match them against a journeyman who has come over to take the money, put on a decent show but ultimately loose.

"In that respect it's quite nerve-wracking. But as a promoter and fan I want to be nervous and know that he's in a proper fight and not an exhibition."

Tags: Anthony Joshua image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Tobi.G on 10-04-2013

How much did Joshua weigh at the weigh in?

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Viktor Postol/Freddie Roach Blog Part 2: Monday, June 27 Frank Warren: Liam Smith Has Very Good Shot To Beat Canelo! Vargas To Kell Brook: I Already Signed, Let's Get This Over With! Thurman Wants To Keep Fighting on Free TV, Not on Pay-Per-View Froch: Golovkin Rejected Terms, I'd Walk Through DeGale in 5 or 6 Casey Ramos Faces Paredes on Top Rank Bill, 7/16 on UniMas Joseph Parker Embraces Anthony Joshua Title Fight For The Fall Mayweather Admits: For The 'Right Price' I Might Come Back! Mikaela Lauren-Klara Svensson Showdown Set For Sept. 10 Mayweather Backs Golden Boy's Decision on Canelo-Golovkin Freddie Roach Feels Albert Pagara Could Be Future World Champ "Fighting Words" - Keith Thurman: Once Upon A "One Time" Golovkin vs. Eubank Deal Hangs in The Balance Over Sky Money Deontay Wilder To Anthony Joshua: Why Wait? Let's Fight Now! Photos: Mayweather Hits BET Awards, Laila Ali Honors Father Video: Peter Quillin Discusses The Future of His Career Thurman: Porter Was Good With Pressure But Wasn't Effective Video: Chris Eubank Jr. Eager To Get Hands on Gennady Golovkin Video: Demetrius Andrade Rips Canelo, Talks Lara and Charlos NYSAC Doctor Explains Controversial Benavidez-Ntetu Stoppage Video: Sergio Martinez Gives Take on Canelo-Golovkin Situation Orlando Salido Still Confident He Did Enough To Unseat Vargas UKAD Refuses To Comment on Tyson Fury Doping Allegations Video: Daniel Jacobs on Thurman-Porter, Mora Rematch, More Thurman: One Win Won't Make Me Fill Mayweather's Shoes Video: Malignaggi Gives His Take on Canelo-Golovkin Situation DiBella: Thurman-Porter Edged Vargas-Salido for Fight of the Year Video: Anthony Joshua Details Breazeale KO, Future Targets Video: George Groves on Murray Win, World Title Shot Next Video: Eddie Hearn on Golovkin vs. Eubank, Joshua vs. Parker Eubank Jr: I Can't Wait To Take Golovkin's Scalp in England! Video: Jessie Vargas Reacts To Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter Thurman-Porter Most Watched Bout of 2016 To Date Anthony Johsua: Wilder, Fury, Haye - I'd Fight Any of Them! Video: Dominic Breazeale Reflects on KO Loss To Anthony Joshua Photos: Anthony Joshua Beats Up Breazeale, Knocks Him Out Team Fury Vehemently Denies Doping Allegations Anthony Joshua Eyes November Defense, With Joseph Parker Photos: Thurman vs. Porter Barclays War - MONSTER Gallery Keith Thurman Reiterates Desire To Fight Danny Garcia
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement