Anthony Joshua is Eager To Impress on The Big Stage
Heavyweight Anthony Joshua is not feeling the pressure as he prepares to start the Carl Froch-George Groves bill in front of thousands of fans.
Joshua will kick-off one of the biggest nights in British boxing when he faces Matt Legg on the undercard at Wembley stadium this weekend, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
There is plenty of expectation on the shoulders of the Olympic gold medallist, who has been tipped as a future world champion, but is relishing the chance to showcase his skills in front of such a huge audience.
"No pressure, I've dealt with the pressure throughout the Olympics in my amateur career and that's put me in good stead for such an amazing, such an epic fight coming Saturday," he said.
"It's going to be unbelievable, 80,000 people, hopefully we get some great weather as well. I'll start the show, Froch and Groves will be on last.
"There are going to be some great people out to support, football fans, boxing fans, tennis fans, everyone is going to be here and we're all in for a great night because I think these two - they've got a bit of bad blood between them - which creates a great war.
"I've got a lot of respect for my opponent, you know he's a British fighter which makes it all the more exciting. He's got a lot of support as well. I feel that I haven't got any anger for him, any red mist so I'll be cool, calm and collected and just hopefully put on a good show.
"Throughout the Olympics I put a lot of pressure on myself. I learned that when people are here to support you and they want you to do well, you've got to embrace that positive energy and that's exactly what I'm going to do on Saturday. Just really embrace it, enjoy it, and just hopefully get the job done in good style."
Wladimir Klitschko still rules the division, holding three of the four world titles, although he is nearing the final chapter of his career at the age of 38.
Bermane Stiverne was crowned as the WBC champion earlier this month, opening up new opportunities for upcoming contenders, but Joshua will not be rushed into a major fight.
The 24-year-old has made impressive progress, halting all of his five foes, and believes he will soon be ready for more dangerous opponents.
"That's pressure in itself, but as long as they want me to do well as long as they are understanding I want to compete at the highest level possible," said Joshua.
"It takes time, I'm on this journey right now, this is going to be my sixth fight. As long as we keep on heading in the right direction, getting better opponents, stepping up a level, I'm ready to take some risks."
Froch's eagerly awaited rematch with Groves will close the show and Joshua is tipping the Nottingham man to inflict another defeat on his bitter rival.
The WBA and IBF champion had to overcome an early knockdown in the first fight in November, battling back to force a controversial stoppage, and he will be victorious again, according to the Londoner.
"If I had to lean a way, I'm going to go with Froch. I've got a lot of respect for George Groves, unbelievable fighter, unbelievable man," said Joshua, "What he does mentally to his opponents as well."
"I just feel that Froch is a world champion and he's a very proud man. When you've got these belts, I don't think you let them go that easy as you saw in the first fight.
"He got dropped, he got outboxed for some of the rounds, but he clawed his way back in and managed to get the stoppage. I think he made a lot of mistakes in that fight and I think Froch has got them right, which is why I feel he will win."
Book Froch v Groves II: Unfinished Business now, online at skysports.com/frochgroves2, via your remote or via your telephone on 08442 410888.