Anthony Joshua MBE is back in the gym and ready for his second pro fight against Paul Butlin at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on October 26, live on Sky Sports.
The Olympic Gold medal hero claimed a spectacular first round KO win against Emanuele Leo at The O2 on October 5, but has had little time to bask in the glory of his debut success as he prepares for his clash with Butlin in Sheffield – and that’s exactly what Joshua wanted.
“I was happy with my performance at The O2 but I put that behind me now and move on to Sheffield,” said Joshua. “You only have one pro debut and I ended it in spectacular fashion.
“Every time I step into the ring it is like an Olympic final. I prefer the pro game a bit more than the amateurs, not neglecting the amateurs but this feels like the real deal. When I was getting my hands wrapped it took about 30 minutes to get them properly wrapped and to fit my hands into the tight, small gloves. It is two guys coming out with their heart on their sleeve trading and I really enjoyed it.
“You could see he was game, could take a shot, he had a winners mentality – he was 8-0 and is in the game to win. This is just the beginning and we can build on that; that is the main thing. I have to keep grinding it out and keep on improving.
“I’ve got great memories of my time with Team GB in Sheffield. The English Institute of Sport was a second home over the last few years and it’s nice that my second fight will be there. To have another fight just three weeks after my debut is brilliant, exactly what I need for my progression – keep fighting and keep learning.”
Joshua’s second pro fight is on the stacked undercard of Kell Brook’s Welterweight showdown with Vyacheslav Senchenko as the Sheffield star closes in on a World title shot.
Blackpool’s Brian Rose meets Javier Maciel in an eliminator for the WBO Light Middleweight title, while his fellow Blackpool fighter Scotty Cardle is in action.
Liverpool’s Callum Smith continued his incredible run of first round stoppage wins in Liverpool when he won the vacant English Super Middleweight title and there’s a welcome return to action for Kal Yafai, the exciting 8-0 bantamweight who boxes for the first time since injuring his bicep in his last outing in March, while popular Sheffield fighters Adam Etches and Scott Jenkins also feature.
Tickets are on sale now priced £30, £40, £60 and £100 through the Motorpoint Arena – www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk – and on 0114 2565656.
VIP packages priced £200 are available exclusively through Matchroom Boxing – www.matchroomboxing.com – or call 01277 359900.