By Keith Idec
Anthony Joshua is honest about his fear of failure.
The unbeaten British superstar admits he often worries about making one costly mistake that’ll take away the celebrated, lucrative career he has built in the United Kingdom. Fighting again before an enormous crowd of roughly 90,000 on Saturday night in London certainly won’t make it any easier to contend with that intense pressure.
“The keys to victory for me in this fight – it’s hard because you know what it’s like when you fight, it’s a lot of pressure,” Joshua told Sky Sports for a story posted to the network’s website Monday. “Ultimately, as much as we think about winning, I think about losing. I can’t afford to lose.”
The 28-year-old Joshua is a 10-1 favorite to win this scheduled 12-round fight against Alexander Povetkin, the mandatory challenger for his WBA heavyweight title. Russia’s Povetkin is 39 and significantly smaller than him, yet the 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua knows the experienced ex-champion can punch and likely realizes he must capitalize on what could be his last heavyweight title fight if he loses to Joshua.
“This fight, the key to victory with me is relaxation, belief, having your energy reserves intact,” Joshua said. “I’m just trying to say I need to be a bit more effective and sharp with my punches in this fight.”
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) went the distance in his last fight for the first time since he turned pro in October 2013. The IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion convincingly defeated New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) in their title unification fight March 31 in Cardiff, Wales, but he knows he’ll have to be sharper versus Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs).
“It’s a difficult fight when you are fighting someone like Povetkin, because it’s like a game of chess,” Joshua said. “Violent chess, because they are waiting for you to make a move, so they can counter you.”
The Joshua-Povetkin fight will headline a card at a packed Wembley Stadium. It’ll be broadcast by Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom and streamed by DAZN in the United States.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.