Anthony Joshua has set his sights on joining boxing’s all-time greats as the heavyweight champion builds up to his title defence against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin. Joshua, the reigning WBA, IBF and WBO champion, faces mandatory challenger Povetkin at Wembley on September 22 amid mounting expectation the British fighter will then get in the ring with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Negotiations between Joshua’s camp and Wilder’s team are still on-going and the unification clash could be lined up for April 13, with Wembley reportedly booked for that date.
Before that, former Olympic gold medallist Joshua must put his belts on the line when he tangles with Povetkin. Joshua isn’t over-looking the 38-year-old Povetkin, also a former Olympic champion, but he has reached the stage in his career where it is his legacy that motivates him rather than emerging unscathed from individual duels.
“It’s not just about Povetkin and Wilder. It’s about proving my worth as a heavyweight champion It’s about me, my legacy and achieving my potential,” Joshua told a press conference at Wembley, yesterday. “Now it’s more, I know I’m good at this. I’ve built my mindset over the last 10 years.
“I’ve got 10 years left in boxing and I want to cement my legacy. “(George) Foreman, Bernard Hopkins, (Wladimir) Klitschko went on until 40. I believe I can do that with the advances in sports science. “I’ve been 12 rounds, I’ve been dropped, I’ve put on weight, I’ve lost weight, I’ve learnt boxing specific training. “I think back to the gold medal. It was a tournament I had to get through. I’m back in the tournament.
It’s great. It resonates with people.”
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