News April 2019

Anthony Joshua is happy to carry the weight of expectation

20.01.14

By @shaun_brown

Three fights into his professional career and Anthony Joshua is already carrying a hefty weight upon his sizeable shoulders.

The Olympic gold medallist is already loved by thousands of fans and the heavyweight prospect also has the fervent backing of Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports. And with thanks to ring MC John MacDonald, he has now been thrown the moniker of ďThe Future Peopleís ChampionĒ.

So how does the 24-year-old, 6ft 6ins prospect feel about such pressures?

With a deep, infectious laugh he told Livefight ďIt makes me feel cool.Ē

ďI canít complain at all," he continued. "I wouldnít say its pressure, as long as I can back it up Iím alright with it.Ē

And so far the hype and talk have been justified. Glimpses of aggression, power and thrilling hand speed have been evident against his opponents to date. His three bouts against Emanuele Leo, Paul Butlin and Hrvoje Kisicek have went nowhere near the scheduled six round distance. And a confident Joshua isnít expecting Welshman Dorian Darch to hear the final bell of their fight in Cardiff on the undercard of Lee Selbyís European title clash against Rendall Munroe on Feb 1.

ďNot being disrespectful but no,Ē said Joshua when asked if this would be his first test. The Olympian then discussed what he knew about Darsch ahead of their rescheduled six round contest.

ďI know heís been in with some young contenders in Ian Lewison and Hughie Fury who are talented fighters. Unfortunately he lost to both of them but heís going to be using this opportunity to put himself back on the map. I know heís been training and was ready to compete in December at the Excel (London). Heís already had a training camp so heís only going to be adding to what heís already done. So heíll be very fit and strong for this fight. Iím going to put on a great show. Itís my first time boxing in Wales and heís got the home support as well. Iíve studied him and some of his tactical stuff so I know what to do to win.Ē

As Joshua touched on, he will be going into a fightersí backyard for the first time as a professional. Not that itís something new given his worldly travels as an amateur.

ďItís always good to box at home, of course. Iíve boxed away from home so many times so Iím alright with it. I would have preferred it to be in London to be honest,Ē said Joshua.

After a couple of pull-outs from fights towards the end last year due to over-training and not enough rest, Joshua has a hunger to set 2014 alight and make the British domestic heavyweight scene his own.

ďMy aim is to go undefeated in 2014 and start the year off in a good way. The British heavyweight division is a colourful division with some great fighters. I just want to get in the mix. And when I get a chance at a title I think thatís when Iíll step up and show people what I can really do.Ē

With Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora appearing next month on the first step to a touted summer rematch, David Haye involved in another game of will he-wont he and David Price in rebuild mode the domestic scene is there for the taking.

The younger Fury (Hughie) may be the only man that stands in the way of boxingís Joshua tree who is already planting his roots in Britain before, he hopes, blossoming around the world.

When LF asked him where he expected to be this time next year, he confidently replied ďIíll be British champion or on the brink. I think Iíll really find out where I am when I get into a tough, tough fight. For now as long as Iím winning and doing alright thatís the main thing."

Tickets for 'Reloaded' Selby v Munroe are on sale now priced at £30, £40, £60 ringside and £120 VIP are available from livenation.co.uk or by calling 02920 22 44 88

VIP Packages priced £120 are available from matchroomboxing.com or by calling 01277 359900

The show will be broadcast live on Sky Sports

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