By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY JOSHUA insists it’s more about winning than thrilling at this stage of his career.
The WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF heavyweight king defends his titles against Russian Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night.
Joshua returns to Wembley Stadium where he secured superstar status with his thrill-a-minute brawl against Wladimir Klitschko last year.
But since that epic night against the ring legend, Joshua has been more effective than exciting in his late stoppage win over Carlos Takam and points victory over Joseph Parker.
The wins were impressive even if they were not as brutal as Klitschko and Joshua knows a slip-up at this stage will prove more costly than not quenching the thirst for blood from some fight fans.
And he used Lennox Lewis’ legacy as an example as the unbeaten star prepares to face Povetkin in his 22nd fight.
Joshua said: “When I watch boxing I want to see a knockout so I get where people are coming from because I’m a fan of the sport as well.
“I remember when Lennox used to fight and everyone used to say how boring he was. But now everyone will tell you how great he is and how slick he was.
“What it is, it’s about winning, beating that opponent in front of you. Every opponent will give you different opportunities and possess different game plans.
“If the opportunity is there, believe me I have that instinct to take them out. If it is not there, I know how to box and keep it simple.
“Sometimes you can go looking for it and you get caught, the tables turn and history rewrites itself. I’ve got to be clever now.”
Joshua, 28, is still seeking improvement to ensure he remains unbeaten as he bids to become the division’s first undisputed champion since Lewis.
Promoter Eddie Hearn says his man has become a “recluse” and Joshua feels like he is in the midst of an early “mid-life” crisis as he hides away at his Sheffield training base.
His hair has been grown out, beard let go longer and the only focus is on getting everything out of his body after being inspired by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo.
And one thing that has been binned is his alarm clock after ditching early starts to ensure he has more energy to put in harder training sessions.
He added: “When I watched a Manny Pacquiao documentary he does the same thing, Floyd Mayweather trains when he is ready, same with Vasyl Lomachenko.
“I actually saw ’10.34’ on a clock when he was waking up and I was like, ‘What the f…’ and I rewound it to watch it ’10.34 and I’m here getting up at the crack of dawn?’.
“I tried it and feel much better. It looks lazy but you’re still getting the same amount of work done and in a better way.”