By Tris Dixon
ANTHONY JOSHUA was back on home turf in Wembley Stadium today, going face-to-face with his September 22 foe Alexander Povetkin.
Joshua spoke of his respect for his challenger and said he has watched Povetkin from afar for years.
“He is a gold medallist, he has unbelievable pedigree and he’s come through the professional ranks very well,” said Joshua.
“He is one of the best fighters that I will be facing on my record, and a I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure the undercard will be packed. I’ve been fighting 10 years and I’ve always done it for fun but now I’m dead serious about this. This is chapter two for me and Povetkin is the first on my list. It’s about me, my legacy and reaching my potential. All comers are welcome.”
That last line was a veiled shot at Deontay Wilder and Jarrell Miller. Joshua is running his race, no one else’s.
“I spend a lot of time studying and I spend a lot of time looking in the mirror and I listen to Rob [McCraken],” Joshua continued. “I’m not too interested in the praise or the criticism. If you look in the mirror long enough you will find the answers to the questions.”
Joshua believes he has another decade left in the sport, citing improved science and systems and naming George Foreman, Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins and former foe Wladimir Klitschko as proof that boxing can be a sport of longevity.
He said he would not be surprised if he and Povetkin delivered a “Bowe-Holyfield” type fight. Those heavyweight greats delivered three fantastic wars.
Povetkin did not have much to say.
“Anthony Joshua has proved he is one of the strongest fighters and I’m very excited for this fight. We are both training very hard,” he said. “I’m aware he is a world champion but we have been training very hard for this fight. The best motivation is knowing he is the world champion and I will be fighting him very soon.”