By Owen Fulda, courtesy of The Daily Star.
ANTHONY JOSHUA faces the toughest test of his career to date when he comes up against Alexander Povetkin this Saturday.
That’s according to his promoter Eddie Hearn who has admitted he is ‘worried’ ahead of his man’s heavyweight clash with the Russian pugilist.
Joshua is set to defend his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles against the No 3 heavyweight in the world.
Joshua, unbeaten in 21 contests since turning professional, has called on the public to support him as a "person" rather than a boxer.
Wembley Stadium will not be sold out for the contest because Hearn’s promotion company Matchroom have struggled to shift a large quantity of tickets.
“I’m quite worried about this fight,” Hearn told talkSPORT yesterday.
“Everybody is looking into the future and a potential Wilder fight next year.
“But, on paper, outside of Klitschko and even close to Klitschko, this is the toughest fight of AJ’s career.
“Povetkin is very well schooled; he’s a former Olympic gold medallist himself and has just one defeat on his record – to Wladimir Klitschko.
“He can punch, he’s got a great chin and he’s got a great engine.
“He’s technically very sound, he’s an accurate puncher and he has way more experience than Anthony Joshua.”
Some fans and pundits have been critical that a bout with WBC champion Deontay Wilder has not materialised.
Hearn believes that people are saving their money for the highly-anticipated clash which could happen next year.
"I can't please everyone anymore, so I get that and so it's my game now," Joshua told BBC Sport. "I'm having fun with it.
I did 16 fights and went in for a world title, three years an amateur and went and won the Olympics, unified the heavyweight division, and it's still not good enough.
"Either I get stronger from it or I get drained by it. I think I am getting stronger from it as it builds up a thicker skin.”
The 39-year-old challenger - twice convicted of doping - has only been beaten once in his 35-fight career, and that loss was to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.