National News

Supplied by

Joshua vs. Povetkin: Brit ‘ready to end opponent’s career’ to defend heavyweight titles

5:38 am, 22nd September 2018

The 28-year-old takes on Russian Alexander Povetkin tonight in what is his first bout at the stadium since his dramatic defeat of Wladimir Klitschko last year, which forced the Ukrainian to retire.

Joshua has since fought Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker and beaten them both, with neither having managed a successful return to the ring since then.

And if he comes out on top against Povetkin, 39, he will likely bring the curtain down on any hope his opponent has of fighting at the top level again, having lost his last world title challenge five years ago.

When asked about his streak of damaging careers, Joshua said: “It does happen, it’s a tough game. It’s not only the training camps, it’s the actual fighting; 10, 11 rounds of punishment.

“It does take a lot out of [opponents]. Obviously I’ve not been out there knocking people out [in the early rounds] like I used to, but it’s different, top-tier fighters at the top end.

“I’m fighting the best of the best and it’s tougher, but ultimately they’re getting someone just as tough and it does take a lot out of them. It does take something out of [even] these tough guys.”

Joshua holds a significant physical advantage over Povetkin, hitting the scales at 17st 8lbs 5oz compared to 15st 12ibs during the weigh-in on Friday.

But the British fighter is not underestimating his opponent, who lost a bout against Klitschko on the same night Joshua made his professional debut in October 2013.

“You’ve got to give him respect because he’s been on top of his game since that time; what he’s done to stay there, and he’s here now, having been through a lot of issues, trials and tribulations,” he said.

“He’s stayed relevant, so it shows he’s mentally tough. He’s been around; he’s stayed strong, [and] he’s definitely learned a lot since.”

:: Watch Joshua vs Povetkin at Wembley Stadium live from 6pm on Sky Sports Box Office. Order via your Sky remote or online here.

:: If you are not a Sky TV subscriber, you can book and watch it at skysports.com/boxofficelive.