By Phil D. Jay
London 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has told WBN that he is committed to seeing out the remainder of his GB boxing contract, but remains coy on his longer-term future as talk of a pro run intensifies.
The Watford fighter became hot property to the world’s biggest promotional companies when he bulldozed his way to gold at the recent games and at 22, has the potential to be the next heavyweight superstar in the sport.
Joshua is biding his time before making a formal decision on his career and now that he has tasted success at the highest level, is looking to continue his winning form after his breakout performance last month.
“You know what, I feel good, but hungry for more,” Joshua told World Boxing News.
“Winning the medal was amazing but I’m ready to get back in the gym and it’s just made me even hungrier for success. I hate losing and I was not prepared to lose at the games and I’m not prepared to lose in the future. What I achieved was great for the country and for my family. Being part of Team GB and achieving what we did was a special experience that I will never forget.”
Media speculation has hit fever pitch since Joshua’s exploits, but the Londoner is unfazed as pressure mounts on him to make his move into the paid ranks and breathe some life into a dormant division.
“All the talk is fine, it doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I guess it just comes with the territory you know. I still have so much to learn. Time is what I need right now and I intend to give myself enough to learn and improve.”
Asked whether he would be looking to learn from obvious mistakes made by Britian’s last 91kg+ champion Audley Harrison, Joshua replied: “Not really no. Audley did what was right for him and I will do what I think is best for me and my career. There is no need to rush anything I am still young and have only had 43 amateur fights.
“I have definitely thought about (defending my title in 2016 at the Rio games). The possibility of being a double Olympic champion is pretty amazing. I would still only be 26 by that time, but then again, four years is a long time.
“I am just relaxing at the moment and not letting it take up too much of my thinking time.
“There have been no offers to turn professional and I have people around me who help me deal with that sort of thing anyway.
“A decision has been made and I will definitely be staying amateur until the end of my GB contract and after that, I will sit down with my family, coaches and team to discuss the possibility of extending that contract.”
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net