By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY JOSHUA is planning to muscle his way into the British heavyweight title mix by keeping his unbeaten record this year.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist makes his fourth professional appearance tonight against Dorian Darch at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
It’s a welcome return to action for Joshua, who had to pull out of a planned clash with Darch in November because of a niggling injury.
Now he is fit and raring to go, with the British belt firmly in his sights as he bids to start his 2014 campaign in style.
The 24-year-old said: “My aim is to go undefeated in 2014 and start the year off in a good way.
“The British heavyweight division has some great fighters.
“I just want to get in the mix. And when I get a chance at a title that’s when I’ll step up and show people what I can really do.
“I’ll be British champion or on the brink. I think I’ll really find out where I am when I get into a tough, tough fight.
“For now, as long as I’m winning, that’s the main thing.”
The original clash with Darch was due to be on the undercard of the Carl Froch-George Groves fight and the delay has whet his appetite for the year ahead.
He said: “As it’s been almost three months since I last fought it feels like the pro debut all over again for me, really.
“I have had a long time to prepare, with a nice gap to get into mint condition and I am really looking forward to fighting Darch.
“I didn’t really have a break – I’ve had physio treatment and other stuff, so I have never really been
just resting. I was on a real high after three wins on three really great and different occasions. I was on a roll, but there’s no rush for me.
“I have a really exciting year ahead of me now, starting from tonight, and I cannot wait.
“I am nowhere near the big time. I am at the bottom, but I have so much passion to reach the top, even though it’s so far away.
“Anyone who reckons I think I have already made it has got it completely wrong.
I don’t think that for a second. It’s going to take a long time to get towhereIwanttobeandIamgoing to give everything I have got to try to achieve it.
“We’ll see what happens, but I am at the bottom and I’m ready to work to climb the ladder step-by-step.
“I train hard and I put my heart on the line when I box.”