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Joshua vs Povetkin: Anthony Joshua is focused on Alexander Povetkin and not Tyson Fury

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'Povetkin toughest fight of AJ's career'

Anthony Joshua is viewing Alexander Povetkin as the 'biggest pressure fight of his career' and did not even watch Tyson Fury's recent win, says his promoter Eddie Hearn.

The unified world champion has paid little attention to his heavyweight rivals during another stringent training camp for his next title defence against WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Joshua-Povetkin on Box Office
Joshua-Povetkin on Box Office

Anthony Joshua defends world titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley

Negotiations for a unification fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder have broken down, with the American instead attending Fury's points win over Francesco Pianeta to issue a challenge, but Joshua has shunned speculation about his own future plans as he prepares for Povetkin.

"His frame of mind is really, really focused," Hearn told Sky Sports. "I don't think he's taking a lot of interest in the outside world around this fight, because he knows what's at stake.

"Obviously people have told him he might be fighting [the winner of] Fury-Wilder, but he's just going to concentrate on what we're doing.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 18: Tyson Fury poses with rival boxer Deontay Wilder after defeating Francesco Pianeta in a heavyweight contest at Windsor Park on August 18, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Image: Joshua did not watch Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in Belfast

"I think, he thinks this is the toughest fight of his career, because of what's around, what people are talking about beyond this. I think this is the biggest pressure fight of his career so far.

"If I was Povetkin, I would be loving what's happening. The normal man would say "How can AJ be in the right frame of mind right now to fight Povetkin, when all this is going on around him?" Everyone is talking about this, asking questions about this, it's very tough for him."

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Wilder joined Fury in the ring to announce their intention to fight, with a date and venue to be announced, but Hearn revealed that Joshua was unaware of his British rival's victory in Belfast.

"I said to him, 'Did you watch that?' and he said 'What?'

"It was later that night and I said 'The Fury fight?' He said 'No, what happened?'

I don't think he's in the mood to be thinking about other stuff, talking about other stuff, outside of Povetkin.
Eddie Hearn

"He's so focused on this camp, because he knows about Povetkin. People in boxing know about Povetkin. Anyone you ask in boxing goes: 'It's a tough fight.'

"I don't think he's in the mood to be thinking about other stuff, talking about other stuff, outside of Povetkin."

Hearn says Joshua still wants to make the Wilder fight, but fears that talks cannot be salvaged, and Dillian Whyte has emerged as a frontrunner for the next bout, which must be agreed within a four-week time frame after the Povektin title defence.

Dillian Whyte
Image: Dillian Whyte has emerged as the favourite to face Joshua in April

"[Joshua] would like to, but he's not interested in time wasters," said Hearn.

"We've put a contract together based on all the terms that they agreed, and they still haven't even replied.

"If you don't like those terms anymore after you've accepted them, fine, let's talk about it and try and make it. They don't even want to talk about it. They wait on Fury-Wilder which I don't know, I have my doubts.

"We would like to make the Wilder fight now for April 13, but when you've got a group of people that won't reply to you, or wouldn't meet you to discuss it, how can you possibly make it?

"We will run out of time."

Tale of the Tape - Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin

Watch Anthony Joshua defend his world heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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