Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin: Joshua promises return of ‘aggressive style’ but is wary of opponent’s power

Jack Watson

Anthony Joshua revealed that he plans to have some “fun” with Alexander Povetkin and be "aggressive" as he finalises his plans to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at Wembley on 22 September.

Joshua beat Joseph Parker on points, the first time he has been taken the distance in his career, in his last fight in March, and was in talks to fight Deontay Wilder, but instead faces mandatory opponent Povetkin.

The Russian boxer held the WBA title from 2011 to 2013 and has an impressive 34 wins, 24 by knockout, in his 39 fights, but Joshua says he will not alter his style against one of his toughest opponents yet.

"Go in there, and have fun - don't be cautious because it's ruining my aggressive style," Joshua said when asked about his approach the fight on a DAZN conference call on Monday night.

"Go out there and take out Povetkin, like I would do with any other opponent. Maybe I will box and keep it simple. Maybe I might keep a tight guard and go pound-for-pound, trade-for-trade.

"The reason I say that is because I'm versatile. I can keep it long or slug it out. It depends what I analyse from my opponent. I analyse them punch by punch and I switch up my style as the rounds go on."

Fighting on the undercard of Joshua’s victory against Parker, Povetkin beat David Price with a devastating blow that sent him tumbling to the canvas and prompted the referee to end the contest without a count.

Joshua, who has suffered only one knockdown in his career during his defining performance against Wladimir Klitschko, is wary of the power his opponent possesses and knows he will have to be focused on ensuring his legacy isn’t ended by one punch.

Joshua and Povetkin fight on 22 September (Getty)

"He could swing a sweet left hook, boom, lights out," Joshua said. "History changes. That's enough pressure in itself because you know the backlash that it comes with.

"I look at his Marco Huck fight, his David Price fight. Povetkin fights differently in all of his fights.

"He really wanted to prove himself [against Wladimir Klitschko] but then look at his fight with Christian Hammer - it was a 12-round breeze.

"In terms of talent, we're dealing with an Olympic gold medallist and a world title challenger with one loss to the all-time great Wladimir Klitschko.

"The heavyweight division is a puncher's game. One punch can change the course of history so that's what keeps my eyes on the prize.

"Like 'snakes and ladders' - one foot wrong and you slide back down to the bottom of the pecking order."