Joshua vs Parker: Anthony Joshua is burdened by thoughts of defeat ahead of Alexander Povetkin fight
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 17/09/18 5:42pm
Anthony Joshua admits he is haunted by the fear of failure ahead of his next world title defence against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.
Britain's heavyweight star brings a 21-fight unbeaten record, along with the WBA 'super', IBF and WBO belts into Saturday's fight with Povetkin, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
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But Joshua has revealed how he feels the burden of expectation on his shoulders as he prepares to perform in front of an expected attendance of up to 90,000 fans.
Ultimately as much as we think about winning, I think about losing. I can't afford to lose.
"The keys to victory for me in this fight - it's hard because you know what it's like when you fight, it's a lot of pressure," Joshua told Sky Sports.
"Ultimately as much as we think about winning, I think about losing. I can't afford to lose.
"This fight, the key to victory with me is relaxation, belief, having your energy reserves intact. I'm just trying to say I need to be a bit more effective, and sharp with my punches in this fight."
A fellow Olympic gold medallist, Povetkin has proven his technical prowess throughout a 35-fight professional career, with just a solitary defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, and Joshua accepts that he cannot make any costly lapses in concentration.
"It's a difficult fight when you are fighting someone like Povetkin, because it's like a game of chess," said the London 2012 champion.
"Violent chess, because they are waiting for you to make a move, so they can counter you.
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Anthony Joshua's skills are getting even sharper, says trainer Rob McCracken
"It's the person taking punches that loses energy. It isn't the one dishing out the punches so much, it's the one who keeps on taking the impact."
Questions were raised about Joshua's restrained performance in a points win over Joseph Parker in March, but the 28-year-old insists he simply wanted to showcase his underrated ring skills.
"No-one could ever say, Joshua can box," he said. "They can say he's a king of destruction, he can fight, he can knock people out.
"It looked so easy after 16 fights, but they could never say I boxed, so after this fight, I knew that no-one could tell me nothing.
"I will show the world that amongst other tricks, I still have other stuff in the locker.
"This fight honestly, hand on heart, was showing at a championship level, I can outmanoeuvre and outthink a fighter like Joseph Parker."
Watch Joshua vs Povetkin, at Wembley Stadium, on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. 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.