As Anthony Joshua comes closer to the inevitable heavyweight unification clash with Deontay Wilder, he admits the fear of losing to that “one punch”, according to The Guardian’s Kevin Mitchell.
After beating Alexander Povetkin in a seventh round KO at Wembley, Joshua now has 22 fights unbeaten. He still holds three of the four recognised belts in the heavyweight boxing division; the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
Speaking to Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian, Joshua reportedly said: “I always think about that one punch. No one can beat me skill-for-skill, I don’t think. But it’s that one punch: I’d hate for that to be the reason why I lose. One punch. And that’s what they’re all looking at.”
In the early rounds against Povetkin, Joshua wobbled but finished his sixth defence in style with two knockdowns in the seventh round.
Only Joseph Parker has interrupted Joshua’s run of early finishes and the champion was pleased to win by stoppage for the 21st time.
Wilder, who is scheduled to defend his WBC title against Tyson Fury at a venue yet to be decided in the US on 1 December, has gone the distance once in 40 fights and has what is considered the single most powerful right hand in the division.
Not worrying about Wilder anymore
However, Joshua feels no need to go knockout for knockout with Wilder. “I’ve got no worries in the ring any more. I haven’t found that perfect style, but I’ve found a style that is working at the minute. If people say: ‘Do you want to make it exciting?’ Yeah, for sure. I’m still learning but I’m good enough to get the outcome I want, as well.
“Every fight is scary. You don’t want to lose everything you’ve got – especially this one – this was a banana-skin fight because of what’s to come. As with the Parker fight, I didn’t want to take any risks.
“I’ve got to look forward, whatever it is – if it’s Dillian Whyte, if it’s Tyson Fury, if it’s Wilder, if it’s Luis Ortiz, if it’s Jarrell Miller. I can’t be bothered any more, worrying about Wilder. If he wants it, let’s get it on. He’s a good fighter, he’s a good champion. He has stepped up. But to step up against me, I don’t know.”
Speaking on Fury’s chances against Wilder, Joshua said: “He knows how to spoil a fight. He can definitely spoil that fight.”
Joshua also revealed he fought with the lingering effects of a heavy cold, and how he thought he had to “just get on with it”.