Anthony Joshua exclusive: I’ve got the fire in my belly to put on a show against Alexander Povetkin

Anthony Joshua
Fighting talk | Joshua takes on Povetkin at Wembley on Saturday: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Twelve weeks of camp, the talking, the weigh-in… that’s all done and now it’s time to fight.

A fight week might not be what you expect. There’s the various media obligations and some light sessions but much of the build-up is about spending time with my friends, taking walks around the park and picking the right music to listen to.

Every fighter is different but having people around me relaxes and refreshes me so that when the lights go on on Saturday night, I’m ready.

To deal with everything going on, I like having my team close to me at all times. Training camps are long and tiring but, by fight week, everything is done. I am at the weight I want to be and I’ve got my fight plan clear in my head, so all I want to do is taper down a bit and get my strength back.

Especially this week as this camp has taken me to new levels and my body has been broken down and built up again like never before.

Anthony Joshua prepares to take on Alexander Povetkin

It’s now that you really begin to feel the pressure, there’s no point hiding, that’s the reality. Winning my world titles means everything to him and maintaining my world titles means everything to me.

Even though we present ourselves as cool customers, we both know what we’re in for. But I know the pressure is all from within, I have worked incredibly hard to get where I am and to have these belts and I’m not going to give them up.

It’s great to be back at Wembley, I treat it as a blessing. Coming back here this week, it just feels like home. I’ve fought here twice before, once against Matt Legg in only my sixth fight as a professional and then against Wladimir Klitschko in April last year.

The atmosphere and the energy the stadium creates is unbelievable and I can’t wait to experience it again tomorrow. There will be up to 85,000 fans in there and the support they bring is incredible.

At the end of the day, boxing is an individual sport after the walk-on and, when your team leave the ring, you look around and realise it’s time to go, it’s up to you now and no one else can do it for you.

That’s when the singing and the chants from the stands give you that extra strength.

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Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Last time out at Wembley, Klitschko and I put on a good fight because he was a good challenger and we both performed and I’m expecting the same type of fight tomorrow night with Alexander Povetkin.

Skills and technique apart, we both have a big heart and we can dig deep — we both showed that against Klitschko and we will do the same on Saturday.

The one who’s toughest will come out victorious but I know I’ve got a lot of fire in my belly. I’ll go out there and just roll with the punches, give it my best and find a way to win.

Povetkin is a quick fighter but that’s okay because I have sparred with some great amateurs and cruiserweights in camp and I’m ready for whatever he throws at me.

But at Wembley, the biggest stage in English sport, I know it’s time for me to put on a performance.

For me, that means boxing smart and taking my opportunities.

Instinct says I want a violent knockout, give him a sweet left or right hook. But at the same time if it’s not there and you go looking for it, the more you put yourself at danger especially against Povetkin, who can turn a fight on its head with one punch.

I know I can’t please everyone but boxing to the best of my ability and getting the win next to my name will be the performance I want.

The win is all that matters.

Watch Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin, at Wembley Stadium tomorrow night, live on Sky Sports Box Office (£19.95), starting from 6pm