Joshua vs Breazeale: Anthony Joshua keen to display footwork flair at The O2
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 23/06/16 12:34pm
Anthony Joshua is keen to display a new dimension to his boxing and prove his mobility when he fights Dominic Breazeale on Saturday.
The American is Joshua's first challenger in his reign as the IBF heavyweight champion, with the pair fighting live on Sky Sports Box Office at The O2 in London.
Joshua has not needed to showcase a wide variety of skills in his bouts, instead convincingly stopping each of his 16 professional opponents with his devastating power.
The 26-year-old insists he is working on his footwork, but says he has prioritised building his confidence and making sure of victories with quick knockouts during his career so far.
"I'd love to go in there and just move around the ring and not get hit without throwing any punches," said Joshua.
"We've shown the power but we've never shown footwork. If not, I might go in there with the instinct to outbox him but land a shot that will punish him.
"It depends on how I approach the fight. You saw how I approached the Charles Martin and Dillian Whyte fights.
"I practice things in sparring because there's no pressure, but in the ring I just wait for that one chance to punish someone. I don't really display anything special except for punch power.
"If they ever get hurt, if I don't get them out that could be me in six or seven rounds. It's time to get them out. The tables can always turn in a 12-round fight. If I do see an opportunity, I have to take it.
"Someone bigger will have me having to slip. You do have to do a bit of moving, rolling, inside work. Hopefully I can display that.
"It's all about confidence and mindset. I'm at that stage now where I should be confident enough to control a fight. [But] I'm at a five [out of 10 in my confidence]. You've got to be confident but it's that fear of losing.
"In sparring I can dance and try things. I need to get to a stage where I'm that comfortable in controlling a fight that I can do those things. That's when you'll see the greatest from myself."
It was in the Whyte fight, the bout before his world title win against Martin, that some felt Joshua showed limitations that could later undermine him.
But the Olympic gold medallist is determined to evolve instead of becoming the one-dimensional fighter so many with his power would.
"Once you get the full package, you're unstoppable," Joshua said. "No matter what happens, you're just built for this. You condition yourself - you harden yourself to become the best person.
"I need to start now. I need to get to that stage now and start controlling fights. I'm talking about progressing now. From 16 fights on, I want to progress. It's just a matter of time and it just so happens it's starting now. It's been a natural thing.
"I've no control over the decision [to develop], it's just come upon me and has been stuck in my head. I need to start building on it.
"Whether it's right or wrong, I'll find out when I get in the ring."
Watch Anthony Joshua vs Dominic Breazeale live on Sky Sports Box Office from The O2, June 25. Book the event via your Sky remote or online here.