Boxers, Trainers & Pundits
Joshua vs Povetkin: The Panel debate how Anthony Joshua would respond to first pro defeat
Last Updated: 21/09/18 6:03am
Anthony Joshua's perfect record and three world titles are at stake, so we asked The Panel to consider the prospect of a disastrous loss to Alexander Povetkin...
Britain's hugely popular heavyweight will defend his WBA 'super', IBF and WBO titles against Povetkin in front of an attendance of up to 90,000 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
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Early booking lines are open for the Wembley Stadium heavyweight showdown.
But what if the Russian silences the huge crowd with a stunning victory over the home favourite. We asked our panel of experts to discuss how Joshua would come to terms with a first defeat at the weekend?
It wouldn't be the end of Joshua. So far, we haven't seen vulnerabilities that he hasn't been able to correct. If there's a vulnerability that Povetkin spots and takes advantage of, it will be something that Joshua can improve.
If there's a vulnerability that Povetkin spots and takes advantage of, it will be something that Joshua can improve.
Every time Joshua gets in the ring he risks the most - titles, credibility, his brand. He has a lot on his shoulders. This, for me, is as hard as the Wladimir Klitschko fight. Povetkin can turn him over. Joshua has locked himself away from everybody because he knows how dangerous this is.
I don't know. I would like to say yes, that he can pick up the pieces, but he's been under a lot of pressure for so long. If he loses, he might say, "You know what, I've had enough of this, I've got enough money, I've got what I need now."
He could do it, but whether he wants to, is another thing.
There are many fighters you see that have been undefeated, been on the top, and they lose, and never become the same fighter again. Some of them never come back. He could do it, but whether he wants to, is another thing.
If the unimaginable does happen, then I'm sure Povetkin will have an immediate rematch.
When you are at the top of the mountain like Anthony is, defeat is always unthinkable. The shame and the fear of losing drives you on, more than the glory of winning.
AJ haunted by fear of failure
Anthony Joshua is burdened by thoughts of defeat ahead of Alexander Povetkin fight
But he's a very astute, clever businessman, with very good people around him. Let's just say the loss does come, and it did happen, I'm pretty sure that Povetkin is tied up to a rematch clause. If the unimaginable does happen, then I'm sure Povetkin will have an immediate rematch.
The bubble of being unbeatable would be burst, but he still has a very solid record behind him, although I really don’t see that happening.
It would depend on his mindset - could he cope with a loss? When I lost, I was more eager to get back to prove myself.
If he stayed his normal self, his comeback would be massive. The fickle fan loves to see people knocked down and built back up.
If he loses, only he will know how he is coping mentally. If he stayed his normal self, his comeback would be massive. The fickle fan loves to see people knocked down and built back up.
Lennox Lewis got beat by Oliver McCall, fighters get beat and come back. It would shake things up a bit, all the plans for the Wilder fight etc and the things going on in the background, it would all be put on the back-burner and the immediate thought would be a rematch.
There are very few that go their whole career without losing, it just happens.
When you're undefeated, from a marketing point of view there's no limit to people's imagination as to how big or good you can be. There are very few that go their whole career without losing, it just happens. From a promoter's point of view, you have to adjust.
He will rebuild. Every fighter has had to do it and we're talking about a heavyweight. One punch can change it and the wheels can come off, but don't forget he is still a work in progress.
He has the attitude that will see him come back, try and improve again, no matter what.
He's not the finished article - even if he is already a unified world champion - and even if there is disappointment and devastation and people say 'that's the end of him', he has the attitude that will see him come back, try and improve again, no matter what.
Watch Joshua vs Povetkin, at Wembley Stadium, on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book via your Sky remote or book it online here.
Even if you aren't a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it at skysports.com/boxofficelive.