By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY JOSHUA may be the most recognisable face in British sport right now.
But at home his two year-old son doesn’t even know it’s him when he watches the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight champion’s fights on TV.
“I was showing him the other week and he went, ‘That guy looks like you, that guy looks like you’,” Joshua said.
“It was funny. I don’t think boxing is for him. I hope he won’t be a fighter. It’s hard.”
He may not want JJ to follow him into the ring one day, but Joshua won’t shield him from the sport which has turned his dad into a global superstar.
Earlier this week, he wanted to join him in the gym as he put the final touches to his preparations for his Wembley clash with Alexander Povetkin tonight.
But the Watford warrior insists he doesn’t worry about his son seeing his dad involved in brutal battles.
“Keep him away? No, no way,” said Joshua.
“You’re going to see the tough times and the good times, but you’ll know what it meant to me and why I got involved in it. That is what’s important.
“Have a look but ask questions. Don’t just be blinded by all the bright lights and stuff.”
Joshua is looking to ensure tonight brings another victory that he can show proudly to his son.
The expectation has never been greater for the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist as he faces his WBA mandatory challenger, a fighter who has only been beaten by Wladimir Klitschko in 35 fights.
Most outside of the sport believe Joshua will walk through the Russian, but the visitor poses a real threat to the British star’s unbeaten record.
Maybe that is why Joshua is contemplating what defeat would mean for him as he insists one loss won’t define him.
“That fear of losing is always there,” he said.
“If Sugar Ray Robinson lost, the best fighter of all time can lose.
“Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Riddck Bowe all lost.
“So who am I to go undefeated? But I am content with it because I know those nights of negativity don’t define me.
“I have lost before as an amateur and that didn’t deter me from getting where I am today.”
Joshua’s last defeat was the 2011 World Amateur Championships final against home favourite Magomedrasul Majidov in Azerbaijan.
“When I lost in the final of the worlds, it was the first time I dropped a tear because it meant that much,” he said.
“That’s what’s weird – as an amateur you lose, you go again and build yourself back up. But as a pro, you lose and people say ‘ahh, he’s s***’. That’s why the fear of losing is a lot more now. It’s a scary sport.”
But just as it seems there may be some doubts creeping into his mind ahead of his 22nd pro fight, he delivers a clear message to rivals Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
“I am the best in the division,” he added. “There is no doubt about it - it’s been proven.”